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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
10/28/2021

20VAC5-314-40. Level 1 interconnection process.

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

B. The IC shall submit (i) a complete Level 1 Interconnection Request Form (Schedule 5 of 20VAC5-314-170); (ii) site control documentation pursuant to Schedule 5 of 20VAC5-314-170; and (iii) the required $100 processing fee to the utility. Alternatively, the utility may require use of a commission-approved Interconnection Request Form similar to Schedule 5 of 20VAC5-314-170, which shall be made available to customers on the utility's website. The Interconnection Request Form shall be date-stamped and time-stamped by the utility upon receipt of (i) a substantially complete Interconnection Request Form submitted by a valid legal entity and signed by the IC, (ii) site control documentation, and (iii) processing fee. The date-stamp and time-stamp shall be used as the qualifying start date-stamp and time-stamp for the purpose of any timetable in these procedures.

Within three business days of receiving the interconnection request, the utility shall notify the IC of receipt, which notification shall be made 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 of the interconnection request, 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 by the IC 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. The acceptance of such request for time extension shall be at the utility's discretion. 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information or a request for an extension of time within the deadline, the Interconnection Request Form will be deemed withdrawn.

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 to determine whether the IC's project is interdependent with one or more earlier-queued projects. If it is determined that the IC's project does not create an interdependency, the utility shall designate the IC's project as Project A, and, if so, shall inform the IC what utility modifications are required to interconnect the SGF. If the utility determines that the IC's project is interdependent with one or more earlier-queued projects, the utility may delay study of the IC request until the interdependency is resolved and the IC becomes a Project A as further addressed in 20VAC5-314-38 B. If the utility delays study of the IC's project, the utility shall notify the IC in writing and identify the number of earlier-queued interdependent projects.

1. If the interconnection can be accomplished with minor modifications (e.g., changing meters, fuses, and relay settings) 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. If the interconnection cannot be accomplished with minor modifications or the parties cannot come to an agreement regarding modifications to the utility system within 10 business days of study results being provided by the utility, the interconnection request will be transferred to the Level 2 process or handled according to 20VAC5-314-100 (Disputes) at the IC's option.

3. If the utility cannot reasonably determine that the modifications to the utility's system can be completed without additional study, the utility shall provide the IC, in writing, justification for that determination, and the interconnection request will be transferred to the Level 2 process or handled according to 20VAC5-314-100 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 SGF 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 1547, Standard for Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems Interfaces, 2018;

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 impose a fee on the customer of no more than $50 for each generator that requires this 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 impose a fee on the customer of no more than $50 for each generator that requires this 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, and any costs associated with minor modifications;

7. An SGF having an alternating current capacity in excess of 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 utility has reasonably determined that the proposed IC could lead to damage to any of the utility's facilities or could 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 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 IEEE 1547 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 the utility's distribution system.

e. Voltage balance limitation. The SGF shall not create a voltage imbalance of more than 3.0% measured from phase to phase or phase to ground 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. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the utility shall not impose any charges upon an IC for any interconnection requirements specified by this chapter.

F. The IC shall immediately notify the utility in writing of any changes in the ownership or control of, operational responsibility for, or contact information for the SGF and pay a $500 processing fee.

G. 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, or certifications applicable to the SGF.

H. 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 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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