20.50.09.12

.12 Level 4 Study Review.

A. A utility shall use the Level 4 study review procedure for an interconnection request that meets the Level 4 criteria in Regulation .08 of this chapter.

B. Interconnection Request.

(1) Within 5 business days from receipt of an interconnection request, the utility shall notify the applicant whether the request is

(a) Complete; or

(b) Incomplete.

(2) If the interconnection request is not complete:

(a) The utility shall provide the applicant a written list detailing information that shall be provided to complete the interconnection request;

(b) The applicant shall have 10 business days, which may be extended at the request of the applicant and not unreasonably denied by the utility, to provide appropriate data in order to complete the interconnection request, or the interconnection request shall be considered withdrawn; and

(c) The interconnection request shall be considered complete:

(i) If the required information has been provided by the applicant; or

(ii) The utility and applicant have agreed that the applicant may provide additional information at a later time.

C. Queue Position.

(1) When an interconnection request is complete, the utility shall assign a queue position if there is more than one interconnection request pending for the same line section.

(2) The utility shall use the queue position of an interconnection request to determine the cost responsibility necessary for the facilities to accommodate the interconnection.

(3) The utility shall notify the applicant of other higher-queued applicants on the same line section of the new interconnection request.

(4) Any required interconnection studies may not begin until the utility has completed its review of all other interconnection requests that have a higher queue position.

(5) Queue position is not forfeited or otherwise impacted by any pending dispute submitted under the provisions of Regulation .13 of this chapter.

D. Scoping Meeting.

(1) By mutual agreement of the utility and applicant, the scoping meeting, interconnection feasibility study, interconnection impact study, or interconnection facilities studies provided for in a Level 4 review and discussed in this section may be waived.

(2) If agreed to by the utility and applicant, a scoping meeting shall be held within 10 business days, or other mutually agreed to time, after the utility has notified the applicant that the interconnection request is considered complete, or the applicant has requested that its interconnection request proceed after failing the requirements of a Level 2 review or Level 3 review.

(3) The purpose of the meeting is to review the interconnection request, existing studies relevant to the interconnection request, and the results of the Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 screening criteria.

(4) If the utility and applicant agree at a scoping meeting that an interconnection feasibility study shall be performed, the utility shall provide to the applicant, not later than 5 business days after the scoping meeting:

(a) An interconnection feasibility study agreement;

(b) An outline of the scope of the study; and

(c) A nonbinding, good faith estimate of the cost to perform the study.

(5) If the applicant and utility agree at a scoping meeting that an interconnection feasibility study is not required, the utility shall provide to the applicant, not later than 5 business days after the scoping meeting:

(a) An interconnection system impact study agreement;

(b) An outline of the scope of the study; and

(c) A nonbinding, good faith estimate of the cost to perform the study.

(6) If the utility and applicant agree at the scoping meeting that an interconnection feasibility study and system impact study are not required, the utility shall provide to the applicant, not later than 5 business days after the scoping meeting:

(a) An interconnection facilities study agreement;

(b) An outline of the scope of the study; and

(c) A nonbinding, good faith estimate of the cost to perform the study.

E. Interconnection Feasibility, Impact, and Facilities Studies.

(1) Interconnection Feasibility Study.

(a) An interconnection feasibility study shall include any necessary analyses for the purpose of identifying a potential adverse system impact to the utility's electric distribution system that would result from the interconnection from among the following:

(i) Initial identification of any circuit breaker short circuit capability limits exceeded as a result of the interconnection;

(ii) Initial identification of any thermal overload or voltage limit violations resulting from the interconnection;

(iii) Initial review of grounding requirements and system protection; and

(iv) Description and nonbinding estimated cost of facilities required to interconnect the small generator facility to the utility's electric distribution system in a safe and reliable manner.

(b) If an applicant requests that the interconnection feasibility study evaluate multiple potential points of interconnection, additional evaluations may be required. Additional evaluations shall be conducted at the expense of the applicant.

(c) An interconnection system impact study is not required if the interconnection feasibility study concludes there is no adverse system impact, or if the study identifies an adverse system impact and the utility is able to identify a remedy without the need for an interconnection system impact study.

(d) The utility and applicant shall use an interconnection feasibility study agreement form approved by the Commission.

(e) The utility shall avoid duplicating previously conducted interconnection studies to the extent possible.

(2) Interconnection Impact Study.

(a) A distribution interconnection system impact study shall be performed when a potential distribution system adverse system impact is identified in the interconnection feasibility study.

(b) Scope of Interconnection System Impact Study.

(i) An interconnection system impact study shall evaluate the impact of the proposed interconnection on both the safety and reliability of the utility's electric distribution system.

(ii) The interconnection system impact study shall identify and detail the system impacts that result when a small generator facility is interconnected without project or system modifications, focusing on the adverse system impacts identified in the interconnection feasibility study, or potential impacts including those identified in the scoping meeting.

(iii) The interconnection system impact study shall consider all generating facilities that, on the date the interconnection system impact study is commenced, are directly interconnected with the utility's system, have a pending higher queue position to interconnect to the system, or have signed a standard small generator interconnection agreement.

(iv) As part of its impact study, the utility shall agree to evaluate and consider any separate studies prepared by the applicant that evaluate alternatives for interconnecting the small generator facility, including the applicant's assessment of potential impacts of the small generator facility on the electric distribution system.

(v) The utility shall provide the applicant with the utility's final impact study evaluation, including a comparison of the results of its own analyses with those provided by the applicant.

(c) Within 5 business days of transmittal of the interconnection feasibility study report, the utility shall send the applicant:

(i) An interconnection system impact study agreement using a form approved by the Commission;

(ii) An outline of the scope of the interconnection system impact study; and

(iii) A good faith estimate of the cost to perform the study.

(d) The impact study shall include any necessary elements from among the following:

(i) A load flow study;

(ii) Identification of affected systems;

(iii) An analysis of equipment interrupting ratings;

(iv) A protection coordination study;

(v) Voltage drop and flicker studies;

(vi) Protection and set point coordination studies;

(vii) Grounding reviews; and

(viii) Impact on system operation.

(e) An interconnection system impact study shall consider any necessary criteria from among the following:

(i) A short circuit analysis;

(ii) A stability analysis;

(iii) Alternatives for mitigating adverse system impacts on affected systems;

(iv) Voltage drop and flicker studies;

(v) Protection and set point coordination studies; and

(vi) Grounding reviews.

(f) The final interconnection system impact study shall provide the following:

(i) The underlying assumptions of the study;

(ii) The results of the analyses;

(iii) A list of any potential impediments to providing the requested interconnection service;

(iv) Required distribution upgrades; and

(v) A nonbinding good faith estimate of cost and time to construct any required distribution upgrades.

(3) Interconnection Facilities Study.

(a) Within 5 business days of completion of the interconnection system impact study, the utility shall provide to the applicant:

(i) A report of the impact study;

(ii) An interconnection facilities study agreement using a form approved by the Commission;

(iii) An outline of the scope of the interconnection facilities study; and

(iv) A nonbinding good faith estimate of the cost to perform the facilities study.

(b) The interconnection facilities study shall identify:

(i) The electrical switching configuration of the equipment, including transformer, switchgear, meters, and other station equipment;

(ii) The nature and estimated cost of the utility's interconnection facilities and distribution upgrades necessary to accomplish the interconnection, including engineering, procurement, construction, and overhead; and

(iii) An estimate of the time required to complete the construction and installation of the facilities.

(c) Third-Party Design or Construction of Interconnection Facilities.

(i) The applicant and utility may agree to permit an applicant to separately arrange for a third party to design and construct the required interconnection facilities.

(ii) The utility may review and approve the design of the facilities under the interconnection facilities study agreement.

(iii) If the applicant and utility agree to separately arrange for design and construction, the utility, consistent with security and confidentiality requirements, shall make all relevant information and required specifications available to the applicant to permit the applicant to obtain an independent design and cost estimate for the interconnection facilities.

(iv) The interconnection facilities shall be built in accordance with the specifications.

(d) Upon completion of the interconnection facilities study, and with the agreement of the applicant to pay for the interconnection facilities and distribution upgrades identified in the interconnection facilities study, the utility shall provide the applicant with a standard small generator interconnection agreement within 5 business days.

(e) Delay in Electric Distribution System Upgrades.

(i) In the event that electric distribution system upgrades are identified in the impact study that will be required to be added only in the event that higher queue position customers not yet interconnected eventually will complete and interconnect their generation facilities, an applicant may elect to interconnect without paying for such upgrades at the time of the interconnection under the condition that the customer shall pay for such upgrades at the time the higher queue position customer is ready to interconnect.

(ii) If the applicant does not pay for the cost of the electric distribution system upgrades at that time, the utility shall require the customer to immediately disconnect its generating facility so that interconnection of the higher-queued customer can be accommodated.

F. Interconnection Agreement.

(1) When a utility determines, as a result of the interconnection studies conducted under a Level 4 review, that it is appropriate to interconnect the small generator facility, the utility shall provide the applicant with a standard small generator interconnection agreement.

(2) The applicant shall have either 30 calendar days, or another mutually agreeable time frame after receipt of the standard small generator interconnection agreement, to sign and return the standard small generator interconnection agreement.

(3) If the applicant does not sign the standard small generator interconnection agreement within 30 calendar days, the request shall be considered withdrawn unless the applicant and utility mutually agree to extend the time period for executing the standard small generator interconnection agreement prior to the expiration of the 30 business day period. A request for extension may not be unreasonably denied by the utility.

(4) After the standard small generator interconnection agreement is signed by the applicant and utility, interconnection of the small generator facility shall proceed according to any milestones agreed to by the applicant and utility in the standard small generator interconnection agreement.

(5) The interconnection agreement is not final until:

(a) All milestones agreed to in the standard small generator interconnection agreement are satisfied;

(b) The small generator facility is approved by electric code officials with jurisdiction over the interconnection;

(c) The applicant provides a certificate of completion to the utility; and

(d) There is a successful completion of the witness test, if conducted by the utility.

G. Level 4 Review Failure. If the interconnection request is denied, the utility shall provide the applicant a letter explaining the reasons for denying the interconnection request.