Come have lunch each week with young researchers from EPIC at this interdisciplinary lunch and learn series. This week will feature Raghav Pardasani.

 

Abstract:

 

Raghav Pardasani – Reforming the US’s Interconnected Queue Process

For every generating unit that seeks to interconnect to the electric grid, electric transmission system operators – Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), Independent System Operators (ISOs) or utilities – must review the project’s impact on the grid and ensure that the grid is reliable and safe. This process establishes what new transmission equipment or upgrades may be needed before a project can connect to the system and assigns those costs to the project that triggered said upgrades. A project makes an interconnection request and joins an interconnection queue – consisting of many such projects – in order to be reviewed by the transmission system operator on a generator-by-generator basis. However, in recent years, as the costs of renewable energy have significantly gone down and decarbonization targets have been set by governments, companies, and utilities across the US, the interconnection requests have exponentially increased as smaller wind and solar projects seek to interconnect to the grid. These projects are facing multi-year waiting lists and high costs to interconnect to the grid. If the US plans to accomplish 100% clean electricity by 2035, nearly 70 GW of renewables needs to be added each year (Climate Tech VC, 2023). Clearly, the process for clean energy projects to interconnect is in dire need of reform, which is the focus of this talk.