Interconnection in Utah
From 2007 to 2010, Utah's Public Service Commission undertook a comprehensive review and revision of the state's Interconnection Standards. At the onset of the effort, Utah had an ‘F’ grade on a national scorecard for interconnection standards. Following efforts led by Utah Clean Energy, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, and numerous stakeholders, the Utah Public Service Commission adopted improved standards in April 2010. As a result, Utah’s interconnection grade was raised to an to ‘A’.
As Utahns continue to adopt distributed energy technologies, like rooftop solar, it will be important to periodically monitor and review Utah's interconnection standards to ensure they are aligned with best practices and the capabilities of new technologies. Updated standards will ensure that distributed energy resources are connected to the grid safely and help utilities keep pace with the rapid growth of distributed energy projects.
Interconnection requirements for small generating facilities that intend to connect to the utility's distribution system are outlined in Utah Code R746-312. This is the case for residential or commercial solar installations that intend to use net metering. Depending on the size of the project and a list of criteria used to screen interconnection applications, net metered installations will undergo either a Level I, Level II, or Level III interconnection review.
As rooftop solar becomes more popular in Utah, homes and businesses wishing to install solar and interconnect with Rocky Mountain Power's distribution system must be aware of interconnection requirements and potential delays. The timeline for the interconnection process is outlined in Utah Administrative code:
|RMP dates and time stamps the interconnection request||Same day it is received|
|RMP acknowledges receipt of the interconnection request to the customer||3 business days after receipt of application|
|RMP notifies the customer whether the interconnection request is complete||10 business days after receipt of application|
|If the interconnection request is incomplete, the customer must submit missing information or request an extension or the application is considered withdrawn.||10 business days after RMP's notification|
|RMP notifies the customer that the interconnection request is approved or denied. If denied, the request must be resubmitted through a Level II or Level III procedure.||15 business days after RMP issues notification of completeness|
|RMP provides procedures, requirements, and forms for final authorization of interconnection||5 business days after RMP's notification of approval|
|Customer notifies RMP of anticipated start date for operation of the solar installation by submitting an interconnection agreement||10 business days before scheduled date of operation|
|RMP conducts inspections and tests, sets the new meter, approves the interconnection, and provides written notification of approval||10 business days after receipt of interconnection agreement|
|If an interconnection request is neither approved nor denied, it is considered approved||25 days after receipt of application|
Large installations which do not qualify for net metering typically must certify as a "Qualifying Facility" in order to sell electricity directly to the utility.
More information about Qualifying Facilities in Utah, including standard Power Purchase Agreement forms and avoided cost pricing (for projects less than 3 MW) and indicative pricing and information about the interconnection approval process (for projects between 3 MW and 80 MW) is available on Rocky Mountain Power's website: https://www.rockymountainpower.net/env/nmcg/qf.html