2021 Optimizing the Interconnection Process: Transmission & Distribution

2021 Optimizing the Interconnection Process: Transmission & Distribution

August 11-12, 2021 | Online :: Central Time

“I think this conference presented a concentrated experience with all the right people in the right place to talk about the future of optimizing the interconnection process.” Business Support Analyst, Puget Sound Energy

“Conference was relevant. Many important interconnection topics were addressed at this conference. EUCI always puts together a relevant conference with great amenities.” Principal Engineer, TVA

The energy grid is full of development and increased load demands. From smart technology to an acceleration towards renewables, utilities must rethink in a new architecture of bi-directional systems. The smart grid transition calls for a more sophisticated transmission and distribution interconnection to meet both large (LGIP) and small (SGIP) scale generation. Evolving challenges to meet include DER aggregation, resource adequacy, technical and regulatory developments with Order 2222, the onset of electrification, and resiliency.

The annual Optimizing the Interconnection Process: Transmission & Distribution conference will address all the important updates in our industry over the past year and a look at what’s currently being worked on. A few highlights this year include US major system operators – from CAISO to NYISO— presenting regional reports, utilities sharing T&D project updates, freshly compiled studies out of WECC, and FERC covering integration challenges of Order 2222 as well as other interconnection issues across the North American grid. This featured conference will build on its fifth year with a holistic scope of the current T&D interconnection landscape, critical projects, and technologies that are driving industry.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review case studies, cluster studies, and updates from CAISO, NYISO, MISO, SCE, TVA and more
  • Hear FERC share the story of FERC 2222, explain integration, and walk through some of the major challenges since implementation
  • Discuss issues facing grid sharing of solar, wind, and renewable generation
  • Evaluate interconnection case studies across regional jurisdictions and project requirements for generator interconnection for specific RTOs, ISOs, and PMAs
  • Review current Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and how they are affecting distribution services
  • Discuss resource adequacy and power dynamics between federal and regional interconnection requirements
  • Review key issues that cause delays in utility interconnection timelines, and solutions for expediting scheduling without sacrificing safety and reliability
  • Review the interconnection process from the perspective and experiences of:
    • Investor-owned utilities in regulated and retail markets
    • Smaller coops and municipal utilities
    • Renewable and storage project developers
    • Independent System Operators (ISOs), Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), and Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs)



Wednesday, August 11, 2021 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Course Timing


9:00 – 9:30 a.m. :: Welcome

9:30 – 11:00 a.m. :: Updates to Order 2222 and Interconnection Challenges in North America

  • A brief history on policy/regulation re: interconnection to the electric grid
  • Transmission-level vs. Distribution-level interconnections Challenges
  • How did we get where we are today with the interconnection process and rules?
  • Background/history of FERC standard interconnection agreements and procedures for generators
  • Overview of the standard interconnection process and current related rulemakings
  • Generator interconnection – what is the core guidance for interconnection, and why do we have that guidance?
  • Commission-issued core guidance for interconnection:
  • Standard large generator interconnection procedures (LGIP) and agreements (LGIA)
  • Standard small generator interconnection procedures (SGIP) and agreements (SGIA)
  • Regional variations from the commission-issued interconnection procedures and agreements & RTO/ISO reforms
  • Update on FERC Order No. 2222
    • Impacts on generation interconnection and DER integration planning
    • Implications on future landscape of interconnection processes in specific RTO markets
  • Recent FERC action on electric storage resources
    • Update on FERC 845 impacts and results so far on storage interconnection

Myra Sinnott, Energy Industry Analyst, FERC

David Kathan, Senior Economics, FERC

11:00 -11:15 a.m. :: Morning Break

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Facilitating the Transition to a Decarbonized Grid in New York Through Market Enhancements

Existing market structures are experiencing certain stressors, which need to be addressed. Growth in subsidized, zero-variable-cost generation is putting downward pressure on wholesale prices, including zero or negative prices at times when such generation is marginal. In this environment, five principles are key for the transformation of wholesale electricity markets to a renewable and distributed grid. They are:

  1. New Ancillary Services to Ensure Continued Reliability. New market products and services will be needed to ensure the power system can meet current and emerging reliability needs.
  2. Continued Efficient Integration of Demand-Side Resources into Competitive Wholesale Markets. The transition to the future grid requires a wholesale market structure that animates the demand and allows new and existing technologies to compete on equal footing.
  3. A Focus on Sound Pricing in the Energy Market.  Efficient, transparent prices are the foundation of all successful markets and incent improved resource performance in real time.
  4. Accurate Assessment of Resource Capacity Contributions to Resource Adequacy. It is imperative to value capacity resources accurately based on their contributions to reliability, using methodologies such as determining Effective Load Carrying Capability (ELCC).
  5. Capacity Markets Calibrated to Induce Reliable New Entry and Efficient Exit. As the resource mix transitions with increasing renewable and limited-energy resources, capacity market incentives must be sufficient to encourage resource entry and exit when needed.

Rana Mukerji, Senior Vice President, Market Structures, NYISO

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Lunch Break

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. :: Updates to Renewable Interconnection and Projects in California

Tom Cuccia, Lead Stakeholder Engagement & Policy Specialist, CAISO (Invited)

1:45 – 2:30 p.m. :: Early Look at the Long-Range Transmission Plan (LRTC)

The Midwestern Independent System Operator (MISO) has just begun it’s second phase, major grid update, called the Long-Range Transmission Plan (LRTC). The plan includes an $18-100 billion investment in transmission development, replete with updates to MISO’s MTEP and reliability Imperative initiative. This talk will highlight the features of the Long-Range Transmission Plan (LRTC) and provide an early roadmap for transmission development in the MISO service territory.

Andrew Witmeier, Director of Resource Utilization, MISO

2:30 – 2:45 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

2:45 – 3:30 p.m. :: DER Aggregation – Challenges

State-level decarbonization goals, increased electrification of end-use applications, and FERC Order 2222 are all contributing to an increased emphasis on DERs –both behind and in-front of the meter.  Furthermore, the aggressive deployment coupled with the opportunity to expand the value stack to include wholesale transactions will induce more aggregators to participate in the market.  This presentation will examine the impact and challenges of increased DER deployment on interconnection processes at utilities, the need for automation to accelerate application processing and reduce manual approval, and increased reliance on dynamic hosting capacity to evaluate interconnection on circuits with greater density levels.

David South, Senior Principal, Energy & Utilities Practice, West Monroe Partners

3:30 –4:15 p.m. :: Interconnection & ESG in Arizona

Arizona Public Service has been a leader in renewable development and DER integration for years. Like many, APS has set aggressive goals to combat climate change, with a 2030 target to achieve a resource mix of 65% clean energy and 45% of generation coming from renewable resources. This presentation will discuss major renewable projects to act on these goals as well as strategy for improved transmission capacity.

Eric Massey, Director of ESG, Arizona Public Service

4:15 – 5:15 p.m. :: DER Project Challenges and Interconnection Lessons Learned in the Midwest

This presentation will summarize Net Metering and Interconnection numbers including Community Solar.  We will also go over Ameren Illinois DER Interconnection Tools, Interconnection Policy, and Witness test procedures. We will go over the future interconnection tools that we are developing and the complications around them as well as cover field experience examples that we have seen that has given us mixed experiences.

Brian Cuffle, Supervisor Distribution Design, Ameren

Eddie Creighton, Engineer, DER Integration & Strategy, Ameren


Thursday, August 12, 2021 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 – 11:45 a.m.
Course Timing


9:00 – 9:45 a.m. :: WECC Interconnection Reliability and System Study Program

Many factors can affect the reliability of the Bulk Power System in the Western Interconnection including current events, identified reliability risks and plausible future scenarios.  WECC is assessing potential reliability risks associated with five of these factors: changes to system inertia; increasing distributed energy resources; variability in loads and resources; extreme natural events; and sensitivities around future scenarios. WECC and its stakeholders will use the results of those assessments, to better understand and address future reliability risks.

Byron Woertz, Manager – System Adequacy Planning, WECC

9:45 – 10:30 a.m. :: Xcel Energy: Interconnection & Optimizing Feeder Capacity with Storage

  • Xcel Energy’s changing distribution grid
  • Optimizing renewable and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) operational functions on the grid
  • Opportunities for energy storage
    • Addressing distribution feeder capacity constraints
    • Supporting renewable energy integration
    • Managing other grid issues such as voltage regulation and peak demand
    • Current energy storage pilots

Beth Chacon, Grid Strategy Integration & Innovation, Xcel Energy

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. :: Regional Interconnection Discussion: Connecting Renewables on the Grid

Regional operators have experienced one of the largest queuing seasons in recent memory. Advanced grid infrastructure and increased renewable generation has led to more projects and higher demand for the nation’s operators to stay in front of. This panel features many of the interregional leaders to discuss challenges, strategies, and recommendations to project facilitators and utilities for more T&D development and interconnection seams issues. 

Jason Phillips or Andrew Witmeier, MISO

Rana Mukerji, Senior VP, Market Structures, NYISO

Suzanne Glatz, Director of Infrastructure Planning, PJM

Linda Wright, Sr. Interconnection Specialist, CAISO


  • Beth Chacon, Grid Strategy Integration & Innovation, Xcel Energy

  • Eddie Creighton, Engineer, DER Integration & Strategy, Ameren

  • Tom Cuccia, Lead Stakeholder Engagement & Policy Specialist, CAISO (Invited)

  • Brian Cuffle, Supervisor Distribution Design, Ameren

  • Suzanne Glatz, Director of Infrastructure Planning, PJM

  • David Kathan, Senior Economics, FERC

  • Eric Massey, Director of ESG, Arizona Public Service

  • Rana Mukerji, Senior VP, Market Structures, NYISO

  • Jason Phillips, MISO

  • Myra Sinnott, Energy Industry Analyst, FERC

  • David South, Senior Principal, Energy & Utilities Practice, West Monroe Partners

  • Andrew Witmeier, Director of Resource Utilization, MISO

  • Byron Woertz, Manager – System Adequacy Planning, WECC

  • Linda Wright, Sr. Interconnection Specialist, CAISO

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: Confirmed speakers do not need to register and are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the event. If you are a speaker and have any questions please contact our offices at 1.303.770.8800

Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees
Single Connection - 2021 Optimizing the Interconnection Process: Transmission & DistributionUS $ 1195.00
Pack of 5 connectionsUS $ 4,780.00
Pack of 10 ConnectionsUS $ 8,365.00
Pack of 20 ConnectionsUS $ 14,340.00
Call us at 303.770.8800 if you have any specific questions on the volume discounts
* all other discounts do not apply to license packs

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Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before July 09, 2021 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this conference.

Requirements For Successful Completion Of Program

Participants must log-in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case Studies, PowerPoint presentations and panel discussions will be used in program.

Target Audience


 Vertically integrated utilities, transmission and distribution utilities, balancing authorities, system operators, coops, municipal utilities, FERC & NERC


Project developers, Electrical Project Managers, Transmission Planning, Resource Planners, Transmission Compliance, Energy Service Stakeholders, Interconnection Specialists, Electrical Engineers, Energy Industry Analyst, Legal Compliance Specialist, Project Manager, Design Engineers, Manager of Smart Grid, Interconnections, Grid Integration Managers, Economists, Technology Managers.

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