Oregon Public Utility Commission

Rule Rule 860-082-0060
Tier 4 Interconnection Review


(1)

A public utility must use the Tier 4 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, Tier 2, or Tier 3 interconnection review requirements; and

(b)

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

(2)

A public utility must approve an application to interconnect a small generator facility under the Tier 4 interconnection review procedures if the public utility determines that the safety and reliability of the public utility’s transmission or distribution system will not be compromised by interconnecting the small generator facility. The applicant must pay the reasonable costs of any interconnection facilities or system upgrades necessitated by the interconnection.

(3)

In addition to the timelines and requirements in OAR 860-082-0025 (Applications to Interconnect a Small Generator Facility), the timelines and requirements in sections (5) through (12) of this rule apply to Tier 4 interconnection reviews.

(4)

A public utility and an applicant may agree to waive the requirement for a scoping meeting, the feasibility study, the system impact study, or the facilities study.

(5)

A public utility must schedule a scoping meeting within 10 business days after notifying an applicant that its application is complete.

(a)

The public utility and the applicant must bring to the scoping meeting all personnel, including system engineers, as may be reasonably required to accomplish the purpose of the meeting.

(b)

The public utility and applicant must discuss whether the public utility should perform a feasibility study or proceed directly to a system impact study, a facilities study, or an interconnection agreement.

(c)

If the public utility determines that no studies are necessary, then the public utility must approve the application within 15 business days of the scoping meeting if:

(A)

The application meets the criteria in section (2); and

(B)

The interconnection of the small generator facility does not require system upgrades or interconnection facilities different from or in addition to the applicant’s proposed interconnection equipment.

(d)

If the public utility determines that no studies are necessary and 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 within 15 business days of receipt of the applicant’s agreement to pay for the minor modifications.

(6)

If a public utility reasonably concludes that an adequate evaluation of an application requires a feasibility study, then the public utility must provide the applicant with an executable feasibility study agreement within five business days of the date of the scoping meeting.

(a)

The feasibility study agreement must include a detailed scope for the feasibility study, a reasonable schedule for completion of the study, and a good-faith, non-binding estimate of the costs to perform the study.

(b)

The feasibility study agreement must follow the standard form agreement developed by the public utility and approved by the Commission.

(c)

The applicant must execute the feasibility study agreement within 15 business days of receipt of the agreement or the application is deemed withdrawn.

(d)

The public utility must make reasonable, good-faith efforts to follow the schedule set forth in the feasibility study agreement for completion of the study.

(e)

The feasibility study must identify any potential adverse system impacts on the public utility’s transmission or distribution system or an affected system that may result from the interconnection of the small generator facility. In determining possible adverse system impacts, the public utility must consider the aggregated nameplate capacity of all generating facilities that, on the date the feasibility study begins, are directly interconnected to the public utility’s transmission or distribution system, have a pending completed application to interconnect with a higher queue position, or have an executed interconnection agreement with the public utility.

(f)

The public utility must evaluate multiple potential points of interconnection at the applicant’s request. The applicant must pay the costs of this additional evaluation.

(g)

The public utility must provide a copy of the feasibility study to the applicant within five business days of the study’s completion.

(h)

If the feasibility study identifies any potential adverse system impacts, then the public utility must perform a system impact study.

(i)

If the feasibility study does not identify any adverse system impacts, then the public utility must perform a facilities study if the public utility reasonably concludes that a facilities study is necessary to adequately evaluate the application.

(A)

If the public utility concludes that a facilities study is not required, then the public utility must approve the application with 15 business days of completion of the feasibility study if the application meets the criteria in section (2) and the interconnection of the small generator facility does not require system upgrades or interconnection facilities different from or in addition to the applicant’s proposed interconnection equipment.

(B)

If the public utility concludes that a facilities study is not required and 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 within 15 business days of receipt of the applicant’s agreement to pay for the minor modifications.

(7)

If a public utility is required to perform a system impact study under subsection (6)(h), or if an applicant and a public utility agree in the scoping meeting to waive the feasibility study and proceed directly to the system impact study, then the public utility must provide the applicant with an executable system impact study agreement within five business days of completing the feasibility study or from the date of the scoping meeting, whichever is applicable.

(a)

The system impact study agreement must include a detailed scope for the system impact study, a reasonable schedule for completion of the study, and a good-faith, non-binding estimate of the costs to perform the study.

(b)

The system impact study agreement must follow the standard form agreement developed by the public utility and approved by the Commission.

(c)

The applicant must execute the system impact study agreement within 15 business days of receipt of the agreement or the application is deemed withdrawn.

(d)

The public utility must make reasonable, good-faith efforts to follow the schedule set forth in the system impact study agreement for completion of the study.

(e)

The system impact study must identify and detail the impacts on the public utility’s transmission or distribution system or on an affected system that would result from the interconnection of the small generator facility if no modifications to the small generator facility or system upgrades were made. The system impact study must include evaluation of the adverse system impacts identified in the feasibility study and in the scoping meeting.

(f)

In determining possible adverse system impacts, the public utility must consider the aggregated nameplate capacity of all generating facilities that, on the date the system impact study begins, are directly interconnected to the public utility’s transmission or distribution system, have a pending completed application to interconnect with a higher queue position, or have an executed interconnection agreement with the public utility.

(g)

The system impact study must include:

(A)

A short circuit analysis;

(B)

A stability analysis;

(C)

A power flow analysis;

(D)

Voltage drop and flicker studies;

(E)

Protection and set point coordination studies;

(F)

Grounding reviews;

(G)

The underlying assumptions of the study;

(H)

The results of the analyses; and

(I)

Any potential impediments to providing the requested interconnection service.

(h)

If an applicant provides an independent system impact study to the public utility, then the public utility must evaluate and address any alternative findings from that study.

(i)

The public utility must provide a copy of the system impact study to the applicant within five business days of completing the study.

(j)

If a public utility determines in a system impact study that interconnection facilities or system upgrades are necessary to safely interconnect a small generator facility, then the public utility must perform a facilities study.

(k)

If the public utility determines that no interconnection facilities or system upgrades are required, and the public utility concludes that the application meets the criteria in section (2), then the public utility must approve the application with 15 business days of completion of the system impact study.

(l)

If the public utility determines that no interconnection facilities or system upgrades are required and 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 within 15 business days of the applicant’s agreement to pay for the minor modifications.

(8)

If a public utility is required to perform a facilities study under subsection (6)(i) or 7(j), or if an applicant and a public utility agree in the scoping meeting to waive the system impact study and proceed directly to the facilities study, then the public utility must provide the applicant with an executable facilities study agreement within five business days of completing the system impact study or within five business days from the date of the scoping meeting, whichever is applicable.

(a)

The facilities study agreement must include a detailed scope for the facilities study, a reasonable schedule for completion of the study, and a good-faith, non-binding estimate of the costs to perform the study.

(b)

The facilities study agreement must follow the standard form agreement developed by the public utility and approved by the Commission.

(c)

The applicant must execute the interconnection facilities study agreement within 15 business days after receipt of the agreement or the application is deemed withdrawn.

(d)

The public utility must make reasonable, good-faith efforts to follow the schedule set forth in the facilities study agreement for completion of the study.

(e)

The facilities study must identify the interconnection facilities and system upgrades required to safely interconnect the small generator facility and must determine the costs for the facilities and upgrades, including equipment, engineering, procurement, and construction costs. Design for any required interconnection facilities or system upgrades must be performed under the facilities study agreement. The public utility must also identify the electrical switching configuration of the equipment, including transformer, switchgear, meters, and other station equipment.

(f)

The public utility may contract with a third-party consultant to complete the interconnection facilities and system upgrades identified in the facilities study. A public utility and an applicant may agree in writing to allow the applicant to hire a third-party consultant to complete the interconnection facilities and system upgrades, subject to public utility oversight and approval.

(g)

The interconnection facilities study must include a detailed estimate of the time required to procure, construct, and install the required interconnection facilities and system upgrades.

(h)

If the applicant agrees to pay for the interconnection facilities and system upgrades identified in the facilities study, then the public utility must approve the application within 15 business days of the applicant’s agreement.

(9)

The public utility may contract with a third-party consultant to complete a feasibility study, system impact study, or facilities study. A public utility and an applicant may agree in writing to allow the applicant to hire a third-party consultant to complete a feasibility study, system impact study, or facilities study, subject to public utility oversight and approval.

(10)

The interconnection process is not complete until:

(a)

The public utility approves the application;

(b)

Any interconnection facilities or system upgrades have been completed;

(c)

Any minor modifications to the public utility’s transmission or distribution system required under subsections (5)(d), 6(i)(B), or (7)(l) have been completed;

(d)

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

(e)

The applicant and public utility execute a certificate of completion.

(11)

If a small generator facility is not approved under the Tier 4 interconnection review procedures, then the public utility must provide a written explanation of the denial to the applicant.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021