Oregon Public Utility Commission

Rule Rule 860-082-0055
Tier 3 Interconnection Review


(1)

A public utility must use the Tier 3 interconnection review procedures for an application to interconnect a small generator facility that meets the following requirements:

(a)

The small generator facility does not qualify for or failed to meet the Tier 1 or Tier 2 interconnection review requirements;

(b)

The small generator facility must have a nameplate capacity of 10 megawatts or less;

(c)

The small generator facility must not be connected to a transmission line;

(d)

The small generator facility must not export power beyond the point of interconnection; and

(e)

The small generator facility must use low forward power relays or other protection functions that prevent power flow onto the area network.

(2)

Tier 3 Approval Criteria. A public utility must approve an application to interconnect a small generator facility under the Tier 3 interconnection review procedures if the facility meets the Tier 2 approval criteria in OAR 860 082 0050(2)(a) (h), (j) and the additional approval criteria in subsections (a), (b), or (c) of this section. A public utility may not impose different or additional approval criteria.

(a)

For a small generator facility to interconnect to the load side of an area network distribution circuit, the small generator facility must meet the following criteria:

(A)

The nameplate capacity of the small generator facility must be 50 kilowatts or less;

(B)

The small generator facility must use lab-tested, inverter-based interconnection equipment;

(C)

The aggregated nameplate capacity on the area network must not exceed five percent of an area network’s maximum load or 50 kilowatts, whichever is less; and

(D)

Except as allowed in subsection (2)(c), the interconnection of the small generator facility must not require system upgrades or interconnection facilities different from or in addition to the applicant’s proposed interconnection equipment.

(b)

For a small generator facility to interconnect to a distribution circuit that is not networked, the small generator facility must meet the following criteria:

(A)

The small generator facility must have a nameplate capacity of 10 megawatts or less;

(B)

The aggregated nameplate capacity on the circuit must be 10 megawatts or less;

(C)

The small generator facility must not export power beyond the point of interconnection;

(D)

The small generator facility’s point of interconnection must be to a radial distribution circuit;

(E)

The small generator facility must not be served by a shared transformer;

(F)

Except as allowed in subsection (2)(c), the interconnection of the small generator facility must not require system upgrades or interconnection facilities different from or in addition to the applicant’s proposed interconnection equipment; and

(G)

If the public utility’s distribution circuit uses high speed reclosing with less than two seconds of interruption, then the small generator facility must not be a synchronous machine. If the small generator facility is a synchronous machine, then the applicant must submit a Tier 4 application.

(c)

If the small generator facility fails to meet one or more of the Tier 3 approval requirements, but the public utility determines that the small generator facility could be interconnected safely if minor modifications to the transmission or distribution system were made (for example, changing meters, fuses, or relay settings), then the public utility must offer the applicant a good-faith, non-binding estimate of the costs of such proposed minor modifications. Modifications are not considered minor under this subsection if the total cost of the modifications exceeds $10,000. If the applicant authorizes the public utility to proceed with the minor modifications and agrees to pay the entire cost of the modifications, then the public utility must approve the application under Tier 3.

(3)

In addition to the timelines and requirements in OAR 860-082-0025 (Applications to Interconnect a Small Generator Facility), the following timelines and requirements apply to Tier 3 interconnection reviews:

(a)

An interconnecting public utility must schedule a scoping meeting within 10 business days after notifying an applicant that its application is complete. The public utility and the applicant may agree to waive the scoping meeting requirement.

(b)

Within 20 business days after a public utility notifies an applicant its application is complete or a scoping meeting is held, whichever is later, the public utility must:

(A)

Evaluate the application using the Tier 3 approval criteria;

(B)

Review any independent analysis of the proposed interconnection provided by the applicant that was performed using the Tier 3 approval criteria; and

(C)

Provide written notice to the applicant stating whether the public utility approved the application. If applicable, the public utility must include a comparison of its evaluation to the applicant’s independent evaluation.

(4)

The interconnection process is not complete until:

(a)

The public utility approves the application;

(b)

Any minor modifications to the transmission or distribution system required under subsection (2)(c) are complete;

(c)

The witness test, if conducted by the public utility, is successful; and

(d)

The applicant and public utility execute a certificate of completion. The certificate of completion must follow the standard form certificate developed by the public utility and approved by the Commission.

(5)

If a small generator facility is not approved under the Tier 3 interconnection review procedures, then the applicant may submit a new application under the Tier 4 review procedures. At the applicant’s request, the public utility must provide a written explanation of the reasons for denial within five business days of the request.
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Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021