At its June 16, 2022, open meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR), Improvements to Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements, 179 FERC ¶ 61,194 (2022), proposing reforms to the Commission’s standard generator interconnection procedures and agreements.  The goal of the NOPR is to reduce queue backlogs and expedite the process for connecting new electric generation facilities to the transmission grid, and to do that the Commission has proposed altering its 20-year-old approach to processing interconnection requests to align with “first-ready, first-served” methods used in the organized markets around the country.

At the end of 2021, more than 1,400 gigawatts of generation and storage were waiting in interconnection queues throughout the country.  This backlog in the interconnection queue has created uncertainty regarding the costs and timing of interconnecting projects, many of which will be needed to maintain reliability in the wake of generation retirements across the country.  The NOPR seeks to address these issues through (1) implementing a first-ready, first-served cluster study process, (2) increasing the speed of interconnection processing, and (3) incorporating technological advancements into the interconnection process.  We’ve summarized several highlights of the NOPR here; however, there is a lot to digest in its 258 pages of proposals.  As is standard with any proposed rulemaking, the Commission has requested comments on specific topics.  Comments are due 100 days after publication of the NOPR in the Federal Register.  Reply comments are due 130 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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