The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued an Order Instituting Rulemaking last Thursday to review interconnection rules for new generation resources and energy storage.  For CPUC insiders and utility buffs, this means new changes to everyone's favorite: Rule 21.

With scattered reports over the years of the interconnection process being slow, discriminatory, costly, and completely opaque for generators that wish to sell a portion of their generation to the grid and thus wishing to interconnect with the grid, the Commission has decided through this rulemaking to delve into the problem and figure out new ways to jump-start interconnection. In addition, new technologies like energy storage have added new wrinkles to the interconnection quandary.

The preliminary scope of issues to be discussed in the proceeding are listed here. They include:

1) The Reform of the Distribution-Level Interconnection Process and Reporting Requirements

2) Technology operating standards, standardized engineering study methodology, and deliverability study m methodology

3) Limits on Distributed Generation Penetration

4) Cost Allocation for Infrastructure Upgrades

5) Procedural Forum for Rule 21 Settlement Efforts If you have any interest in getting involved in this rulemaking, opening comments on this preliminary scoping memo are due October 27, with reply comments due November 9.