Posted by: jbarnesca | January 27, 2011

PG&E GIP not the same as SCE GIP proposal

On January 25th in San Ramon, PG&E held an in-person and on the web/phone stakeholder meeting to take final feedback on their new Generator Interconnection Procedure (GIP).  I can’t find any of these documents on the web site for your convenience, sorry.  Maybe there were 25 at the meeting with maybe 8 from PG&E in attendance from my count. 

To refresh your memory SCE has been leading in the revision of the old WDAT procedures and in particular a massive change to the SGIP (small generator interconnection procedure) serial study process.  The change is to a cluster application and approval process modeled somewhat after the CAISO transmission changes to a GIP cluster application process.  Remember the March 31st deadline for the CAISO cluster #4 applications to be submitted or miss the window there.

Timelines and several details are different for this proposal as compared to the SCE proposal.  Both companies have some good thoughts on why their proposals differ, so I can’t make a value judgement on that at the moment.  The teams spent a lot of time listening and taking formal suggestions during this long process.

In particular these are some of the differences to note:

  • The Fast Track Process  keeps the old 2MW limit for connections onto their 12kV distribution lines, but allows you to try to find a 3MW project that can connect onto a newer 21kV designed system.  Screen 10 remains but it differs from the more streamlined version of the SCE proposal.
  • The details of the Independent Study Process(ISP)  include only an electrical independence screen, which has some subtle differences from the SCE proposal.
  • For the Cluster Study Process this was of interest.  “If through Phase 1 study, entities are discovered to be in a “cluster of one” transition to ISP facilities study for a quicker interconnection”
  • An interconnection customer whose system impact study in not complete by the close of the first CAISO cluster #4 window (March 31, 2011) will be studied under the cluster process.  Being in the SGIP process now does not mean you won’t be changed to the new rules. 

So now that we have the complete documents from the two CA giants, SCE and PG&E, a detailed study of the various differences is underway.  Before I thought that the old SGIP rules for the two were very very similar.  If these changes are approved as submitted then we have two different rules to follow in  CA alone for solar PV.

Navigation through these massively changed CAISO transmission interconnection and SCE/PG&E distribution interconnnection rules takes some thought and consideration.  You could tell by the subtle guestions asked by the skilled developers how important these details are.  $100,000 here and $100,000 thousand there and your project IRR is trashed.

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