New Illinois interconnection standards could spur solar power
New interconnection standards in Illinois could help spur the growth of solar power in the state, Midwest Energy News reports.
The new standards passed by the state’s legislature update interconnection rules adopted in 2008 and simplify the interconnection process by reducing the time needed to research interconnection options and mandating that utilities provide solar developers information on potential grid locations before they began development rather than after they make an interconnection filing.
- Illinois’ new standards could serve as a model for states such as Iowa and Minnesota that are in the midst of rule makings about interconnection procedures.
The growth of solar power, particularly rooftop solar panels, has strained utilities and the interconnection process. The addition of large amounts of solar power created backlogs in states such as Hawaii, California and Massachusetts.
Earlier this month, Greentech Media reported on the result of a study by EQ Research that could the average wait time for a small solar PV system (10 kW or less) to receive utility permission to operate nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015, to 45 days up from 28.
Illinois does not have a lot of solar power, but it now joins states such as California in improving the speed and transparency of the interconnection process for solar power. By speeding up the processes, Illinois could avoid a dilemma similar to Hawaii, whose utilities have greatly struggled to keep up with the interconnection requests.
“We’re looking to states that have actually experienced high volumes of solar,” Brad Klein, an attorney for the Environmental Law and Policy Center, told Midwest Energy News. “We’re doing a good job in taking those lessons and applying them here so we’re prepared and ready.”
- Midwest Energy News In Illinois, new rules expected to make solar faster and cheaper
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