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. :: The Interconnection Process, Related Rulemakings, and Current Challenges

This presentation will discuss the background/history of FERC standard generator interconnection agreements and procedures and current challenges in the generator interconnection process. It will cover recent rulemakings such as Order No. 845 reforms to the interconnection procedures and agreements, Order No. 841 rules around electric storage resources, and recent actions around hybrid resources and off-shore wind. There will also be an in-depth discussion of Order No. 2222, which allows distributed energy resources (DERs) to participate in the wholesale energy markets.

Myra Sinnott, Energy Industry Analyst, FERC

David Kathan, Senior Economist, FERC

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

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: How Changing Public Policy Goals and Markets in New York is Leading to Increases in Transmission Upgrades and Interconnection Requests

In New York State, a rapid transition is underway from a power grid where energy is largely produced by central-station fossil fuel generation towards a grid with greatly increased renewable resources and distributed generation. The pace of this transition is driven primarily by state policy, notably New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which requires 70% of load will be served by energy generated from renewables by 2030 while requiring that 100% of the energy serving load be zero emission by 2040. The CLCPA requires the deployment of 9,000 MW of offshore wind, 6,000 MW of distributed solar, and 3,000 MW of energy storage.  This has resulted in enhancements to the market structure as well as planning processes in New York to facilitate:

  1. Increased interconnection Requests: For Intermittent and Distributed Resources which are needed to meet the CLCPA Goals.
  2. Upgrades to existing transmission corridors: To move renewable energy from upstate to load centers concentrated in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County.
  3. Building new transmission to integrate off-shore wind: The CLCPA Goals call for 9000 mw of off-shore wind to be integrated into New York City and Long Island.
  4. Building Controlla5ble Ties between Regions and Zones: Controllable ties such as HVDC Lines are being proposed to move renewable energy to load centers.
  5. Regional Coordination for Integration of Renewable Energy:  As other regions also pursue ambitious renewable goals, increased operational and planning coordination is necessary.

Rana Mukerji, Senior Vice President, Market Structures, NYISO

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Lunch Break

1:00 – 1:45 p.m. :: Updates to CAISO Interconnection Process, Innovations, and Interconnection Enhancements

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has one interconnection process for both large and small generators looking to interconnect to the grid.  CAISO has been very active over the years in innovating and reforming their interconnection process to manage their queue more efficiently, be consistent with the pace of development of new transmission needed to ensure reliability, and to facilitate compliance with California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 50% by 2030.   This session will provide an overview of CAISO’s interconnection process for generators and discuss notable reforms they have undergone to better accommodate renewables, storage, and other new technologies coming onto the grid.  It will also discuss:

  • Impacts of FERC rulings on CAISO interconnection process
  • Upcoming enhancements to the interconnection process
  • Upcoming changes to tariff with some of the process enhancements

1:45 – 2:30 p.m. :: Generator Interconnection Queue Studies & an Early Look at the Long-Range Transmission Plan (LRTP)

The Midwestern Independent System Operator (MISO) has just begun it’s second phase, major grid update, called the Long-Range Transmission Plan (LRTP). 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 (LRTP) 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. 


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


Andrew Witmeier, Director of Resource Utilization, MISO

Jason Connell, Director of Infrastructure Planning, PJM


Beth Chacon, Grid Strategy Integration & Innovation, Xcel Energy

Jason Connell, Director of Infrastructure Planning, PJM

Eddie Creighton, Engineer, DER Integration & Strategy, Ameren

Brian Cuffle, Supervisor Distribution Design, Ameren

David Kathan, Senior Economist, FERC

Eric Massey, Director of ESG, Arizona Public Service

Rana Mukerji, Senior VP, Market Structures, NYISO

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

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.



2021 Optimizing the Interconnection Process: Transmission & Distribution

August 11-12, 2021 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 1195.00 each
- OR - I choose to attend remotely
Individual remote connections(s) - $ 1195.00 each

Volume pricing available for remote connections

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 connections - $ 4,780.00 (20% discount)
Pack of 10 connections - $ 8,365.00 (30% discount)
Pack of 20 connections - $ 14,340.00 (40% discount)

Buy 4 in-person seats and only pay for 3! For this event every fourth in-person attendee is free!

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




EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

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.