DER interconnection processes can help ensure that DERs contribute to the reliable operation of the power system and help reduce the burden on utilities, which must process application requests, and on customers, who may not be able to navigate complex or unclear application processes. If interconnection processes are too complex, they will not only hurt individual customers, but can limit the development of a DER market in your power system.
While policymakers are not traditionally involved in the development of such processes, they can play an important role in setting clear expectations for various parties, like emphasizing a need for allowing DERs to interact with the power system, or ensuring clear application procedures for customers. Furthermore, policymakers can work with regulators to convene various power system stakeholders in the development of these rules to ensure all parties’ concerns are addressed.
Good interconnection processes help coordinate the actions of various power system stakeholders to ensure DERs are safely and efficiently interconnected. These processes consist of rules regarding how applications are processed and standards that DERs must comply with before interconnecting.
A typical DER interconnection and permitting process consists of a number of steps with associated rules and standards. A firm understanding of the interconnection process can prepare policymakers to make informed decisions when directing utilities, developers and regulators to update or modify existing practices.