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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 and Storage

20VAC5-314-10. Applicability and scope; waiver.

A. This chapter is promulgated pursuant to § 56-578 of the Virginia Electric Utility Regulation Act (§ 56-576 et seq. of the Code of Virginia). This chapter establishes standardized interconnection and operating requirements for the safe operation of electric generating facilities in Virginia. This chapter applies to utilities providing interconnections to retail electric customers, independently owned generators, and any other parties operating, or intending to operate, a distributed generating facility in parallel with utility systems. This chapter also applies to equipment used for the storage of electricity for later injection to utility systems. This chapter does 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 in this chapter 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 generating facilities subject to this chapter in Virginia:

Level 1 - A request to interconnect a certified 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 not qualifying for the Level 1 process or Level 2 process, shall be evaluated under the Level 3 process.

The utility may place restrictions upon the interconnection of an SGF to a distribution feeder 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 interconnection customer (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 Virginia State Corporation Commission.

The utility shall designate an employee or office from which the IC may request information concerning the interconnection application process. The name, telephone number, and email address of such contact employee or office shall be made available on the utility's website. Readily available electric system information relevant to the location of the proposed SGF shall be provided to the IC upon request, in writing, 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 prior confidentiality agreement. If the information is proprietary or confidential and cannot be provided, the utility shall state as such. Any one developer shall have no more than five active informal requests for information at one time.

The utility shall make reasonable efforts to meet all timeframes provided in these regulations unless the utility and the IC agree to a different schedule. If the utility cannot meet a deadline provided in this chapter, it shall notify the IC in writing, 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.

Should an IC fail to meet a timeframe or default on another requirement under this chapter or fail to respond to a request for information from the utility, the utility shall also provide the IC written notice identifying the missed deadline or requirement and allow the IC an opportunity to cure on or before the close of business on the 10th business day following the posted date of such notice to cure, prior to the utility taking action to withdraw the IC's interconnection request.

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.

C. This chapter shall not apply to SGFs already interconnected as of October 15, 2020, unless:

1. The IC proposes a material modification; or

2. Application of this chapter is agreed to in writing by the utility and the IC.

D. This chapter shall apply if the IC has not actually interconnected the SGF as of October 15, 2020.

Any IC that has not executed an interconnection agreement with the utility prior to October 15, 2020, shall have 30 calendar days following the later of October 15, 2020, or the posted date of notice in writing from the utility to (i) demonstrate site control pursuant to Schedule 5 or 6 of 20VAC5-314-170; (ii) execute a combined study agreement as provided for in 20VAC5-314-70 or individual revised study agreements conforming with those set forth in Schedules 7, 8, and 9 of 20VAC5-314-170; and (iii) to post the deposit as specified in Schedule 6 of 20VAC5-314-170 minus any study costs previously paid.

Any IC that has executed an interconnection agreement with the utility prior to October 15, 2020, but where the utility has not actually interconnected the SGF or where the IC has not begun making payments, shall have 60 calendar days following the later of October 15, 2020, or the posted date of notice in writing from the utility to submit upgrade and interconnection facility payments (or financial security acceptable to the utility for attachment facilities and distribution upgrades) required pursuant to 20VAC5-314-50 F 2. Any amount previously paid by the IC at the time the deposit or payment is due under this subsection shall be credited toward the deposit amount or other payment required under this subsection.

Should an IC fail to comply with the provisions of this subsection following receipt of a written notice specifying how the IC failed to comply and the expiration of an opportunity to cure by the close of business on the 10th business day following the posted date of such notice to cure, the IC will lose its queue number and the interconnection request shall be deemed withdrawn.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 56-578 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 20, eff. May 21, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2013; Volume 37, Issue 1, eff. October 15, 2020.

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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