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Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur Statement
January 17, 2013
Docket No. RM13-2-000
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FERC Proposed Reforms for Small Generator Interconnections

“I have frequently observed that one of the Commission’s most important responsibilities is to determine whether our existing policies remain just, reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory in light of ongoing changes in the nation’s power supply. As the country’s generation mix continues to evolve, the Commission must ensure that its policies do not saddle customers with unnecessary costs or raise artificial barriers to new sources of energy.

Today we vote out a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) consistent with this responsibility. Specifically, the Commission proposes modifications to its small generator interconnection procedures that are intended to reduce the time and cost to process interconnection requests, particularly those of solar generators, while maintaining the reliability of the grid.

“The timing of today’s NOPR is particularly appropriate. As the NOPR points out, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have renewable portfolio standards, while an additional eight states have renewable portfolio goals. Some states have also implemented distributed generation “carve-outs” in which a percentage of the total state renewable portfolio standard must come from distributed generation. As a result of these and other policies, and technological advances, SEIA notes that the amount of installed solar capacity in the United States has grown at a 49% annual rate during the past decade. States as diverse as California and New Jersey have been leaders in this effort.

“Following the technical conference on this topic last summer, the Commission received several comments requesting that it convene a stakeholder working group to facilitate further discussion. I am pleased that the Commission intends to take commenters up on this suggestion. In the NOPR, the Commission announces that it will hold a workshop during the comment period to discuss the technical aspects of today’s proposals. I hope we get comments from a wide range of parties on the proposed rule, and strong participation in the workshop.

“Thank you to the Commission staff who worked on this Order.”