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Federal FERC Order No. 2003 Process for Interconnection (8-FD-a)

FERC Order No. 2003 requires all public utilities that own, control or operate facilities

used for transmitting electric energy in interstate commerce to have on file standard procedures and a standard agreement for interconnecting generators larger than 20 MW.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Final Rule.


FERC Order No. 2003 Process for Interconnection Process

8-FD-a.1 - Interconnection Request to Transmission Provider, $10,000 Deposit, and Demonstration of Site Control

To begin the procedure of interconnecting a new generating facility, increasing the capacity of, or materially modifying the operating characteristics of an existing generating facility, the Interconnection Customer (IC) must submit to the Transmission Provider (TP) an Interconnection Request Form, a refundable deposit of $10,000, and documentation showing control of the proposed site. The IC must submit the Interconnection Request Form provided in FERC Order No. 2003 Appendix 1 - Interconnection Request.

The $10,000 refundable deposit will be applied to any Interconnection Studies that will be needed if the Interconnection Request is approved. The IC must submit a separate Interconnection Request for each site and may submit multiple Interconnection Requests for a single site. The IC must submit a deposit with each Interconnection Request even when more than one request is submitted for a single site. An Interconnection Request to evaluate one site at two different voltage levels will be treated as two Interconnection Requests.

The documentation showing control of the proposed site must reasonably show that the IC has:

  1. Ownership of, a leasehold interest in, or the right to develop a site for the purpose of constructing the generating facility;
  2. An option to purchase or acquire a leasehold site; or
  3. An exclusivity or other business relationship with the entity having the right to sell, lease, or grant the right to possess or occupy a site for such purpose.

If the IC cannot demonstrate control of the site at the time of submitting an Interconnection Request Form, the IC may post an additional $10,000 deposit. If the IC posts the additional deposit and submits the Interconnection Request Form, the TP must notify the IC of the necessary information needed to confirm site control within five (5) Business Days after the submission is made. Once the IC has been notified by the TP that additional information is needed, the IC then has ten (10) Business Days to provide the information requested. If the IC does not provide the requested information, then both the additional and the initial deposits become non-refundable.


See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 3.


8-FD-a.2 - Acknowledge Receipt and Notify Applicant if Request is Deficient

The TP must acknowledge receipt of the Interconnection Request within five (5) Business Days of receipt of the request and attach a copy of the received Interconnection Request to the acknowledgement.

If the Interconnection Request fails to meet the requirements listed in 8-FD-a.1, the TP must notify the IC within five (5) Business Days that the initial Interconnection Request does not constitute a valid request and explain what additional information may be needed in order to cure the deficiencies. After the IC receives notice from the TP requesting the additional information needed to constitute a valid request, the IC will have ten (10) Business Days to provide the requested information. Failure to provide the information needed to constitute a valid request will result in the withdrawal of IC’s Interconnection Request.


See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 3.3.


8-FD-a.3 - Assign a Queue Position to Developer

The TP will assign a Queue Position based upon the date and time of receipt of the valid Interconnection Request. If the Interconnection Request is not valid because it lacks the required information on the application form, and the IC provides the additional information necessary within the allowed time, the IC’s Queue Position will be based on the date originally filed. Moving a Point of Interconnection will result in a lowering of Queue Position if it is deemed a Material Modification.

An IC’s Queue Position will be used to determine the order of preforming the Interconnection Studies and in determining the cost responsibilities for the facilities necessary to accommodate the Interconnection Request.


See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 4.


8-FD-a.4 - Is the Application Complete?

The TP must make sure that all of the required information is contained in the Interconnection Request. If not, the TP must notify the IC of any deficiencies and what information is needed to constitute a valid request.

If the Interconnection Request is complete and valid the TP must update OASIS and establish a date for the scope meeting with the IC.


For required information needed for valid Interconnection Request, see FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 3.3.


8-FD-a.5 - Update List of Requests on OASIS

The TP will maintain on its Open Access Same-Time Information System (OASIS) a list of all Interconnection Requests. The list will identify, for each Interconnection Request:

  • The maximum summer and winter megawatt electrical output;
  • The location by county and state;
  • The station or transmission line or lines where the interconnection will be made;
  • The projected In-Service Date;
  • The status of the Interconnection Request, including Queue Position;
  • The type of Interconnection Service being requested; and
  • The availability of any studies related to the Interconnection Request;
  • The date of the Interconnection Request;
  • The type of Generating Facility to be constructed (combined cycle, base load or combustion turbine and fuel type); and
  • For Interconnection Requests that have not resulted in a completed interconnection, an explanation as to why it was not completed.


See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 3.4.


8-FD-a.6 - Scoping Meeting

The Scope Meeting is conducted for the purposes of discussing alternative interconnection options, exchange information that would be reasonably expected to impact such interconnection options, and to determine potential feasible Points of Interconnection.

Within ten (10) Business Days after receipt of a valid Interconnection Request, TP must establish a date agreeable to IC for the Scoping Meeting, and such date must be no later than thirty (30) Calendar Days from receipt of the valid Interconnection Request, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon by the Parties. The purpose of the Scoping Meeting is to discuss alternative interconnection options, to exchange information including any transmission data that would reasonably be expected to impact such interconnection options, to analyze such information and to determine the potential feasible Points of Interconnection. TP and IC will bring to the meeting such technical data, including, but not limited to general facility loadings, instability issues, short circuit issues, voltage issues, and reliability issues as may be reasonably required to accomplish the purpose of the meeting.


See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 3.3.4.


8-FD-a.7 - Interconnection Studies and Agreements

Upon establishment of queue priority and after the scope meeting, the TP and IC will commence an in-depth interconnection analyses process composed of three separate studies and one optional study:

  1. Feasibility Study – a preliminary evaluation of the system impact and cost of interconnecting the IC’s Generating Facility to the TP’s Transmission System.
  2. System Impact Study – an engineering study that evaluates the impact of the proposed interconnection on the safety and reliability of the TP’s Transmission System. The study must identify and detail the system impacts that would result if the IC’s Generating Facility were interconnected without project modification or system modification.
  3. Facilities Study – a study conducted by the TP or a third party to determine a list of facilities, the cost of those facilities, and the time required to interconnect the IC’s Generating Facility with the TP’s Transmission System.
  4. Optional Interconnection Study – a sensitivity analysis based on assumption specified by the IC.

The IC is responsible for all costs associated with the Interconnection Studies and must post nominal deposits prior to the commencement of each study. All Interconnection Studies are performed separately and sequentially, beginning with the Feasibility Study and ending with the Facilities Study.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Sections 6-10.


Interconnection Feasibility Study Agreement

Simultaneously with the acknowledgement of a valid Interconnection Request the TP must provide to the IC an Interconnection Feasibility Study Agreement in the form of FERC Order No. 2003 Appendix 2 - Feasibility Study Agreement.

The Interconnection Feasibility Study Agreement will specify that the IC is responsible for the actual cost of the Interconnection Feasibility Study. Within five (5) Business Days following the Scoping Meeting, the IC must specify for inclusion in the attachment to the Interconnection Feasibility Study Agreement the Point(s) of Interconnection and any reasonable alternative Point(s) of Interconnection. Within five (5) Business Days following the TP’s receipt of such designation, the TP will tender to IC the Interconnection Feasibility Study Agreement signed by TP, which includes a good faith estimate of the cost for completing the Interconnection Feasibility Study. The IC must execute and deliver to the TP the Interconnection Feasibility Study Agreement along with a $10,000 deposit no later than thirty (30) Calendar Days after its receipt.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 6.1.


Interconnection Feasibility Study

The Interconnection Feasibility Study shall preliminarily evaluate the feasibility of the proposed interconnection to the Transmission System. The Interconnection Feasibility Study will consider the Base Case as well as all Generating Facilities (and with respect to (iii), any identified Network Upgrades) that, on the date the Interconnection Feasibility Study is commenced:

  • Are directly interconnected to the Transmission System;
  • Are interconnected to Affected Systems and may have an impact on the Interconnection Request;
  • Have a pending higher queued Interconnection Request to interconnect to the Transmission System; and
  • Have no Queue Position but have executed a Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) or requested that an unexecuted LGIA be filed with FERC.

The Interconnection Feasibility Study will consist of a power flow and short circuit analysis. The Interconnection Feasibility Study will provide a list of facilities and a non-binding good faith estimate of cost responsibility and a non-binding good faith estimated time to construct.

If the Interconnection Feasibility Study uncovers any unexpected results not contemplated during the scoping meeting, a substitute Point of Interconnection may be identified by either the IC or the TP, and may be substituted for the designated Point of Interconnection specified above without loss of Queue Position. Re-studies shall be completed on the new Point of Interconnection.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 6.2.


Interconnection System Impact Study Agreement

Unless otherwise agreed, pursuant to the Scoping Meeting, simultaneously with the delivery of the Interconnection Feasibility Study to the IC, the TP will provide to the IC an Interconnection System Impact Study Agreement in the form of FERC Order No. 2003 Appendix 3 - System Impact Study Agreement.

The Interconnection System Impact Study Agreement will provide that the IC shall compensate the TP for the actual cost of the Interconnection System Impact Study. Within three (3) Business Days following the Interconnection Feasibility Study results meeting, the TP will provide to the IC a non-binding good faith estimate of the cost and timeframe for completing the Interconnection System Impact Study.

The IC must execute the Interconnection System Impact Study Agreement and deliver the executed Interconnection System Impact Study Agreement to the TP no later than thirty (30) Calendar Days after its receipt along with demonstration of Site Control, and a $50,000 deposit. The TP must make reasonable efforts to complete the Interconnection System Impact Study within ninety (90) Calendar Days after receiving an executed agreement from the IC.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 7.


Interconnection System Impact Study

The Interconnection System Impact Study will evaluate the impact of the proposed interconnection on the reliability of the Transmission System. The Interconnection System Impact Study will consider the Base Case as well as all Generating Facilities (and with respect to (iii) below, any identified Network Upgrades associated with such higher queued interconnection) that, on the date the Interconnection System Impact Study is commenced:

  • Are directly interconnected to the Transmission System;
  • Are interconnected to Affected Systems and may have an impact on the Interconnection Request;
  • Have a pending higher queued Interconnection Request to interconnect to the Transmission System; and
  • Have no Queue Position but have executed an LGIA or requested that an unexecuted LGIA be filed with FERC.

If the Interconnection System Impact Study uncovers any unexpected results not contemplated during the Scoping Meeting or Feasibility Study, a substitute Point of Interconnection may be identified by either the IC or the TP, and may be substituted for the designated Point of Interconnection specified above without loss of Queue Position. Re-studies shall be completed on the new Point of Interconnection.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 7.3.


Interconnection Facilities Study Agreement

Simultaneously with the delivery of the Interconnection System Impact Study to the IC, the TP will provide to the IC an Interconnection Facilities Study Agreement in the form of FERC Order No. 2003 Appendix 4 - Facilities Study Agreement.

The Interconnection Facilities Study Agreement will provide that the IC must compensate the TP for the actual cost of the Interconnection Facilities Study. Within three (3) Business Days following the Interconnection System Impact Study results meeting, the TP will provide to the IC a non-binding good faith estimate of the cost and timeframe for completing the Interconnection Facilities Study.

The IC must execute the Interconnection Facilities Study Agreement and deliver the executed Interconnection Facilities Study Agreement to the TP within thirty (30) calendar days after its receipt, together with the required technical data and the greater of $100,000 or the IC’s portion of the estimated monthly cost of conducting the Interconnection Facilities Study.

The TP must make reasonable efforts to complete the study and issue a draft Interconnection Facilities Study report to the IC within ninety (90) Calendar Days, with no more than a +/- 20 percent cost estimate contained in the report; or one hundred eighty (180) Calendar Days, if the IC requests a +/- 10 percent cost estimate.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 8.1.


Interconnection Facilities Study

The Interconnection Facilities Study will specify and estimate the cost of the equipment, engineering, procurement and construction work needed to implement the conclusions of the Interconnection System Impact Study in accordance with Good Utility Practice to physically and electrically connect the Interconnection Facility to the Transmission System. The Interconnection Facilities Study will also identify the electrical switching configuration of the connection equipment, including, without limitation: the transformer, switchgear, meters, and other station equipment; the nature and estimated cost of any Transmission Provider's Interconnection Facilities and Network Upgrades necessary to accomplish the interconnection; and an estimate of the time required to complete the construction and installation of such facilities.

Once the study is complete and the TP has issued the IC a draft, the IC will have thirty (30) Calendar Days to provide written comments to the TP to be included in the final report. The TP will issue the final report within fifteen (15) Business Days of receiving the IC’s comments or promptly after receiving notice from the IC that no comments will be provided. If the IC’s comments require the TP to preform additional analyses or make significant modifications before releasing the final report, the fifteen-day period may be extended.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 8.2.


Engineering & Procurement (“E&P”) Agreement

Prior to executing an LGIA, an IC may, in order to advance the implementation of its interconnection, request and TP must offer the IC, an E&P Agreement that authorizes the TP to begin engineering and procurement of long lead-time items necessary for the establishment of the interconnection. However, the TP will not be obligated to offer an E&P Agreement if the IC is in Dispute Resolution as a result of an allegation that the IC has failed to meet any milestones or comply with any prerequisites specified in other parts of the LGIP. The E&P Agreement is an optional procedure and it will not alter the IC’s Queue Position or In-Service Date. The E&P Agreement will provide for the IC to pay the cost of all activities authorized by the IC and to make advance payments or provide other satisfactory security for such costs.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 9.


Optional Interconnection Study Agreement

On or after the date when the IC receives the Interconnection System Impact Study results, the IC may request, and the TP must perform, a reasonable number of Optional Studies. The Optional Interconnection Study is a sensitivity analysis based on assumptions specified by the IC and preformed solely for informational purposes. Within five (5) Business Days after receipt of a request for an Optional Interconnection Study, the Transmission Provider must provide to the Interconnection Customer an Optional Interconnection Study Agreement in the form of FERC Order No. 2003 Appendix 5 - Optional Interconnection Study Agreement.

The Optional Interconnection Study Agreement must:

  • Specify the technical data that the IC must provide for each phase of the Optional Interconnection Study,
  • Specify IC’s assumptions as to which Interconnection Requests with earlier queue priority dates will be excluded from the Optional Interconnection Study case and assumptions as to the type of interconnection service for Interconnection Requests remaining in the Optional Interconnection Study case, and
  • Specify the TP’s estimate of the cost of the Optional Interconnection Study.

The IC must execute the agreement within ten (10) Business Days of receipt and deliver the completed agreement, technical data, and a $10,000 deposit to the TP. The TP must make reasonable effort to complete the Optional Interconnection Study within a mutually agreed upon time, specified within the agreement.


See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 10.1.


8-FD-a.8 - Perform Studies

The TP is responsible for conducting the Interconnection Studies, but IC is responsible for all costs and must post nominal deposits prior to the commencement of each study. Each study is performed separately and sequentially. An informational meeting between the TP and the IC is required after the conclusion of each study to discuss the results.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Sections 6-10.


8-FD-a.9 - Draft Interconnection Agreement

Simultaneously with the issuance of the draft Interconnection Facilities Study report to the IC, the TP shall tender to the Generator a draft Standard Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) together with draft appendices completed to the extent practicable. Use form FERC Order No. 2003 Appendix 6 - Large Generator Interconnection Agreement.


See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 11.1.


8-FD-a.10 - Negotiate & Finalize the LGIA

At the request of the IC the TP must begin negotiations with the IC concerning the appendices to the LGIA at any time after the IC executes the Interconnection Facilities Study Agreement. The TP and the IC must negotiate concerning any disputed provisions of the appendices to the draft LGIA for not more than sixty (60) Calendar Days after tender of the final Interconnection Facilities Study Report. If the IC determines that negotiations are at an impasse, it may request termination of the negotiations at any time after tender of the LGIA pursuant to Section 11.1 and request submission of the unexecuted LGIA with FERC or initiate Dispute Resolution procedures. If the IC requests termination of the negotiations, but fails to request either the filing of the unexecuted LGIA or initiate Dispute Resolution within sixty (60) Calendar Days, the IC will be deemed to have withdrawn its Interconnection Request. The same result will follow if the IC takes no action and does not execute the LGIA within the sixty (60) Calendar Day limit.


See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 11.2.

FERC Order No. 2003 Appendix 6 - Large Generator Interconnection Agreement.


8-FD-a.11 – Executing the Final Interconnection Agreement

The TP must provide to the IC a final Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) within fifteen (15) Business Days after the completion of the negotiation process. FERC Order No. 2003 Appendix 6 - Large Generator Interconnection Agreement.


Execution

Within fifteen (15) Business Days after receipt of the final LGIA, the IC must provide the TP with either (A) reasonable evidence of continued Site Control or (B) post a $250,000, non-refundable additional security, which will be applied toward future construction costs. At the same time, the IC also must provide reasonable evidence that one or more of the following milestones in the development of the Large Generating Facility has been achieved:

  • The execution of a contract for the supply or transportation of fuel to the Large Generating Facility;
  • The execution of a contract for the supply of cooling water to the Large Generating Facility;
  • The execution of a contract for the engineering for, procurement of major equipment for, or construction of, the Large Generating Facility;
  • The execution of a contract for the sale of electric energy or capacity from the Large Generating Facility; or
  • An application for an air, water, or land use permit.

To complete the process, the IC must either execute two original copies of the LGIA and return them to the TP, or request in writing that the TP file with FERC an LGIA in unexecuted form. The IC would request an unexecuted filing if the IC and TP cannot agree on certain terms and want FERC to resolve any issues. If the IC does request that the TP file the unexecuted agreement with FERC, the TP must do so within ten (10) Business Days.


See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 11.3.


Once the IC has executed the final LGIA, the TP and the IC must perform their obligation in accordance with the terms of the LGIA, subject to any modifications made by FERC. If an unexecuted LGIA has been filed with FERC, both the IC and the TP must comply and perform their respective obligations, subject to any modifications made by FERC.

See FERC Order No. 2003 - Appendix C, Section 11.4.




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