Arizona has historically been tenuous when it comes to policies and efforts to support the growth of rooftop solar. Regulations, extra costs, and more factors have discouraged some homes and businesses from making the switch to clean energy. Interconnection standards have been a road block for some consumers wishing to switch to solar. In January 2019, the Arizona Corporation Commission preliminarily approved a set of interconnection rules that could help link renewables and batteries to the grid, making it easier for customers across the state to utilize solar energy.
Interconnection standards outline requirements and regulations related to the installation of solar panels, and the process by which those solar systems are connected to the grid. Requirements for interconnection range from the correct voltage to meeting safety regulations. Without consistent standards for these regulations, it can become difficult to install a solar panel system and get it working right away without repairs, modifications or even knowing if the panel system is compatible with the utility company. Until now, there has not been a set of standards that applies statewide.
The draft set of interconnection rules provide a “fast track” process for approving certain kinds of solar systems, regulations to ensure safety and reliability throughout installation and grid connection, and includes provisions for battery storage systems.
The next step in the process invites public participation. The ACC will accept written comments from interested parties filed into the docket, and will hear oral comments on March 28 in Tucson and March 29 in Phoenix.
Once the whole state has clear and consistent interconnection standards, it will be easier and faster for Arizonans to utilize solar energy. Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on this exciting advancement for clean energy in Arizona!