RAPID/Solar/Transmission Siting & Interconnection

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Requirements for transmission and interconnection depend largely on the chosen location of the transmission lines. The developer may be required to acquire a federal right-of-way, obtain approval from state or local governments, or go through a state encroachment process.

If the developer will need to connect transmission lines to the grid, then they must obtain an interconnection agreement. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) 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. If the project will interconnect with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), then the transmission process is particularly unique and specific rules and procedures will apply.

The Federal Power Act (FPA) directs the Department of Energy to deal with transmission congestion problems through designating geographic areas of special significance where consumers have been negatively affected called National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors. The designation could provide FERC with limited siting authority pursuant to the FPA under certain circumstances.

The developer will be required to obtain a federal right-of-way if transmission lines will go through federal lands. If the project will be located on state lands, then the developer will need to get the approval of any relevant state or local authority. This generally requires the developer to obtain an encroachment permit. Any access needed through private lands will require negotiation for right-of-way access or eminent domain proceedings.

Permitting Location Transmission Siting Agency Transmission Siting Transmission Siting Threshold Public Utility Definition for Transmission Facility Public Utility Regulatory Authority Certification Transmission Threshold

Solar Transmission Siting & Interconnection in California

California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission

In California, transmission lines set to operate with a voltage between 50 kV and 200 kV must obtain a permit to construct from the CPUC unless it qualifies for an exemption. Transmission lines set to operate with a voltage higher than 200 kV must obtain a CPCN from the CPUC. Transmission lines with a voltage under 50 kV require the developer to comply with local requirements.

In addition, generation interconnection lines for power plants under the jurisdiction of the California Energy Commission (CEC) are sited as part of the CEC's power plant siting process.

Transmission lines over 50 kV.

In California, transmission facilities are covered by the definition of 'public utility.' A "public utility" includes every common carrier, toll bridge corporation, pipeline corporation, gas corporation, electrical corporation, telephone corporation, telegraph corporation, water corporation, sewer system corporation, and heat corporation, where the service is performed for, or the commodity is delivered to, the public or any portion thereof. A 'transmission line' has a voltage over 200 kV. A 'power line' has a voltage between 50 and 200 kV. A 'distribution line' has a voltage under 50 kV.

Transmission lines must be 50 kV or greater.

Solar Transmission Siting & Interconnection in Federal

Solar Transmission Siting & Interconnection in Nevada

Public Utilities Commission of Nevada

Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

The term “public utility” includes “any plant or equipment, or any part of a plant or equipment, within this State for the production, delivery or furnishing for or to other persons, including private or municipal corporations, heat, gas, coal slurry, light, power in any form or by any agency, water for business, manufacturing, agricultural or household use, or sewerage service, whether or not within the limits of municipalities.” NRS 704.020(2)(a).


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