Awards for electric grid analysis

April 5, 2022

As the transition to clean energy accelerates, developers are rushing to get new generation projects connected to the grid. This has caused a traffic jam on the on-ramps, as projects clog up the “interconnection queues,” where developers apply to grid managers for access.

Berkeley Lab’s Electricity Markets & Policy Department has been tracking the phenomenon, and analyzing ways that the process could be streamlined. Berkeley Lab researchers have documented massive growth in the interconnection queues, especially for solar, battery, and hybrid projects, and the implications it has for transmission costs, grid operations, power plant configurations, and wholesale power markets.

The work has caused a stir, showing that interconnection process and cost barriers are slowing down the pace of a rapidly evolving power business.

In recognition of the work, the Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG), a nonprofit organization that marshals the expertise of the electricity industry’s technical community to support grid transformation and energy systems integration, recently gave its 2022 Excellence Award to Lab researchers Joe Rand and Will Gorman.

Rand and Gorman were honored for their “contributions to transmission interconnection queue process reform.”

“Announcing this year’s recipients is a special moment for everyone as it shows how critical it is to keep moving forward and pushing one another in our industry to continue to innovate and lead,” said Mark Ahlstrom, President of the ESIG Board of Directors.

The awards were granted at the annual ESIG Spring Technical Workshop on March 23 in Tucson, Arizona.

Author

Ben Paulos