Study costs. Whenever a study is required under the small generator interconnection rules, the applicant must pay the public utility for the reasonable costs incurred in performing the study. The public utility must base study costs on the scope of work determined and documented in the feasibility study agreement, the system impact study agreement, or the facilities study agreement, as applicable. The estimated engineering costs used in calculating study costs must not exceed $100 per hour. A public utility may adjust the $100 hourly rate once in January of each year to account for inflation and deflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Before beginning a study, a public utility may require an applicant to pay a deposit of up to 50 percent of the estimated costs to perform the study or $1000, whichever is less.
Interconnection facilities. For interconnection review under Tier 4, a public utility must identify the interconnection facilities necessary to safely interconnect the small generator facility with the public utility’s transmission or distribution system. The applicant must pay the reasonable costs of the interconnection facilities. The public utility constructs, owns, operates, and maintains the interconnection facilities.
Interconnection equipment. An applicant or interconnection customer must pay all expenses associated with constructing, owning, operating, maintaining, repairing, and replacing its interconnection equipment. Interconnection equipment is constructed, owned, operated, and maintained by the applicant or interconnection customer.
System upgrades. A public utility must design, procure, construct, install, and own any system upgrades to the public utility’s transmission or distribution system necessitated by the interconnection of a small generator facility. A public utility must identify any adverse system impacts on an affected system caused by the interconnection of a small generator facility to the public utility’s transmission or distribution system. The public utility must determine what actions or upgrades are required to mitigate these impacts. Such mitigation measures are considered system upgrades as defined in these rules. The applicant must pay the reasonable costs of any system upgrades.
A public utility may not begin work on interconnection facilities or system upgrades before an applicant receives the public utility’s good-faith, non-binding cost estimate and provides written notice to the public utility that the applicant accepts the estimate and agrees to pay the costs. A public utility may require an applicant to pay a deposit before beginning work on the interconnection facilities or system upgrades.
If an applicant agrees to make progress payments on a schedule established by the applicant and the interconnecting public utility, then the public utility may require the applicant to pay a deposit of up to 25 percent of the estimated costs or $10,000, whichever is less. The public utility and the applicant must agree on progress billing, final billing, and payment schedules before the public utility begins work.
If an applicant does not agree to make progress payments, then the public utility may require the applicant to pay a deposit of up to 100 percent of the estimated costs. If the actual costs are lower than the estimated costs, then the public utility must refund the unused portion of the deposit to the applicant within 20 business days after the actual costs are determined.