On April 19, 2018, FERC issued a final rule (“Order No. 845”) revising its pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (“LGIP”) and the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”) to address reforms of generator interconnection procedures and agreements for generators of more than 20 megawatts.  FERC adopted a majority of the reforms proposed in FERC’s December 15, 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”).

FERC issued a NOPR to enhance the large generator interconnection process by improving the efficiency of processing interconnection requests, removing barriers to resource development, and assuring grid reliability.  The pro forma interconnection procedures and agreements were established in 2003 upon FERC’s issuance of Order No. 2003.  FERC recognized in the NOPR that significant changes in the electric power industry have occurred since the issuance of Order No. 2003.  Acknowledging that the previous interconnection process hindered new generation due to delays, backlogs, and late withdrawals experienced by interconnection customers, FERC proposed fourteen reforms to improve the pro forma LGIP and LGIA.  Specifically, FERC proposed reforms to: (i) improve certainty by providing greater predictability to interconnection customers; (ii) promote a more informed interconnection process by ensuring the accessibility of more detailed information to all interconnection customers involved in the interconnection process; and (iii) improve the interconnection processes by using existing interconnections to a greater degree, providing interconnection service sooner, or accommodating changes in the development process.

In Order No. 845, FERC adopted ten of the fourteen proposed reforms to the pro forma LGIP and LGIA:

  • To improve certainty for interconnection customers, FERC adopted reforms that:
    • enable an interconnection customer to exercise its option to build, regardless of whether the transmission provider can meet the customers’ proposed construction dates; and
    • impose a revised dispute resolution requirement on all transmission providers.
  • To promote more informed interconnection decisions, FERC adopted reforms that:
    • require all transmission providers to publish a method for identifying contingent facilities;
    • require transmission providers to offer access the study processes and assumptions for maintaining network models used for interconnection studies;
    • alter the definition of “Generating Facility” in the LGIP and LGIA to include electric storage resources; and
    • require transmission providers to post interconnection study reporting requirements on a quarterly basis.
  • To enhance the efficiency of the interconnection process, FERC adopted reforms that:
    • enable interconnection customers to request interconnection service at a level lower than their generating facility capacity;
    • require transmission providers to allow interconnection agreements for limited operation of a generating facility before completion of the full interconnection process;
    • require transmission providers to develop an expedited process for interconnection customers wanting to use or transfer surplus interconnection service; and
    • require transmission providers to establish a procedure to assess whether an interconnection customer’s proposed technology occurring during the interconnection process would constitute a material modification.

In its consideration of comments received on the NOPR, FERC declined to adopt four reforms related to a periodic restudies requirement, self-funding of network upgrades, the publishing of congestion and curtailment information, and the modeling of electric storage resources.

Order No. 845 will become effective 75 days after publication in the Federal Register.

A copy of the final rule is available here.