On March 10, 2021, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued a memorandum regarding additional procedural steps in its distributed generation (DG) interconnection docket – D.P.U. 19-55. As we previously discussed, this docket seeks to investigate issues associated with interconnection of DG projects. As next steps for this docket, the DPU memorandum notes:
- Cost allocation considerations for DG interconnection costs will proceed under DPU docket 20-75;
- The investigation into affected system operator studies is complete, but reporting and the process developed for those studies will continue;
- The DPU will continue its investigation into timelines for interconnection, starting with specific questions posed to the Electric Distribution Companies related to the scope of delays in DG interconnection;
- No additional process is proposed on DG interconnection directly to the transmission system;
- There are no anticipated technical conferences upcoming;
- The DPU is looking at possibilities for ongoing stakeholder collaborations; and
- Looking ahead, the DPU expects issuance of additional Orders in the near term related to interconnection of ESS and state vs. federal jurisdiction.
The most interesting of these announcements is that the DPU may take a closer look at how slowly the interconnection process moves for many projects. As anyone working in developing DG projects in Massachusetts knows, interconnection is a major bottle neck for bringing projects online. In order for Massachusetts to meet is lofty greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, the DPU must play a role in streamlining the DG interconnection process. Hopefully, this announcement is a step in that direction.