WASHINGTON, D.C. – Saying it will help to spur solar deployment nationwide, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) praised a new rule approved today by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that will expedite and reduce the cost of solar project interconnection, while maintaining the reliability and safety of the electric grid.
In 2005, FERC issued Order No. 2006, which for the first time established national interconnection procedures applicable to generation projects that are 20 megawatts (MW) or less in size and subject to FERC’s wholesale jurisdiction. Order No. 2006 was groundbreaking, and the procedures were voluntarily adopted by many states to apply to the retail interconnection process. However, demand for solar energy has grown dramatically since the original order was issued more than seven years ago, and certain aspects of the order have resulted in needless barriers to cost-effective and timely interconnections.
The rule approved today will allow solar projects that meet certain technical requirements to qualify for a “fast track” interconnection process, thus eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming studies. Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA, said today’s decision will help to reduce interconnection bottlenecks.
“We applaud FERC for recognizing the challenges facing wholesale distributed generation development, which is one of the fastest-growing segments of America’s solar energy industry,” Resch said. “At the same time, the new rule maintains electric system safety and reliability. On behalf of our industry and its 120,000 workers, we sincerely appreciate FERC’s willingness to revisit this issue and update its rule. We look forward to working with FERC and all other interested stakeholders in the future to help further the deployment of clean, reliable and affordable solar energy nationwide. By the end of this year, we expect to have 13 GW of cumulative solar electric capacity installed in the U.S. – enough to power more than 2 million American homes. SEIA urges state regulators to consider using FERC’s new rule as a model and starting point for updating their own interconnection rules.”
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.