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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 20. Public Utilities and Telecommunications
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission
Chapter 314. Regulations Governing Interconnection of Small Electrical Generators

20VAC5-314-10. Applicability and Scope; Waiver.

A. These regulations are promulgated pursuant to § 56-578 of the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act (§ 56-576 et seq. of the Code of Virginia). They establish standardized interconnection and operating requirements for the safe operation of electric generating facilities with a rated capacity of 20 megawatts (MW) or less connected to electric utility distribution (and in certain cases transmission) systems in Virginia. These regulations apply to utilities providing interconnections to retail electric customers, independently owned generators and any other parties operating, or intending to operate, a distributed generation facility in parallel with utility systems. These regulations do not apply to customer generators operating pursuant to the Virginia State Corporation Commission's Regulations Governing Net Energy Metering (20VAC5-315) or those that fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

If the utility has turned over control of its transmission system to a Regional Transmission Entity (RTE), and if the small generator interconnection process identifies upgrades to the transmission system as necessary to interconnect the small generating facility, then the utility will coordinate with the RTE, and the procedures herein will be adjusted as necessary to satisfy the RTE's requirements with respect to such upgrades.

There are three review paths for the interconnection of generation in Virginia having an output of not more than 20 MW:

Level 1 - A request to interconnect a small generating facility (SGF) no larger than 500 kilowatts (kW) shall be evaluated under the Level 1 process.

Level 2 - A request to interconnect a certified SGF no larger than 2 MW and not qualifying for the Level 1 process shall be evaluated under the Level 2 process.

Level 3 - A request to interconnect an SGF no larger than 20 MW and not qualifying for the Level 1 process or Level 2 process, shall be evaluated under the Level 3 process.

The utility may limit the interconnection of an SGF to a distribution feeder to a capacity substantially less than 20 MW, depending upon the characteristics of that feeder and the potential for upgrading it, as well as the nature of the loads and other generation on the feeder relative to the proposed point of interconnection. If the SGF cannot be safely and reliably interconnected to the utility's distribution feeder, the utility shall work with the IC to interconnect the SGF to the utility's transmission system. In such cases, the interconnection of the SGF may be governed by the regulations promulgated by FERC rather than the regulation of the State Corporation Commission.

The utility shall designate an employee or office from which the interconnection customer (IC) may informally request information concerning the application process. The name, telephone number, and email address of such contact employee or office shall be made available on the utility's Internet website. Electric system information relevant to the location of the proposed SGF shall be provided to the IC upon request and may include interconnection studies and any other relevant materials, to the extent such provision does not violate confidentiality provisions of prior agreements or release critical infrastructure information. The utility shall comply with reasonable requests for such information unless the information is proprietary or confidential and cannot be provided pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.

The utility shall make reasonable efforts to meet all time frames provided in these regulations unless the utility and the IC agree to a different schedule. If the utility cannot meet a deadline provided herein, it shall notify the IC, explain the reason for the failure to meet the deadline, and provide an estimated time by which it will complete the applicable interconnection procedure in the process.

Each utility shall have on file with the commission terms and conditions applicable to the interconnection of SGFs. Such terms and conditions shall, at a minimum, incorporate this chapter by reference, shall set forth terms and conditions applicable to SGFs for which no Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA) is executed, and shall not conflict with the provisions of this chapter. The terms and conditions applicable to SGFs for which no SGIA is executed shall be reasonably consistent with the terms and conditions of the SGIA.

B. The commission may waive any or all parts of the provisions of this chapter for good cause shown.

Statutory Authority

§ 12.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 25, Issue 20, eff. May 21, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2013.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

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