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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

20VAC5-314-40. Level 1 Interconnection Process.

A. The Level 1 interconnection process is available to any interconnection customer proposing to interconnect a small generating facility with the utility system if the SGF is no larger than 500 kW.

B. The IC shall submit a complete Level 1 Interconnection Request Form (Schedule 1 in 20VAC5-314-170) to the utility with the required $100 processing fee attached. Alternatively, the utility may require use of a commission-approved Interconnection Request Form similar to Schedule 1, which shall be made available to customers on the utility's Internet website. The Interconnection Request Form shall be date- and time-stamped upon receipt by the utility. The date- and time-stamp shall be used as the qualifying date- and time-stamp for the purpose of any timetable in these procedures.

The IC shall be notified of receipt by the utility within three business days of receiving the interconnection request, which notification may be by United States mail, email address or fax number provided by the IC. As soon as practicable after receipt, but not later than 10 business days after the date of receipt, the utility shall notify the IC if there are any deficiencies in the IC's submittal. If there are deficiencies, such notice shall include a written list detailing all information that must be provided to complete the interconnection request.

The IC shall have 10 business days after receipt of the notice of incomplete information to submit the listed information or to request an extension of time to provide such information. If the IC does not provide the listed information or a request for an extension of time within the deadline, the Interconnection Request Form will be deemed withdrawn.

The utility shall provide a copy of the final completed date- and time-stamped Interconnection Request Form to the Commission's Division of Energy Regulation.

C. Within 15 business days after the date the IC submits a complete Interconnection Request Form and requisite fee, the utility shall evaluate the request and inform the IC what utility modifications are required to interconnect the SGF.

1. If the interconnection can be accomplished with minor modifications to the utility system, the IC and the utility may informally agree upon a plan to effectuate the required installations and modifications. The utility shall perform all installations and modifications of the utility system and the IC shall reimburse the utility for the cost of such installations and modifications. The IC shall perform all required modifications to its SGF.

2. Absent an agreement between the parties regarding modifications to the utility system, the interconnection request will be transferred to the Level 2 process or handled according to 20VAC5-314-100 (Disputes) at the IC's option.

D. An IC may begin operation of an SGF when any required modifications or additions as provided for in subsection C of this section are complete and when the following additional requirements are satisfied:

1. If required by the utility's tariff, the IC has installed a lockable, utility-accessible, load breaking manual disconnect switch;

2. A licensed electrician has certified, by signing the Interconnection Request Form, that any required manual disconnect switch has been installed properly and that the small generating facility has been installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications as well as all applicable provisions of the National Electrical Code;

3. The vendor of the SGF has certified on the Interconnection Request Form that the SGF equipment is in compliance with the requirements established by Underwriters Laboratories or other national testing laboratories in accordance with IEEE Standard 1547, Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems;

4. In the case of a static inverter-connected SGF with an alternating current capacity in excess of 10 kilowatts, the IC has had the inverter settings inspected by the utility. The utility may not impose a charge for the inspection;

5. In the case of a nonstatic inverter-connected SGF, the IC has interconnected according to the utility's interconnection guidelines, and the utility has inspected all protective equipment settings. The utility may not impose a charge for such inspection.

6. The IC has paid, or has made arrangements satisfactory to the utility to pay the cost of the SGF metering pursuant to 20VAC5-314-80.

7. An SGF having an alternating current capacity greater than 25 kilowatts shall meet the following additional requirements before interconnection may occur:

a. Distribution facilities and customer impact limitations. An SGF shall not be permitted to interconnect to distribution facilities if the interconnection would reasonably lead to damage to any of the utility's facilities or would reasonably lead to voltage regulation or power quality problems at other customer revenue meters due to the incremental effect of the SGF on the performance of the system, unless the IC reimburses the utility for its cost to modify any facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection and such modifications are completed.

b. Secondary, service, and service entrance limitations. The capacity of the SGF shall be less than the capacity of the utility-owned secondary, service, and service entrance cable connected to the point of interconnection, unless the IC reimburses the utility for its cost to modify any facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection and such modifications are completed.

c. Transformer loading limitations. The SGF shall not have the ability to overload the utility's distribution transformer, or any distribution transformer winding, beyond manufacturer or nameplate ratings, unless the IC reimburses the utility for its cost to modify any facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection and such modifications are completed.

d. Integration with utility's grounding. The grounding scheme of the SGF shall comply with the IEEE 1547, Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems, and shall be consistent with the grounding scheme used by the utility. If requested by an IC, the utility shall assist the IC in selecting a grounding scheme that coordinates with its distribution system.

e. Voltage Balance limitation. The SGF shall not create a voltage imbalance of more than 3.0% at any other customer's revenue meter if the utility distribution transformer, with the secondary connected to the point of interconnection, is a three-phase transformer, unless the IC reimburses the utility for its cost to modify any facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection and such modifications are completed.

E. Site control documentation must be submitted with the Interconnection Request Form. Any information appearing in public records may not be labeled Confidential. (Confidential information is discussed in 20VAC5-314-110.) Site control may be demonstrated through:

1. Ownership of, a leasehold interest in, or a right to develop a site for the purpose of constructing the SGF;

2. An option to purchase or acquire a leasehold site for such purpose;

3. An exclusive or other business relationship between the IC and the entity having the right to sell, lease, or grant the IC the right to possess or occupy a site for such purpose; or

4. An existing permanent service metered account with the utility at the site and in the name of the IC.

F. Except as otherwise provided herein, neither the utility nor the competitive service provider shall impose any charges upon an IC for any interconnection requirements specified by this chapter.

G. The IC shall immediately notify the utility of any changes in the ownership of, operational responsibility for, or contact information for the SGF.

H. The utility shall not be required to maintain an interconnection with an SGF if the SGF or associated equipment is found to be out of compliance with the codes, standards, and certifications applicable to the SGF.

I. Any IC that is not able to interconnect under the Level 1 interconnection process may apply for interconnection under the Level 2 process or Level 3 process.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 25, Issue 20, eff. May 21, 2009.

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