The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) today formerly accepted a report, titled Grid Modernization Study: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which outlines a framework for modernizing the power grid and provides recommendations that would improve New Jersey’s interconnection rules.
The state’s grid modernization initiative included research into similar state programs and emerging technologies, organization and execution of a comprehensive series of stakeholder meetings, and data requests for specific information from New Jersey’s Electric Distribution Companies (EDCs), which all culminated in the report’s recommendations to modify certain interconnection standards.
Modifying these standards will enable greater adoption of clean energy resources needed to meet New Jersey’s clean energy goals by improving how they are connected to the electric 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,” said 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 NJBPU staff to release for public comment a draft of the proposed rule changes needed to implement recommendations 1 through 4 in the report that would modify the interconnection rules. These modifications would provide near-term relief from the issues that impede higher rates of interconnection approval for Distributed Energy Resources (DER), such as solar and energy storage.
The NJBPU has also been directed to initiate the analysis and stakeholder input process needed to kick start the rule making process for recommendations 5-9, which are longer-term recommendations. These recommendations are generally more complex and will require additional analysis and stakeholder input prior to being incorporated into a second rulemaking proceeding. Some of these longer-term improvements may require legislative action.
The Final Report was developed by Guidehouse, Inc. who developed the document through a public process that included five stakeholder meetings over the last 12 months.
Near-term recommendations from the Report include:
Long-term recommendations from the Report include:
Proposed rule changes for the recommendations will be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for publication in the New Jersey Register. The Board will consider public comments received before adopting final rule changes and publishing them in the New Jersey Register.
The rule proposal for the near-term recommendations will be submitted to OAL after receiving public comment on the draft rule language. The rule proposal for the long-term recommendations will be developed following a robust stakeholder engagement process and submitted when the proposal is developed.
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