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Hosting Capacity: Using Increased Transparency of Grid Constraints to Accelerate Interconnection Processes

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The Third Installment in SEIA's New Opportunities for Solar Through Grid Modernization Series. For the full series, click here

Built during the last century, the United States electric grid was primarily designed to transport electricity from large central station power plants to end-use customers. But with rapid growth of distributed energy resources, such as solar, resulting from falling costs and technological advances, customers are increasingly taking charge of their own energy. These resources offer the promise of a more innovative, economic, and cleaner electric grid.

In recognition of the growing role, value, and opportunity of distributed energy resources a number of states across the country are looking at how distribution system planning, operations, and investment must change. This paper series examines the potential changes being considered and the opportunities for solar and other distributed energy resources.

This paper is the third in SEIA's series on grid modernization and focuses on improving interconnection with hosting capacity analyses. As with the rest of the papers in this series, the experiences of two leading states, California and New York, are examined.

About this Whitepaper Series

This series of SEIA policy briefs takes an in-depth look at state-level efforts to modernize the electric utility grid. Built during the last century, the United States electric grid was primarily designed to transport electricity from central station power plants to end-use customers. But with rapid growth of distributed energy resources such as solar, customers are increasingly taking charge of their own energy. Today’s electric grid must allow distributed energy technologies to flourish and provide reliable, low-cost power for consumers. Distributed energy resources, like solar, can also provide power where it is needed most and help avoid investments that a utility would otherwise need to make.

This series explores the elements of electric grid modernization, compares the ways in which two leading states are tackling these issues, and discusses how these efforts are creating new opportunities for solar power. Grid modernization efforts in states present significant risks and opportunities for solar. These efforts will determine how much new solar and other distributed energy resources can interconnect to the grid, identify areas where solar can provide grid services in lieu of utility investments, and in some states, will shape the future of net energy metering.