On May 31, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the new $3 million Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X).
i2X aims to enhance grid interconnection to boost clean energy development by fostering partnerships among state and local governments, utilities, grid operators and other key stakeholders. The program is led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) and Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) with the support of several national laboratories
According to National Association of Counties (NACo) coverage:
The i2X program is built around four principles, including:
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Data Collection and Analysis
- Strategic Roadmap Development
- Technical Assistance
By focusing on these areas, the i2X program aims to expedite clean energy development by simplifying grid integration procedures and timelines, which are often lengthy and complicated and can vary between regions, states and utility service areas. Streamlining grid integration processes can also help spur clean energy projects and enhance grid resiliency in disadvantaged communities, which have historically faced underinvestment in their grid infrastructure.
Local governments play a crucial role in responding to climate change and reducing national emissions levels through the deployment of clean energy among other initiatives. Many counties engage and partner with local utilities in energy planning, including utility-scale renewable energy projects, key regulatory issues, grid modernization and storage and energy assurance strategies. Intergovernmental and cross sector collaboration is critical to ensuring the development and deployment of accessible and affordable clean energy.