The interconnection processes in all regions are having similar challenges due to many different factors. Some of these factors are caused by lack of information, over "booking" of the queue, roller rights, and limited load data and outdated forecasting methodologies. Also, the models used to perform these analyses were not designed to handle the volume and type of resources being connected to the grid. Also, regulatory policies vary across Federal and State jurisdictions which complicate the process. In addition, PURPA policies for resources choices are not consistent across the grid as to who has "first call" interconnection rights.
The lack of universal standards for the control and operations of these non-utility resources that are grid connected are causing delays as well. Also, physical and cybersecurity has become and important issue at the Federal level. The uncertainty as to what is required and who pays for these requirements is up for debate and discussion and can be contradictory from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
The ultimate goal needs to be focused on grid reliability, security and resiliency at an acceptable cost and integrated with other goals such as renewable resources, storage and DSM programs. The challenge is determining the proper economic and technical evaluation methodologies that result in the lowest optimum cost versus savings. When artificial "credits or added on" are forced into these analyses, the resulting grid and its operations will not be the optimal or best solution for all parties. When these non-optimum solutions are selected, then someone has to pay for these higher costs. Typically, when the utilities are required to build and operate these non-optimum solutions, these higher costs are included in the cost-to-serve calculations and may result in higher rates and costs to all customers or to a subset of customer classes.