In the early 20th century electricity generation and transmission technologies supported the idea that "big is better." As a result, regulatory rules encouraged the construction of centralized power plants and long distribution lines. In the 1990s the technological dynamic was reversed. Small power plants located closer to the customer were become increasingly competitive. This has occurred at the same time as most states, many cities, and the U.S. Congress are rewriting the rules that govern our electricity system. These interconnection rules (i.e. codes, standards, regulations, statutes) will encourage electricity customers to also become electricity producers.
Withthe passage of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), section 1254 of EPAct requires states and "nonregulated" utilities to consider and make a determination on an interconnection standard based on the IEEE 1547 standard. The folks at IREC are tracking these state level efforts.
- Seeing the Light: Regaining Control of Our Electricity System– a book from the New Rules Project by David Morris.
- Distributed Generation Interconnection Tool Kit – a number of resources to help electric cooperatives address the legal, economic and technical issues raised by consumer-owned generation. Put together by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Cooperative Research Network, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. and Energy Co-Opportunity, 2006
- Making Connections: Case Studies of Interconnection Barriers and their Impacts on Distributed Power Projects – by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Generation Interconnection Activities – Information on FERC’s efforts to standardize interconnection agreements and procedures.
- EERE’s Distributed Power web site has a section on Interconnection
- Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s Connecting to the Grid – offers a nice guide to interconnection issues across the country, 2007
- Distributed Resource Policy Series – an amazing array of reports and resources from the Regulatory Assistance Project, ongoing