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FERC urged not to compromise safety, reliability in revising interconnection procedures


From the August 19, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published August 19, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director

APPA, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the Edison Electric Institute support distributed generation and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s efforts to reform interconnection procedures to aid in the integration of distributed generation, "but not at the expense of safety, reliability or power quality." In Aug. 12 joint reply comments on FERC’s proposal to revise the pro forma small generator interconnection procedures and agreement, the associations addressed a number of issues raised by other commenters.

The associations "strongly disagree with the suggestions by some commenters that the 100 percent minimum load screen proposed [by FERC] poses no safety or reliability concerns." A 67 percent minimum load screen is a reasonable initial buffer for inverter-based systems to protect safety, reliability and power quality, they said. 

APPA and the others support the commission’s proposal to allow an interconnection customer to review and comment on upgrades that are required for an interconnection, as well as a request that interconnection customers be able to use third-party contractors to perform required upgrades. However, FERC should "leave the final decision regarding whether such third parties can be used up to the transmission provider that is responsible for the safety and reliability of its system." Also, utilities should be permitted to recover from the interconnection customer all prudently incurred costs associated with the interconnection facilities study process, they said.

The associations disagree with the solar industry’s suggestion that the commission adopt a fixed timeline for preparation of pre-application reports that require commission approval for any extensions. They also urged the commission to reject the Clean Coalition’s suggestion that it require transmission providers to maintain and publish an extensive list of records.

The commission should not reference or incorporate IEEE standards into the requirements adopted in the final rule, APPA and the others said. Mandatory standards would not provide the flexibility needed for the standards to evolve, they said.

 

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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella
202/467-2948
JLaBella@publicpower.org

Editorial Director
Robert Varela
202/467-2947
RVarela@publicpower.org

Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson
202/467-2977
JAnderson@publicpower.org

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Fallon W. Forbush
202/467-2958
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David L. Blaylock
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Integrated Media Editor 
Laura D’Alessandro 
202/467-2955 
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