Host: DOE SunShot Initiative
Introductory Summary: This is an overview of recent successes in efforts to streamline
interconnection and net metering application processes
– Case studies and lessons learned
– An introduction to new resources for improving net metering and
interconnection policies and processes.
Presenter: Courtney Kendall
Speaker: Linda Irvine, Interconnection Workgroup, Seattle, Washington, Department of Commerce
The Interconnection Work Groups published a report (available at NW Utilities website). The goal of the group was to streamline internal processes for interconnection. The conclusions of the Seattle, Washington Working Group are: a 3 tier interconnection agreement, no requirement for AD disconnect not required unless specified, and 3rd party systems can net meter.
Utility Action Plan: Applies Near Term and Long Term goals. The coordination between the City of Seattle and the Utilities that serve the city is a new development. Reduction of time lines for interconnection applications has been a challenge due to the concentration of solar projects in a small part of the Seattle. The timelines for interconnection approval and permitting has been reduced to a 2 week timeline. Standardization of the interconnection application requires agreement across the entire state for a 25kW EZ application. Planning is moving toward a larger perspective through mapping of the interconnection agreements, as well as upgrading the billing system.
Seattle Summary: The SunShot program goals that aim to reduce the solar soft cost of city permitting is expressed in the Working Groups studies, findings, and operational plans in Seattle, Washington. Interconnection agreement must be an easy process via online submittal, a single point of contact, and streamlining through standardization of application, forms, and application process.
Michael Berkshire, Green Projects Administrator, City of Chicago: The City of Chicago partnered with national law and policy center. The City of Chicago utilized a $750,000 grant to address Interconnection as well as other areas.
Allison Andrews, Product Manager, West Monroe Partners: The City of Chicago worked with stakeholders to understand the process, rolls and responsibilities, and researched best practices from utilities. The interconnection review process study resulted in: an online 25kW application, a cloud based distribution management platform.
Robyn Mackey, Interconnect Coordinator, Commonwealth Edison Company: The positive impacts of the online interconnection agreement were immediate. Duplication was reduced with an electronic smart forms, electronic payment. Further benefits are expected to be: synchonous forms reduce repetition for the applicant, and will reduce time for review by the City.
Resources: An example of the simplified, standardized one-line drawing is included in the Ppt slides. More of the NW Working Group report is available at: nwsolarcommunities.org
Some screen shots of the Chicago online Home Page, Application, are included in the presentation.