Strong Solar Markets Depend on Grid Interconnection Policies
It’s time for state governments in the U.S. to introduce grid planning policies and interconnection strategies that will accommodate larger proportions of distributed generation as the solar market grows.
From Hawaii and California to Massachusetts and North Dakota, “rapid solar market growth is placing considerable pressure on state interconnection standards that were originally developed with considerably lower penetrations of distributed solar generation in mind,” writes Sky Stanfield, a lawyer for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
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“Even states like these that have experienced sustained solar growth for a number of years are facing the need to update and refine their interconnection procedures to reflect changing market conditions and technologies.”
Stanfield adds that a recent study by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory linked strong interconnection policies with strong solar markets. “Building on earlier research, the study confirmed that ‘states in all contexts experienced more robust markets with the implementation of interconnection and net metering,’” she writes. “Not surprisingly, it emphasized that interconnection policy is ‘foundational for distributed generation market growth.’”