We Facilitate the Integration of Emerging Technologies into the Electrical Grid
Grid modernization is one the main reasons for the shift to new technologies such as photovoltaic (PV) system, wind power generation, and energy storage in electrical infrastructure. The key features of a modern grid are its ability to use clean energy to generate electricity and its resiliency in response to natural disasters. State and federal government policies have amplified the necessity of these attributes for our society. For instance, California Senate Bill 1339 aims to utilize renewable energies and resilient infrastructure to combat wildfires.
However, connecting new technologies to the utilities’ distribution network is subject to a multi-step technical review process conducted by utility companies. The review identifies any potential negative impact on the electrical infrastructure caused by the technologies under consideration. The approval is granted after any identified negative impacts have been mitigated. The United States has 3,250 utilities and nearly as many approval processes that range from several weeks to months. The time-consuming, inconsistent, and uncertain approval processes are one of the major challenges that investors and policy makers face today. As noted in the U.S. Solar Market Insight report, investment in large-scale PV systems has been declining due to issues in interconnection approval processes.