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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

20VAC5-314-20. Definitions.

The following terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Affected system" means an electric utility system other than that of the utility that may be affected by the proposed interconnection.

"Affected system operator" means an entity that operates an affected system or, if the affected system is under the operational control of an independent system operator or a regional transmission entity, such independent entity.

"Applicable laws and regulations" means all duly promulgated applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, rules, ordinances, codes, decrees, judgments, directives, or judicial or administrative orders, permits, and other duly authorized actions of any government authority.

"Attachment facilities" means the facilities and equipment owned, operated, and maintained by the utility that are built new in order to physically connect the customer's interconnection facilities to the utility system. Attachment facilities shall not include distribution upgrades or previously existing distribution and transmission facilities.

"Business day" means Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.

"Calendar day" means Sunday through Saturday, including all holidays.

"Certified" has the meaning ascribed to it in Schedule 2 of 20VAC5-314-170.

"Commission" means the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

"Customer's interconnection facilities" means all of the facilities and equipment owned, operated, and maintained by the IC, between the small generating facility and the point of interconnection necessary to physically and electrically interconnect the small generating facility to the utility system.

"Default" means the failure of a breaching party to cure its breach under the SGIA.

"Distribution system" means the utility's facilities and equipment generally delivering electricity to ultimate customers from substations supplied by higher voltages (usually at transmission level). For purposes of this chapter, all portions of the utility's transmission system regulated by the commission for which interconnections are not within FERC jurisdiction are considered also to be subject to this chapter.

"Distribution upgrades" means the additions, modifications, and enhancements made to the utility's distribution system on the utility's side of the point of interconnection necessary to ensure continued system reliability and power quality on the utility's distribution system caused by the interconnection of the SGF. Distribution upgrades do not include network upgrades or the customer's interconnection facilities or the utility's attachment facilities.

"Facilities study" has the meaning ascribed to it in 20VAC5-314-70 E.

"Feasibility study" has the meaning ascribed to it in 20VAC5-314-70 C.

"FERC" means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

"Good Utility Practice" means any of the practices, methods, and acts engaged in or approved by a significant portion of the electric industry during the relevant time period, or any of the practices, methods, and acts that, in the exercise of reasonable judgment in light of the facts known at the time the decision was made, could have been expected to accomplish the desired result at a reasonable cost, consistent with good business practices, reliability, safety, and expedition. Good Utility Practice is not intended to be limited to the optimum practice, method, or act to the exclusion of all others, but rather to include practices, methods, or acts generally accepted in the region.

"Governmental authority" means any federal, state, local, or other governmental regulatory or administrative agency, court, commission, department, board, or other governmental subdivision, legislature, rulemaking board, tribunal, or other governmental authority having jurisdiction over the parties, their respective facilities, or the respective services they provide, and exercising or entitled to exercise any administrative, executive, police, or taxing authority or power; provided that such term does not include the IC, the utility, or a utility affiliate.

"Interconnection customer" or "IC" means any entity proposing to interconnect a new small generating facility with the utility system.

"Interconnection request" means the IC's request, in accordance with this chapter, to interconnect a new small generating facility, or to increase the capacity of, or make a material modification to the operating characteristics of, an existing small generating facility that is interconnected with the utility system.

"Interconnection studies" means the studies conducted by the utility, or, if agreed to by the utility and the IC, a third party supervised by the utility, in order to determine the interaction of the small generating facility with the utility system and the affected systems in order to specify any modifications to the small generating facility or the electric systems studied to ensure safe and reliable operation of the small generating facility in parallel with the utility system.

"Interdependent customer" or "interdependent project" means an IC or project whose upgrades to the utility system or attachment facilities are impacted by another earlier-queued generating facility, as determined by the utility.

"Material modification" has the meaning ascribed to it in 20VAC5-314-39.

"Maximum generating capacity" means the maximum continuous electrical output of the SGF at any time as measured at the point of interconnection or the maximum kW delivered to the utility during any metering period, whichever is greater. Requested maximum generating capacity will be specified by the IC in the interconnection request and an approved maximum generating capacity will subsequently be included as a limitation in the interconnection agreement.

"Network upgrades" means additions, modifications, and enhancements to the utility's transmission system that are required in order to accommodate the interconnection of the small generating facility with the utility's system. Network upgrades do not include distribution upgrades.

"Operating requirements" means any operating and technical requirements that may be applicable due to regional transmission entity, independent system operator, control area, or the utility's requirements, including those set forth in the SGIA.

"Party" means the utility or the IC.

"Point of interconnection" means the point where the customer's interconnection facilities connect physically and electrically to the utility's system.

"Processing fee" means a nonrefundable cost to administer or file an application.

"Project A" means any interconnection request that is not interdependent with another interconnection request.

"Project B" means any interconnection request that is interdependent with only one other interconnection request and has a higher queue number than a designated Project A.

"Queue number" refers to the number assigned by the utility, establishing a customer's interconnection request position in the study queue relative to all other valid interconnection requests. A lower queue number will be studied prior to a higher queue number, except in the case of interdependent projects.

"Regional Transmission Entity" or "RTE" means an entity having the management and control of a utility's transmission system as further set forth in § 56-579 of the Code of Virginia.

"Small generating facility" or "generating facility" or "generator" or "SGF" means the IC's equipment used for the production of electricity, as identified in the interconnection request.

"Small Generator Interconnection Agreement" or "SGIA" means the agreement between the utility and the IC as set forth in Schedule 10 of 20VAC5-314-170.

"Standby generating facility" means an electric generating facility primarily designed for standby or backup power in the event of a loss of power supply from the utility. Such facilities may operate in parallel with the utility for a brief period of time when transferring load back to the utility after an outage, or when testing the operation of the facility and transferring load from and back to the utility.

"Supplemental review" has the meaning ascribed to it in 20VAC5-314-60 H.

"System" or "utility system" means the distribution and transmission facilities owned, controlled, or operated by the utility that are used to deliver electricity.

"System impact study" has the meaning ascribed to in 20VAC5-314-70 D.

"System upgrades" means distribution upgrades and network upgrades collectively.

"Tariff" means the rates, terms, and conditions filed by the utility with the commission for the purpose of providing commission-regulated electric service to retail customers.

"Transmission system" means the utility's facilities and equipment delivering electric energy to the distribution system, such facilities being operated at voltage levels above the utility's typical distribution system voltage levels.

"Utility" means the public utility company subject to regulation by the commission pursuant to Chapter 10 (§ 56-232 et seq.) of Title 56 of the Code of Virginia with regard to rates or service quality, to whose system the IC proposes to interconnect a small generating facility.

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 37, Issue 1, eff. October 15, 2020.

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