The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released a plan that would expedite the connection of solar, wind, and battery projects to the energy grid. Long wait times for projects to connect to the grid and high grid upgrading costs, according to Canary Media, are currently preventing hundreds of gigawatts of clean energy projects from being connected to grids. These challenges have posed significant obstacles for the development of renewable energy projects around the country.

The regulatory changes FERC proposed include: implementing a first-ready, first-served cluster study process, improving interconnection queue processing speed, incorporating technological advancements into the interconnection process, and updating modeling and performance requirements for system reliability. These changes are ultimately aimed at simplifying and standardizing the grid connection process. These modifications will require transmission grid operators, transmission-owning utilities, and energy project developers to take on new responsibilities.

Implementation of clean energy projects will likely increase in the aftermath of President Biden’s two-year tariff suspension for solar panels from Southeast Asia and the invocation of the Defense Production Act to drive U.S. manufacturing of solar panels. Abigail Ross Hopper, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association stated that “during the two-year tariff suspension window, the U.S. solar industry can return to rapid deployment while the Defense Production Act helps grow American solar manufacturing.”

The increase of solar projects due to political incentives in conjunction with more efficient project grid connection will result in the growth of the solar industry. As solar development becomes less difficult and more standardized, more solar projects will be built, resulting in a more sustainable energy future.