DOE Launches i2X Partnership to Reduce Wait Times for Clean Energy Sources and Cut Costs of Transitioning to Clean Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X) this week, tapping into funds from the bipartisan Infrastructure Act to launch a new partnership dedicated to connecting an energy network specific.
Partners include grid operators, utilities, state and tribal governments, clean energy developers, energy justice organizations and other stakeholders. By bringing them together under one umbrella, the Biden administration hopes to reduce wait times on interconnection queues faced by clean energy sources and reduce the costs of connecting them to the grid. The help will be the sharing and therefore the creation of better data, the development of roadmaps and offers of technical assistance.
“Removing the gridlock that is slowing the deployment of clean energy is key to increasing access to cheaper electricity for American families and businesses,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. “Funding under the Presidential Bipartisan Infrastructure Act will help DOE and our National Laboratories create a coalition of problem solvers to resolve interconnection issues, ensure grid reliability, and develop equitable solutions for all communities.”
According to the DOE, current grid connection rules, costs and procedures are not adequate to handle the rapid increase in clean energy projects needed to meet current targets. Wait times for interconnection are increasing along with demand, and this, the ministry noted, requires more efficient processes to streamline.
The i2X program represents a step towards this goal by addressing human resource needs and data gaps and addressing more complex network impact assessments. Partners will receive technical assistance as they develop solutions for specific interconnection issues in their regions, states and localities. The program will also work to reduce costs for consumers and families in general while addressing inequities caused by existing interconnection processes.
The DOE and its partners intend to create a five-year plan of goals, research gaps, and milestones.