Skip to Content

Press Release

Rep. Castor, Sen. Cortez Masto Introduce Legislation to Lower Energy Costs, Improve Electricity Grid Reliability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14) and U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (NV) introduced bicameral legislation to make it easier for new energy projects to connect to the U.S. electricity grid – in an effort to improve grid reliability and lower energy costs for families.

“Across the United States, new energy projects are stalled, waiting in long lines to interconnect to the grid,” said Rep. Castor. “Our bill would make commonsense reforms to the outdated, sluggish interconnection process and enable new energy generation to come online, faster. More energy generation on the grid means lower prices for consumers and more reliability throughout the electricity system.” 

“There are new energy projects being developed all over the country and we need to make sure they can get online as quickly as possible,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “By speeding up the slow and outdated process of connecting new projects to the grid, my bicameral legislation will lower energy costs for Nevada families and make our grids more reliable.”

"The ongoing transformation of our energy landscape, characterized by the rapid retirement of power plants, the emergence of new technologies, the electrification of various sectors, a resurgence in load growth unseen for decades, and increasingly frequent extreme weather events, underscores consumers' undeniable concerns regarding reliable and affordable electricity services,” said Karen Onaran, President and CEO of Electricity Consumers Resource Council. “It is essential that we rapidly connect replacement resources to an upgraded and modern electricity grid. The Expediting Generator Interconnection Procedures Act (EGIPA) proposes measures to further expedite and standardize the generator interconnection process, aiming for efficient and cost-effective solutions."

“Reducing barriers to all power plant development is a commonsense bipartisan imperative,” said Devin Hartman of R Street Institute. “These barriers threaten grid reliability in an era of resurgent growth in demand. Fortunately, the Expediting Generator Interconnection Procedures Act (EGIPA) would ensure FERC finishes the job. It would bolster grid reliability, lower energy costs, and improve environmental outcomes by reducing regulatory impediments and facilitating freer markets. EGIPA is simply sound public policy.”

The process of connecting new power plants to the national power grid – called interconnection – is complicated, expensive, and can take years to complete. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the “high volume of projects and inadequate existing procedures for interconnection has led to uncertainties, delays, inequities, and added costs for developers, consumers, utilities, and their regulators.” a recent study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that interconnection backlog is only getting worse.

Rep. Castor’s Expediting Generator Interconnection Procedures Act (EGIPA) would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to make low-hanging fruit reforms to the interconnection process, making it faster and easier to complete. For example, the bill would promote the use of automation and standardized study criteria to help expedite interconnection studies. 

Ultimately, this legislation aims to improve grid reliability and lower prices for consumers by making more energy options available. It should be a key element of any permitting reform package that Congress moves forward with this year. 

EGIPA is supported by a diverse group of 20 different organizations, including energy consumer advocacy groups like Electricity Consumers Resource Council (ELCON), Electricity Customer Alliance, and Industrial Energy Consumers of America (IECA).

This bill continues Rep. Castor’s leadership in addressing energy interconnection delays. She previously led the Efficient Grid Interconnection Act of 2023, which helped spur FERC to adopt Order 2023, a series of new policy changes that mark the first major step toward addressing interconnection backlogs around the country.