October 17, 2022
More renewable energy generators are coming online, with electricity generation from renewable energy predicted to rise from 20% in 2021 to 24% in 2023, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. However, new, often smaller businesses looking to connect to grids across the U.S. are typically unaware of the challenges ahead. With the transitioning market, and rapidly changing rules, regulations, and stakeholders, projects can carry additional risks.
In their fall 2022 article in Western Energy Magazine, "Successfully Managing the Renewable Generation Interconnection Process," Exponent's Craig Steigerwalt and Maz Mazadi examine various ways to mitigate risks associated with the interconnection process.
From the publication: "Proper risk management for generation interconnection projects is a revolving process. Not only does it require daily monitoring and updates, but it requires constant feedback from project shareholders when new information is available."
Aside from identifying risks as early as possible to reduce their impact on the project's schedule and budget, the authors describe key elements that every project team should consider before interconnecting a large-scale generator to the grid, including:
- Understanding the requirements and processes.
- Studying the risks and preparing for changes.
- Knowing the competition.
- Maintaining awareness of agreements, contracts, and approvals.
- Scheduling toward realistic success.