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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
10/1/2020

20VAC5-314-60. Level 2 Interconnection Process.

A. The Level 2 interconnection process is available to an interconnection customer proposing to interconnect a small generating facility with the utility system if the SGF is no larger than 2 MW and does not qualify for the Level 1 process, and meets the codes, standards, and certification requirements of Schedules 2 and 3 in 20VAC5-314-170.

B. Within 15 business days after the utility notifies the IC it has received a complete Interconnection Request Form, the utility shall perform an initial review using the screens set forth below (20VAC5-314-60 C or 20VAC5-314-60 D, as applicable) and shall notify the IC of the results, including copies of the analysis and data underlying the utility's determinations under the screens.

C. Screens for interconnections to radial circuits.

1. For interconnection of a small generating facility to a radial distribution circuit, the aggregated generation, including the proposed small generating facility, on the circuit shall not exceed 15% of the line section's annual peak load as most recently measured at the substation or calculated for the line section. A line section is that portion of a distribution circuit connected to a customer that is bounded by automatic sectionalizing devices or the end of the circuit.

2. The SGF, in aggregation with other generation on the distribution circuit, shall not contribute more than 10% to the circuit's maximum fault current at the point on the distribution feeder's (primary) voltage level that is nearest the point of interconnection.

3. The SGF, in aggregate with other generation on the distribution circuit, shall not cause any distribution protective devices and equipment (including, but not limited to, substation breakers, fused cutouts, and line reclosers), or interconnection customer equipment on the system to exceed 87.5% of the short circuit interrupting capability; nor shall the interconnection be permitted on a circuit where 87.5% of the short circuit interrupting capability is already exceeded.

4. For interconnections to the distribution primary voltage, use the table below, to determine the acceptable type of interconnection to a primary distribution circuit. This screen includes a review of the type of electrical service provided to the IC, including line configuration and the transformer connection, to limit the potential for creating over-voltages on the utility's distribution system due to a loss of ground during the operating time of any anti-islanding function.

Primary Distribution Line Type

Type of Interconnection to Primary Distribution Line

Result/Criteria

Three-phase, three wire

Three-phase, or single phase, phase-to-phase

Pass screen

Three-phase, four wire

Effectively-grounded three phase, or single-phase, line-to-neutral

Pass screen

5. If the small generating facility is to be interconnected to a single-phase shared secondary, the aggregate generation capacity on the shared secondary, including the proposed SGF, shall not exceed 20 kW.

6. If the SGF is single-phase and is to be interconnected on a center tap neutral of a 240 volt service, its addition shall not create an imbalance between the two sides of the 240 volt service of more than 20% of the nameplate rating of the service transformer.

7. The SGF, in aggregate with generation interconnected to the transmission side of the substation transformer that feeds the distribution circuit where the SGF proposes to interconnect, shall not exceed 10 MW in an area where there are known, or posted, transient stability limitations to generating units located in the general electrical vicinity (e.g., within three or four transmission busses from the point of interconnection).

8. No construction of facilities by the utility on its own system shall be required to accommodate the SGF.

D. Screens for interconnections involving networks.

1. For interconnection of a small generating facility to the load side of spot network protectors serving more than a single customer, the SGF must utilize an inverter-based equipment package and, together with the aggregated other inverter-based generation, shall not exceed the smaller of 5.0% of a spot network's maximum load or 300 kW. For spot networks serving a single customer, the SGF must use an inverter-based equipment package and either meet the requirements above, or use a protection scheme, or operate the generator so as not to exceed on-site load or otherwise prevent nuisance operation of the spot network protectors.

2. For interconnection of an SGF to the load side of area network protectors, the SGF must utilize an inverter-based equipment package and, together with the aggregated other inverter-based generation, shall not exceed the smaller of 10% of an area network's minimum load, or 500 kW.

3. If the SGF is single-phase, the IC's load net of generation on each phase shall not create an imbalance between the phases of a polyphase service, or if applicable, between each leg of single-phase service.

4. For interconnection of an SGF to a distribution circuit in an area where there are known or posted transient stability limitations to generating units located in the general electrical vicinity (e.g., within three or four transmission busses from the point of interconnection), the SGF, in aggregate with generation interconnected to the transmission side of the substation transformer that feeds the distribution circuit, shall not exceed the following limits:

a. For a distribution circuit that supplies only secondary voltage networks, 30% of the distribution circuit's load.

b. For a distribution circuit not exclusively supplying secondary networks, 10 MW.

5. For interconnection of an SGF to the line side of network protectors:

a. For a distribution circuit that supplies only secondary networks, the interconnection fails the screen.

b. For a distribution circuit not exclusively supplying secondary networks, the interconnections shall be evaluated in accordance with 20VAC5-314-60 C.

6. No construction of facilities by the utility on its own system shall be required to accommodate the SGF.

7. To the extent any new IEEE standards conflict with this chapter, in particular IEEE 1547, the new standards shall apply. In addition, utility consent shall not be unreasonably withheld from an SGF interconnecting to a spot or area network provided the SGF utilizes a protection scheme that will prevent any power export from the IC's site including inadvertent export under fault conditions, and otherwise prevent nuisance operation of the network protectors.

E. If the interconnection passes the screens, the interconnection request shall be approved and the utility will provide the interconnection customer an executable interconnection agreement within five business days after the determination.

F. If the interconnection fails any screens, but the utility determines that the small generating facility may nevertheless be interconnected consistent with safety, reliability, and power quality standards, the utility shall provide the IC an executable interconnection agreement within five business days after the determination.

G. If the interconnection fails any screens, but the utility does not or cannot determine from the initial review that the SGF may nevertheless be interconnected consistent with safety, reliability, and power quality standards, unless the IC is willing to consider minor modifications or further study, the utility shall provide the IC with the opportunity to attend a customer options meeting.

H. If the utility determines that the interconnection cannot be approved without minor modifications at minimal cost; a supplemental review or other studies or actions; or modifications or installations at significant cost to address safety, reliability, or power quality problems, the utility shall notify the IC and provide copies of the data and analyses underlying its conclusion within five business days after determination. Within 10 business days of the determination, the utility shall offer to convene a customer options meeting to review possible IC facility modifications, or the screen analysis and related results, to determine what further steps are needed to permit the SGF to be connected safely and reliably. At the time of notification of the utility's determination, or at the customer options meeting, the utility shall:

1. Offer to perform facility modifications or minor modifications to the utility system (e.g., changing meters, fuses, and relay settings) and provide an estimate of the cost to make such modifications to the utility system;

2. Offer to perform a supplemental review if the utility concludes that the supplemental review might determine that the SGF could continue to qualify for interconnection pursuant to the Level 2 process, and provide an estimate of the costs and time of such review; or

3. Offer to continue evaluating the interconnection request, but under the Level 3 interconnection process.

I. Supplemental review. If a supplemental review is offered to the interconnection customer and the IC agrees to the supplemental review, the utility shall, within 10 business days of the request, provide to the IC an appropriate supplemental review agreement. To maintain its position in the utility's interconnection queue, the IC must execute the supplemental review agreement and return it to the utility, along with a deposit for the estimated cost of the supplemental review, within 15 business days after receipt of the agreement. If the IC fails to return the executed supplemental review agreement along with the deposit within 15 business days after receipt, the interconnection request shall be deemed withdrawn and shall lose its place in the utility's interconnection queue.

The IC shall be responsible for the utility's actual costs of conducting the supplemental review. The IC shall pay any review costs that exceed the deposit within 30 business days of receipt of the invoice or resolution of any dispute. If the deposit exceeds the invoiced costs, the utility will return such excess within 30 business days of the invoice without interest.

Within 10 business days following receipt of the supplemental review agreement and deposit, the utility will determine if the SGF can be interconnected safely and reliably.

1. If so, and if the supplemental review reveals that no modifications are required to the IC's interconnection facilities, or to the system, or to an affected system, the utility shall forward an executable SGIA to the interconnection customer within five business days after the determination.

2. If so, and modifications are required to the IC's interconnection facilities that allow the SGF to be interconnected consistent with safety, reliability, and power quality standards under these procedures, the utility shall forward an executable SGIA to the IC within five business days after confirmation that the IC has agreed to make the necessary changes at the IC's cost.

3. If so, and minor modifications to the utility system are required to allow the SGF to be interconnected consistent with safety, reliability, and power quality standards under these procedures, the utility shall, within 10 business days after the determination, forward an executable SGIA to the IC that requires the IC to pay the costs of such system modifications prior to interconnection.

4. If not, the interconnection request will be elevated to the Level 3 interconnection process.

Interconnection may occur when, as may be required under the applicable subdivisions 1, 2, or 3 of this subsection, the SGIA is fully executed and returned to the utility, the IC has made required payments to the utility, and required modifications are complete. If subdivision I 4 of this section is applicable, interconnection shall occur in accordance with the Level 3 interconnection process.

J. Small generating facilities of 500 kW or less. For an SGF of 500 kW or less, the requirements in this section shall be deemed satisfied when: (i) an Interconnection Request Form as required under 20VAC5-314-40 B is properly completed and all of the certifications and acknowledgements required in Sections 5, 6, and 7 of the Interconnection Request Form are affixed and (ii) the IC and the utility have exchanged appropriate written commitments to effect the necessary installations and modifications to the SGF and the utility system. The timing of such commitments shall follow the timing prescribed in this section.

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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