A Guide to Updating Interconnection Rules and Incorporating IEEE Standard 1547-2018

This NREL guide presents a structured, step-by-step approach to help authorities governing interconnection requirements (AGIRs) and stakeholders develop and update existing interconnection rules and incorporate IEEE Standard 1547-2018 from both the process and technical standpoints.

Technical Report

A Guide to Updating Interconnection Rules and Incorporating IEEE Standard 1547-2018 (Ingram et al. 2021)
A lack of uniform and transparent procedures for addressing interconnection rule changes can result in implementation issues or inefficiencies, such as unclear, lengthy, and complicated interconnection rules that can increase distributed generation "soft costs" (i.e., nonhardware costs). Additionally, misconstrued interconnection rules are at risk of becoming mired in stakeholder conflicts.

Fact Sheet

Updating Distributed Energy Resource Interconnection Rules: A Guide for Local Authorities
(Ingram et al. 2022)
This fact sheet summarizes the above technical report, providing quick guidance and clarity for local authorities that are adopting, developing, and maintaining rules around distributed energy resource interconnections, as issued by IEEE Standard 1547-2018.

Topics Covered

AGIRs need to be well informed of distributed energy resource capabilities that can help address technical requirements, market trends, and policy goals. Interconnection processes and technical issues often overlap; the two are not easily segregated, and they are often considered and evaluated concurrently within the context of interconnection rulemaking. Accordingly, this document addressed both the technical issues and related process considerations, including the interdependencies that might arise.

In this guide, the process of developing and updating interconnection rules is subdivided into three steps:

  1. Determining the context (stakeholders and major drivers)
  2. Developing the rule, including updating technical requirements
  3. Maintaining and revising the rule over time.

Key Takeaways

Interconnection rules and procedures often include process-related steps and other requirements related to broader energy policy goals and regulations or energy market considerations as well as technical requirements.

By first developing an understanding of the viewpoints, expectations, and needs of all stakeholders and the drivers for updating the interconnection rule, a shared purpose can be established.

Some key considerations for AGIR include:

  • Internal motivations for updating the rule: Has the AGIR sufficiently identified internal motivations for updating the interconnection rule and desired goal (outcome)?
  • Stakeholder identification: Has the AGIR identified all of the stakeholders relevant to the effort?
  • Procedural timeline: Has the AGIR allotted sufficient time for stakeholder discussion and resolution of issues?
  • Technical requirements: Has the AGIR allowed for the use of distributed energy resource capabilities (even if they are to be used in the future)?