FERC Issues Small Generator Interconnection Rule

In its Order No. 2006, issued May 12, FERC established standard procedures for interconnecting generators no larger than 20 MW.  This order continues the process begun in Order No. 2003 of standardizing the terms and conditions of open-access interconnection service.  The new procedures apply to small generators seeking to interconnect with transmission systems that are subject to an open-access tariff at the time the generator's request is made.  Order No. 2006 requires public utilities to amend their open-access transmission tariffs ("OATTs") to include a Small Generator Interconnection Procedures ("SGIP") document and a Small Generator Interconnection Agreement ("SGIA").


The SGIP, like the large generator interconnection procedure ("LGIP") set forth in Order No. 2003, includes the technical procedures that a transmission providers is to follow when it receives an interconnection request.  The SGIP differs from the LGIP, however, in that the procedure under the SGIP is simpler and includes an accelerated trajectory.  The SGIP provides three methods for addressing interconnection requests.  One approach, called the "Study Process," is a default process available to any small generating facility.  This approach, identical in concept to the process for large generators under Order No. 2003, relies on a scoping meeting and studies addressing standard feasibility, system impact, and facilities.  The other two approaches involve special procedures designed specifically for two subgroups of small generating facilities and use technical screens to evaluate the proposed interconnection.  One of these approaches, the "Fast Track Process," is available to certified small generating facilities no larger than 2 MW, while the other, the "10 kW Inverter Process," applies to certified inverter-based small generating facilities no larger than 10 kW.  


The SGIA prescribes contractual provisions applicable to the interconnection of small generating facilities and describes the legal relationships of the interconnection customer and the transmission provider.  For example, the SGIA includes provisions for payment for modifications to the transmission provider's system made to accommodate the interconnection.  These provisions utilize the same pricing policy as was applied in Order No. 2003.  The parties are to sign the SGIA after completing the SGIP Study Process or one of the approaches for very small generating facilities.  [Standardization of Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, 111 FERC 61,220 (2005)] [NEW MATTER]