NJBPU Intently Eyeing Grid Modernization Suggestions

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NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has formally accepted a report, entitled Grid Modernization Study: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which features a full set of suggestions, and licensed the general public launch of the report.

In recommending the board’s acceptance of the report, employees indicated that the report outlines a framework for modernizing the grid, and its suggestions would considerably enhance New Jersey’s interconnection guidelines.

The state’s grid modernization initiative included analysis into related state packages and rising applied sciences, group and execution of a complete sequence of stakeholder conferences, and information requests for particular info from New Jersey’s Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs), which all culminated within the report’s suggestions to switch sure interconnection requirements. Modifying these requirements will allow better adoption of unpolluted energy assets wanted to satisfy New Jersey’s clear energy targets by enhancing how they’re linked to the electrical grid.

“This report and its recommendations are vital to the process of modernizing the grid so that our many new sources of clean energy like solar, as well as energy storage, can more easily connect now and into the future,” says NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “I would like to thank board staff and our consultant Guidehouse for their hard work on an extremely important topic, and to our stakeholder community who provided invaluable feedback throughout the process.”

Further, the board directed employees to launch for public remark a draft of the proposed rule adjustments wanted to implement suggestions 1 by means of 4 within the report that will modify the interconnection guidelines. These modifications would offer near-term reduction from the problems that impede greater charges of interconnection approval for distributed energy assets (DER), comparable to solar and energy storage.

Staff has additionally been directed to provoke the evaluation and stakeholder enter course of wanted to kick begin the rule making course of for suggestions 5-9, that are long term suggestions. These suggestions are usually extra advanced and would require extra evaluation and stakeholder enter previous to being included right into a second rulemaking continuing. Some of those longer-term enhancements could require legislative motion.

The last report was developed by Guidehouse Inc., which developed the doc by means of a strong public course of, which included 5 stakeholder conferences over the past 12 months.

Near-term suggestions from the report embody guaranteeing New Jersey is aligned with the newest grid interconnection requirements of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). It recommends streamlining and automating the interconnection software course of together with an interconnection dispute decision course of. It additionally pushes to reinforce internet hosting capability methodology, internet hosting capability and map information granularity, minimal replace intervals, and presentation consistency. This would come with the electrical distribution firms (EDC) offering a uniform price information information for system upgrades.

The suggestions name for designing and implementing an EDC pre-application course of in accordance with NJBPU necessities, which is able to present the chance to expedite renewables and storage interconnection. The course of ought to allow key info affecting venture viability to be exchanged between the EDC and the shopper previous to initiating a normal interconnection evaluate.

Long-term suggestions from the report embody NJBPU growing a steering committee and convene working teams and process forces to additional reform the interconnection and grid modernization course of. The steering committee ought to advocate instruments and an strategy for a “regulatory sandbox” to check for “fail or scale” of recent applied sciences and processes.

Informed by a stakeholder course of initiated by NJBPU, NJ EDCs ought to implement a streamlined versatile queue course of throughout EDCs which would come with a mechanism to prioritize a “first ready, first through” strategy. This would assist extra viable tasks and keep away from clogging the queue for Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 tasks, whereas guaranteeing fairness and equity within the queue.

NJBPU ought to set up a steering committee and dealing teams to analysis and advocate extra price restoration choices past the legacy cost-causer strategy. Alternatives, which adjust to the idea of prudently incurred prices and don’t systematically favor non-public, unregulated builders at ratepayers’ expense ought to be researched.

NJBPU ought to direct the EDCs to develop built-in distribution plans (IDP) per the NJ Energy Master Plan (NJEMP) and may present course to the EDCs relating to info to be included as minimal submitting necessities of their IDP / IDER (built-in distributed energy useful resource) plans. NJBPU ought to present a rulemaking that non-renewable gas sources ought to be individually metered from renewable sources, and can’t be mixed for web metering functions. This will enable renewable technology homeowners to obtain full credit score with out penalty for co-located non-renewable sources, and with out sacrificing useful resource sufficiency.

Proposed rule adjustments for the suggestions will likely be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for publication within the New Jersey Register. The board will think about public feedback acquired earlier than adopting last rule adjustments and publishing them within the New Jersey Register.  The rule proposal for the near-term suggestions will likely be submitted to OAL after receiving public touch upon the draft rule language. The rule proposal for the long-term suggestions will likely be developed following a strong stakeholder engagement course of and submitted when the proposal is developed.

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