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The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) supports a recommendation that the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) use 100% of minimum load as the penetration screen within the supplemental review process rather than the current 67% screen.

IREC says the recommendation, made by the Massachusetts Technical Standards Review Group (TSRG), should allow utilities to process more applications in less time through an expedited review process while still ensuring system safety and reliability.

IREC has long championed the adoption of streamlined interconnection application procedures as an important means of eliminating one of the principal bottlenecks to the adoption of renewable energy and distributed generation solar power in particular.

"Using 100 percent of minimum load as the penetration screen in supplemental review is a best practice nationally," comments Erica Schroeder McConnell, an associate in law firm Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP who represents IREC. "We are pleased to see Massachusetts begin the process of joining California, Hawaii, Ohio and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with the TSRG's recommendation."

IREC notes that the question of the appropriate penetration screen was one of only a few unresolved issues that emerged from last year's tariff revision process.

Although this update to the interconnection tariff may require further public comment, IREC anticipates that the DPU will ultimately accept the TSRG's recommendation and Massachusetts utilities will incorporate the 100% screen into their individual interconnection tariffs in the near future.

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