The U.S. Department of Energy has released a draft roadmap to address interconnection challenges on the transmission grid and is seeking feedback before releasing a final version.
DOE convened a group of clean energy stakeholders through its Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) to develop the roadmap, “which is intended to serve as a practical guide for implementing near- and long-term solutions to interconnect clean energy sources and to clear the existing backlog of solar, wind, and battery projects seeking to get built,” it said.
“New clean energy projects are subject to complicated approval processes before they come online. The high volume of projects seeking interconnection has led to uncertainties, delays, inequities, and added costs for developers, consumers, utilities, and their regulators,” DOE said.
The i2X draft roadmap provides decision makers with a set of pathways organized around four goals to “rapidly, equitably, and reliably deploy clean energy resources,” DOE said:
- Increase data access and transparency,
- Improve process and timing,
- Promote economic efficiency, and
- Maintain a reliable grid.
Since the launch of i2X in June 2022, DOE has convened more than 2,000 stakeholders in a series of 22 virtual public meetings that covered key issues, including cost allocation, queue management, data transparency, equity and energy justice, workforce, grid engineering practices, and EV charging.
DOE on Oct. 25 released a request for information to solicit input from interconnection stakeholders on the challenges and solution sets outlined in the roadmap.
Grid operators, utilities, state and local governments, Tribal governments and tribal utilities, clean energy developers, energy justice organizations, nonprofits, trade associations, and other i2X stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback.
Responses are due by Nov. 22, 2023.
DOE said it expects to finalize the transmission roadmap and release a draft second volume that focuses on the distribution grid in the coming months.