FERC adopts our recommendations for improved interconnection transparency - Clean Coalition

FERC adopts our recommendations for improved interconnection transparency

The Clean Coalition recommended that FERC reduce unnecessary regulatory burden and improve public access to interconnection data.

Sahm White

In late 2014, the Clean Coalition filed a response to a California Independent System Operator (CAISO) motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which requested relief from a FERC requirement to file interconnection queue quarterly progress reports.

Our filing recommended that FERC modify its reporting requirements to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden on CAISO, while also improving and accelerating public access to important interconnection data.

FERC agreed with the Clean Coalition’s recommendation to eliminate the quarterly report requirement and instead allow all of the information required in the report to be uploaded to the Generator Interconnection Queue Spreadsheet (GIQ Spreadsheet) on CAISO’s website. According to FERC’s ruling, “Eliminating the report to the Commission but requiring that CAISO integrate the data into a well-known source allows CAISO to use its resources more efficiently and may increase stakeholder review and analysis of the data.”

CAISO’s GIQ Spreadsheet is an essential tool for keeping users updated on interconnection activity, including data on the amount of filed and accepted interconnection requests, points of interconnection, the status of all required interconnection studies, and the outcomes of independent study projects.

The Clean Coalition was the only organization to intervene, and as a result of our effort, CAISO’s new reporting practices will establish an improved standard for clear, public access to data that is important to interconnection applicants, as well as other parties working to further improve grid access in California. The GIQ Spreadsheet will now contain additional data, including: the number of requests for the fast track process that did not pass the required screens, and which screens the generators failed; and the reason for any rejections of projects requesting independent study treatment.

The improved reporting method sets a FERC jurisdictional standard for publishing interconnection data, whereby regulators and applicants will have more information at their disposal. The ruling builds upon California Public Utilities Commission interconnection data reporting requirements that the Clean Coalition successfully advocated for in the Rule 21 proceeding. All of these developments, in turn, will accelerate the deployment of renewable energy by providing data on current procedures in order to understand why costly delays are occurring and how they can be avoided.

Sahm White

Economics and Policy Analysis Director

Sahm has over 20 years of experience in economic and environmental policy, with over 200 filings before public utility and energy commissions. Prior to joining the Clean Coalition, he held positions as a Senior Research Consultant to the Center for Ecoliteracy, Technical and Policy Analyst in the development of the Ecological Footprint, and Associate Director of Progressive Secretary, a leading web source of legislative constituent engagement.