U.S. utility-scale solar installations in 2023 totaled 22.5 GW, an increase of 77% compared to 2022, according to SEIA and Wood Mackenzie. The numbers are expected to continue to increase thanks to the tax incentives and long-term certainty from the Inflation Reduction Act. 

That means firms across the U.S. are scaling up their capacity and their teams to meet this moment in clean energy history.

With so much utility-scale solar hitting the grid, it’s important for utility-scale solar developers and designers to not only have an understanding of electric distribution equipment, but also electric transmission equipment as well. That’s why HeatSpring instructor and Owner of Electric Distribution Academy Tim Taylor is launching a new 2-course series titled Electric Transmission and Solar PV Interconnection Bundle.

Electric power transmission in the U.S. is a complex topic. There are many stakeholders and associated roles, including transmission owners, Independent System Operators (ISOs)/Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), state regulators and other authorities and agencies. 

The creation of wholesale electricity markets over the last 30 years, which cover about 2/3 of the U.S. population, has introduced generation competition along with new market mechanisms by which generators can be compensated.

Transmission is also technically complex. Very detailed, rigorous planning and engineering is required to obtain high levels of reliability. New transmission facilities and generator interconnections must be thoroughly analyzed, meet applicable standards and requirements, and avoid impacting the reliability of the larger transmission grid.

These are the topics covered in the first course in the Electric Transmission and Solar PV Interconnection BundleIntroduction to Transmission

This course provides professionals with a basis for working with electric power transmission, building a foundation of how the industry is structured and operated in the U.S., transmission stakeholders, and the equipment and facilities that comprise transmission.  It provides a basis for its companion course Interconnection of Utility-Scale Solar PV to Transmission.

Interconnection of Utility-Scale Solar PV to Transmission boils down the most critical concepts to a level where everyone can get an understanding of the very involved and complex process of interconnecting solar PV to transmission systems. 

Topics Include:

  • The very-involved and often difficult-to-understand generator interconnection requirements, processes, and terminology of transmission operators
  • The role of FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) and NERC (North America Electric Reliability Corporation) in most transmission interconnections 
  • The typical interconnection processes of transmission operators like ISO’s/RTO’s, including the submittal of project data and information, transmission system operator technical studies and results, and decision points for developers in the process 
  • The present transition of interconnection queue processing by U.S. transmission operators from a “first-come, first-served” serial process to a “first-ready, first-served” cluster process
  • A description of the types of studies that are performed by transmission operators in evaluating interconnection requests, including power flow, short-circuit, transient stability, and EMT (Electromagnetic Transients) studies and the meaning of their results
  • An overview of the physical and electrical interconnection of solar PV to transmission, including the primary equipment that composes substations and tie lines, including an overview of monitoring, control, and protection concepts that are important to interconnections.

This course bundle is perfect for teams working on utility-scale solar project development and design. It helps everyone cultivate a shared language for better collaboration. 

Learn more and pre-order the Electric Transmission and Solar PV Interconnection Bundle today!