Joint Generator Interconnection Workshop (Virtual)
August 9 - August 11
This major online workshop by ESIG, NAGF, NERC and EPRI covers the important relationships between interconnection process reforms and new capability and performance standards for inverter-based resources. The workshop provides education on both topics and how they interact for potentially expediting the large generator interconnection process while also supporting a more economic, sustainable, and reliable future power system.
Interconnection queues around the U.S. are backlogged by approximately 1,500 GW of generation projects facing multi-year study delays. FERC recently issued two proposed rulemakings to address some of these challenges—“Building for the Future Through Electric Regional Transmission Planning and Cost Allocation and Generator Interconnection” and “Improvements to Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements”—with comments to FERC due this fall.
Separately, recent NERC Disturbance Reports have indicated gaps in interconnection studies, modeling, and interconnection requirements for inverter-based resources (IBRs). Also, the new IEEE 2800 standard for “Interconnection and Interoperability of Inverter-Based Resources Interconnecting with Associated Transmission Electric Power Systems” has recently been published and, if adopted by ISOs/RTOs and other authorities governing interconnection requirements, could provide additional benefits for both reliability and the interconnection study process. More information is available from the recording of a joint webinar on the IEEE 2800-2022 standard on May 3, 2022.
This timely online workshop shows the important relationships between these topics, as well as provide deeper technical understanding of each topic area, in a way that can facilitate fact-based discussion and meaningful feedback prior to the upcoming FERC comment deadlines. While panelists include engineering and technical experts on each topic, the workshop is intended for a broad engineering, policy, and decision maker audience.
The workshop includes three half-day online sessions on August 9, 10 and 11. Participation in all three days is recommended. Participants need to register separately for each half-day session. Materials and recordings of the respective sessions will be provided at the conclusion of the workshop. There is no charge for the workshop.
DOWNLOAD FULL 3-DAY AGENDA (includes session and presentation topics, along with speakers)
Day 1: The Interconnection Process
Tuesday, August 9 / 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (EDT)
The first day of the workshop will discuss differences between the traditional interconnection and transmission planning processes—and why these practices were appropriate when originally implemented but may now be insufficient or inadequate. It will cover best practices in these two areas as well as the multiple benefits of transmission and proactive planning. Today, significant transmission expansion is happening through the generation interconnection process, and this contributes to the complexity and backlog of the interconnection process. Additionally, assumptions and criteria used in the transmission planning are not applied consistently, when identifying transmission upgrades in the interconnection process. A new generator interconnection is evaluated as a cost while benefits such as lower energy cost for consumers, contribution to resource adequacy, security of supply, etc., are not considered. As a result of this approach, transmission upgrade costs for interconnection may be fully assigned to generator owners, the transmission upgrades may not be least cost or optimal solutions from the system perspective, and the costs of upgrades may be prohibitively high. In turn, this may result in project withdrawals and restudies that further delay the interconnection process and putting excessive burden on developers and transmission engineers alike.
Day 2: Interconnection Studies and Modeling
Wednesday, August 10 / 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (EDT)
The second day of the workshop will identify gaps in the study processes, identify needs for validated models both in the positive sequence and EMT domains, discuss challenges from both the developer and transmission provider perspective, and provide recommendations to improve the study and modeling processes. Complexities of the interconnection process are leading to challenges with interconnection studies and potential reliability concerns once projects become operational. Exacerbated by the rapid (and important) pace of technology innovation in today’s generation technologies, developers cannot know the equipment that will be available and used in their project because of the long timeline to complete interconnection studies and identify their interconnection upgrade costs. This causes discrepancies between what was studied and the equipment that is ultimately commissioned. Improvements to the study processes are needed to align interconnection process milestones, OEM equipment lifecycles, project development timelines and reliability study needs.
Day 3: IBR Interconnection Requirements and Next Steps
Thursday, August 11 / 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (EDT)
The third day of the workshop will focus on the gaps in existing interconnection requirements, provide information about the ongoing gap analysis between existing interconnection requirements and IEEE 2800, and discuss the path forward. Currently, there is no consistency in interconnection requirements for IBRs between the regions. Some areas already have stringent requirements, while others are still lacking. Recent NERC Disturbance Reports have identified gaps in existing interconnection requirements and incorrect application of existing interconnection requirements, leading to multi-generator disturbance events. State-of-the-art inverters are developed with the most stringent interconnection requirements in mind. The industry should take advantage of these capabilities to ensure reliable operation of IBRs in the future grids. The IEEE 2800 standard for “Interconnection and Interoperability of Inverter-Based Resources (IBRs) Interconnecting with Associated Transmission Electric Power Systems” has recently been approved and it builds upon state-of-the-art technology capabilities.
The workshop will conclude with discussion of next steps and DOE’s new Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2x) initiative.