ISO-NE, NEPOOL, transmission owners file interconnection process changes with FERC

ISO New England, in collaboration with the New England Participating Transmission Owners and the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL), recently proposed significant changes to how resources connect to the regional power system. The proposal, filed in May, will bring the region into compliance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order Nos. 2023 and 2023-A. These orders seek to enhance interconnection processes nationwide by moving away from a serial, first-come, first-served interconnection queue to a clustered, first-ready, first-served process.

The proposed changes follow an extensive stakeholder engagement process that involved more than a dozen stakeholder meetings and the review of more than 25 stakeholder-backed amendments. Many of these amendments were incorporated into the compliance proposal.

Key reforms

The proposal’s major changes include:

  • Adoption of a “first-ready, first served cluster study process” for all interconnection requests. Under this approach, the ISO and transmission owners will evaluate batches of projects seeking to connect to the grid.
  • A penalty structure applied to the ISO and transmission owners for delays in study completion beyond established deadlines.
  • Increased financial and site control requirements for developers entering projects into the ISO’s interconnection process.
  • Improved integration of battery storage projects and other new technologies onto the transmission system.

These reforms aim to prioritize projects with a high likelihood of development and deter speculative ventures through a reliable, efficient, transparent, and timely interconnection process.

The ISO, NEPOOL and the New England Participating Transmission Owners requested an effective date of August 12, 2024, for the proposed changes in order to support a quick and efficient transition to the new interconnection process.

Additional information on the compliance plan, including presentations, memos, and stakeholder comments, is available on the ISO’s Order No. 2023 Key Project page.

Industry News & Developments