DOE creates working group to solve clean energy interconnection backlog

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has issued the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange — a new partnership funded by President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill that will bring together grid operators, utilities, state and tribal governments, clean energy developers, energy justice organizations and other stakeholders to address the challenges of deploying clean energy sources on the grid unload. As the Biden administration ramps up the expansion of new renewable energy to reach the nation’s goal of a net-zero economy by 2050, i2X partners will develop solutions for faster, easier and fairer interconnection of clean energy sources through better data , roadmap development and technical assistance.

“We need to end the stalemate that is delaying clean energy adoption so we can give more Americans access to cheaper electricity,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “Thanks to funding from the President’s bipartisan infrastructure bill, the new Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange will help build a coalition of problem solvers that leverage the expertise of utilities and community stakeholders, along with DOE’s national labs to address interconnection issues, ensure network reliability and equitable solutions for all communities.”

DOE is recent Research into solar future shows that both solar and wind energy resources must be drastically expanded to achieve the government’s goals. However, current grid connection rules, costs and procedures cannot cope with the rapid proliferation of clean energy projects and require more efficient processes to bring the projects online.

In addition, interconnection wait times for the number of clean energy generation and storage projects that will be added to the grid are increasing as demand for renewable electricity accelerates faster than ever. And with the clean energy investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, even more clean energy sources will line up for grid integration.

The i2X program aims to solve these challenges by addressing the core grid interconnection issues such as lack of data, shortage of human resources and more complicated grid impact assessments. The i2X program provides technical support to partners to develop solutions for specific regional, provincial and local interconnection problems. i2X partners will also address the inequalities caused by cumbersome interconnection processes in accordance with the government Justice40 Initiative

In collaboration with participating i2X organizations, experts from DOE’s Solar Energy and Wind Energy Technologies Offices and the National Laboratories will develop a five-year roadmap that sets goals and identifies research gaps and benchmarks for success.

DOE will start the collaboration on June 7 at a virtual event with secretary Granholm

News item from DOE

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