Data from more than 30,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) installations throughout the United States has been compiled and analyzed by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as part of a new study to explore the relationship between interconnection regulations and actual project completion timelines.
The quick takeaway here? Interconnection process delays are fairly common — and generally range from simple of a couple of days up to several months. The study authors note that the streamlining of the application review + final authorization processes could benefit utilities as well as solar consumers, by reducing the notable time and costs currently accompanying the process of adopting solar energy.
We now have a clearer understanding of the different process elements associated with connecting a PV system to the grid, such as how long it takes to review and approve an application for interconnection, how long it takes to construct and inspect a system, and how long it takes to get final authorization from the utility,” stated lead author Kristen Ardani, a solar technology markets and policy analyst at NREL. “This report represents the first data-driven evaluation of how PV deployment time frames compare to state regulations in key solar markets.”
A recent press report sums up some of the key points: