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Distributed Energy Interconnection Procedures, Best Practices For Consideration

Date Last Updated4/17/2013
Policy TypeInterconnection Standard
Policy Administrator/Contact OfficeDepartment Of Energy (DOE)
Policy Initiation Date3/15/2007
Policy SummarySection 1254 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) requires each State regulatory authority to determine whether to require interconnection service to any consumer the utility serves who has on-site generation by August 8, 2007. The Distributed Energy Interconnection Procedures were developed as an outcome of this requirement. In the Procedures, DOE's Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) encourage State and non-State jurisdictional utilities to consider the following best practices in establishing interconnection procedures:
  • EPAct requires that agreements and procedures for interconnection service "shall be just and reasonable, and not unduly discriminatory or preferential." As such, generators and utilities should be treated similarly in terms of State requirements.
  • Create simple, transparent (1- or 2-page) interconnection applications for "small generators" (equal to or less than 2 MW), as noted in the FERC Order 2006.
  • Standardize and simplify the interconnection agreement for "small generators" and, if possible, combine the agreement with the interconnection application.
  • Set minimum response and review times for interconnection applications. Provide expedited procedures for certified interconnection systems that pass technical impact screens.
  • Establish small processing fees for "small generators", otherwise the interconnection request must be accompanied by a deposit that goes toward the cost of the feasibility study, per FERC Order 2006.
  • Set liability insurance requirements commensurate with levels typically carried by the respective customer class.
  • Require compliance with IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 for safe interconnection.
  • Avoid overly burdensome administrative requirements, such as obtaining signatures from local code officials, unless such requirements are standard practice in a jurisdiction for similar electrical work.
  • Develop administrative procedures for implementing interconnection requirements on a statewide basis through a rulemaking or other appropriate regulatory mechanism for state-jurisdictional utilities to apply uniformly to all regulated electric distribution companies in the State. Where practical, State interconnection administrative procedures should reflect regional best practices and be comprehensive in scope. Administrative procedures should also be transparent to both small generators and electric distribution utilities.
CHP Eligibility RequirementsThe procedures apply to distributed energy technologies of all sizes including CHP.
Eligible Project Size (MW)Does Not Specify
Resource Website(s) http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/pdfs/
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