New York State Standardized Interconnection Requirements and Application Process for New Distributed Generators and Energy Storage Systems 5 MW or Less Connected in Parallel with Utility Distribution Systems (“SIR”)

 a framework for processing applications to: interconnect new distributed generation (DG) facilities with an alternating current (AC) generator nameplate rating of 5 MW or less aggregated on the customer side of the point of common coupling (PCC); 

 

Application Process Steps for Systems above 50 kW up to 5 MW 

 

STEP 1: Initial Communication from the Potential Applicant.

Communication could range from a general inquiry to a completed application. 

 

STEP 2: The Inquiry is Reviewed by the Utility to Determine the Nature of the Project. 

 

Technical staff from the utility may discuss the scope of the interconnection with the potential applicant (either by phone or in person) and shall provide a copy of the SIR and any utility specific technical specifications that may apply. A utility representative shall be designated to serve as the single point of contact for the applicant in coordinating the potential applicant’s project with the utility. At this time the applicant may also request that a PreApplication Report (see Appendix D herein) be provided by the utility. The applicant shall provide a non-refundable fee of $750 with its request for completion of the Pre-Application Report. The Pre-Application Report shall be provided to the applicant within ten (10) Business Days of receipt of the form and payment of the fee.  The Pre-Application Report will be nonbinding and shall only provide the electrical system data and information requested that is readily available to the utility. Should the applicant formally apply to interconnect their proposed DG project within fifteen (15) Business Days of receipt of the utility’s PreApplication Report, the $750 will be applied towards the application fee in Step 3.
 

STEP 3: Potential Applicant Files an Application

 

The potential applicant submits an application to the utility in the name of the customer.2 A complete application package will consist of all items detailed in Appendix F. Electronic submission of all documents via the Interconnection Online Application Portal (IOAP) is required.  If a Pre-Application Report has been provided to the customer, and an application is received by the utility within fifteen (15) Business Days of the date of issue of the PreApplication Report, a $750 credit will be applied towards the application fee. Otherwise, payment of a non-refundable $750 application fee is required except that the application fee shall be refunded to net metering customer-generators unless applied toward the cost of installing a dedicated transformer(s) or other safety equipment. If the applicant proceeds with the project to  completion, the application fee will be applied as a payment to the utility’s total cost for interconnection, including the cost of processing the application. 

The utility shall review the application to determine whether it is complete in accordance with Appendix F, and whether any additional information is required from the applicant. The utility shall notify the applicant in writing within ten (10) Business Days following receipt of the application. If the application is not complete, the utility shall provide a detailed explanation of the deficiencies and provide a list of additional information needed to the applicant. The utility shall notify the applicant by email, fax, or other form of written communication. 

If the applicant fails to submit all items required by Appendix F, or to provide additional information identified by the utility within thirty (30) Business Days following the date of the utility’s notification, the application shall be deemed withdrawn and no further action on the part of the utility is required. 

A completed application shall be placed in the utility’s interconnection queue.  If the required documentation is presented in this step, it will allow the utility to move to Step 4 and perform the required reviews and allow the process to proceed as expeditiously as possible. 

The utility will refund any advance payments for services or construction not yet completed should the applicant be removed from the utility’s interconnection inventory. If the costs incurred by the utility exceed the advance payments made by the applicant prior to removal from the interconnection inventory, the applicant will receive a bill for any balance due to the utility.

 

 

CESIR STEP 4: Utility Performs Preliminary / Supplemental Screening Analysis and Develops a Cost Estimate for the Coordinated Electric System Interconnection Review (CESIR) if required 

The utility shall perform a Preliminary Screening Analysis of the proposed system interconnection utilizing the technical screens A through F detailed in Appendix G. The Preliminary Screening Analysis shall be completed and a written response detailing the results of each screen and the overall outcome of the Preliminary Screening Analysis shall be sent to the applicant within fifteen (15) Business Days of the completion of Step 3. Depending on the results of the Preliminary Screening Analysis and the subsequent choices of the applicant, the following process(es) will apply: 
If the Preliminary Screening Analysis finds that the applicant’s proposed system passes all of the relevant technical screens (i.e., Screens A through F) and is in compliance with the Interconnection Requirements outlined in Section II, and there are no requirements for Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades, the utility will return a signed and executed New York State Standardized Interconnection Contract to the applicant. The applicant will sign and return the contract within 15 Business Days after receipt from the utility and proceed with the interconnection process. 
If the Preliminary Screening Analysis finds that the applicant’s proposed system cannot pass all of the relevant technical screens (i.e., Screens A through F), the utility shall provide the technical reasons, data and analysis supporting the Preliminary Screening Analysis results in writing. The applicant shall notify the utility within ten (10) Business Days following such notification whether to (i) proceed to a Preliminary Screening Analysis results meeting, (ii) proceed to Supplemental Screening Review, (iii) proceed to a full CESIR, or (iv) withdraw the Interconnection Request. If the applicant fails to notify the utility of their decision within thirty (30) Business Days of notification of the Preliminary Screening Analysis results, the application shall be removed from the queue and no further action on the part of the utility is required. 

i. If the applicant chooses to proceed to a Preliminary Screening Analysis results meeting and modifications that obviate the need for Supplemental Screening Analysis are identified, and the applicant and the utility agree to such modifications, the utility shall return a signed and executed New York State Standardized Interconnection Contract within fifteen (15) Business Days of the Preliminary Screening Analysis results meeting if no Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades are required. The applicant will sign and return the contract within 15 Business Days after receipt from the utility and proceed with the interconnection process. 


If Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades are required and agreed to, the utility shall provide the applicant with a non-binding cost estimate of any Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades within fifteen (15) Business Days of the Preliminary Screening Analysis results meeting. The applicant will pay the cost estimate as provided in Section D. 


If the applicant chooses to proceed to a Preliminary Screening Analysis results meeting and modifications that obviate the need for Supplemental Analysis are not identified and agreed to, the applicant shall notify the utility within ten (10) business days of the meeting of their intention to (i) proceed to Supplemental Screening Analysis, (ii) proceed to a full CESIR, or (iii) withdraw the application. If the applicant fails to notify the utility of their decision within thirty (30) business days, the application shall be removed from the queue and no further action on the part of the utility is required. 


ii. Applicants that elect to proceed to Supplemental Screening Analysis shall provide a nonrefundable fee of $2,500 with their response; however actual costs up to a maximum of $5,000 will be billable to the applicant upon reconciliation of utility costs as defined in Step 11 or exit from the interconnection queue. The utility shall complete the Supplemental Screening Analysis within twenty (20) Business Days, absent extraordinary circumstances, following authorization and receipt of the fee. If the Supplemental S c r e e n i n g Analysis finds that the applicant’s proposed system passes all of the relevant technical screens (i.e., screens G through I) and is in compliance with the Interconnection Requirements outlined in Section II, then there are no requirements for Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades. Thus, the utility will return a signed and executed New York State Standardized Interconnection Contract to the applicant within fifteen (15) Business Days of providing the applicant the results of the Supplemental Screening Analysis. The applicant will sign and return the contract within fifteen (15) Business Days after receipt from the utility and proceed with the interconnection process. 


If the Supplemental Screening Analysis finds that the applicant’s proposed system cannot pass all of the relevant technical screens (i.e., Screens G through I), the utility shall provide the technical reasons, data, and analysis supporting the Supplemental Screening Analysis results in writing. The applicant shall notify the utility within ten (10) Business Days following such notification whether to (i) proceed to a Supplemental Screening Analysis results meeting, (ii) proceed to a full CESIR, or (iii) withdraw the application. If the applicant fails to notify the utility of their decision within thirty (30) Business Days of notification of the 

Supplemental Screening Analysis results, the application shall be removed from the queue and no further action on the part of the utility is required. 
 

i. If the applicant chooses to proceed to a Supplemental Screening Analysis results meeting and modifications that obviate the need for a CESIR are identified, and the applicant and the utility agree to such modifications, the utility shall return a signed and executed New York State Standardized Interconnection Contract within fifteen (15) Business Days of the Supplemental Screening Analysis results meeting if no Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades are required. The applicant will sign and return the contract within 15 Business Days after receipt from the utility and proceed with the interconnection process. 


If Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades are required and agreed to, the utility shall provide the applicant with a non-binding cost estimate of any Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades within fifteen (15) Business Days of the Supplemental Screening Analysis results meeting. The applicant will pay the cost estimate as provided in Section D. 
 

ii. If the applicant chooses to proceed to a Supplemental Screening Analysis results meeting and modifications that obviate the need for CESIR are not identified and agreed to, the applicant shall notify the utility, within ten (10) business days of the meeting, of their intention to proceed to a full CESIR or withdraw the application. If the applicant fails to notify the utility of their decision within thirty (30) Business Days of notification of the Supplemental Screening Analysis results, the application shall be removed from the queue and no further action on the part of the utility is required. 
iii. If the applicant and the utility are unable to identify or agree to modifications that enable the applicant to pass either the Initial or Supplemental Screening Analysis or if the applicant chooses at any time in the above process to proceed directly to a CESIR, the utility shall provide the applicant with an estimate of costs associated with the completion of the CESIR within five (5) Business Days of the final notification to/from the applicant. The applicant shall notify the utility within ten (10) business days of receiving this cost estimate of their intention to proceed to a full CESIR and move on to Step 5 or to withdraw their application. 


If Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades are required to interconnect a proposed system that passes the relevant screens, the utility shall provide the applicant with a non-binding cost estimate for the Interconnection Facilities or Distribution Upgrades within fifteen (15) Business Days of the Preliminary or Supplemental Screening Analysis. The applicant will pay the cost estimate as provided in Section D. 
 

STEP 5: Applicant Commits to the Completion of the CESIR 

 

Prior to commencement of the CESIR, the applicant shall provide the following information to the utility: 
• a complete, detailed interconnection design package; 

• proof of site control by executing the New York State Standard Site Control Certification Form, Appendix J; 
• the name, phone number, and agent letter of authorization (if appropriate) of the individual(s) responsible for addressing technical and contractual questions regarding the proposed system; and 
• if applicable, advance payment of the costs associated with the completion of the CESIR. 

 

The complete detailed interconnection design package shall include: 
(1) Electrical schematic drawing(s), including a site plan, reflecting the complete proposed 
system design which are easily interpreted and of a quality necessary for full interconnection. The drawings shall show all electrical components proposed for the installation and their connections to the existing on-site electrical system from that point to the PCC, and shall be clearly marked to distinguish between new and existing equipment. For those systems proposed to be interconnected at a system voltage of 1000 volts or greater, the drawings shall be sealed by an NYS licensed Professional Engineer. 
(2) A complete listing of all interconnection devices proposed for use at the PCC. A set of specifications for this equipment shall be provided by the applicant upon request from the utility. 
(3) The written verification test procedure provided by the equipment manufacturer, if such procedure is required by this document. For non-inverter based systems, testing equipment must be capable of measuring that protection settings operate within the appropriate times and thresholds set forth in Section II. 
(4) Three (3) copies of the following information: 
• Proposed three-line diagram of the generation system showing the interconnection of major electrical components within the system. Single line diagrams shall be acceptable for single-phase installations. Proposed equipment ratings clearly need to indicate: 
1) Number, individual ratings, and type of units comprising the above rating; 2) General high voltage bus configuration and relay functions; and 3) Proposed generator step-up transformer MVA ratings, impedances, tap settings, and winding voltage ratings; 
• Electrical studies as requested by the utility to demonstrate that the design is within acceptable limits, inclusive and not limited to the following: system fault, relay coordination, flicker, voltage drop, and harmonics. This shall include all relay, communication, and controller setpoints. 

If the utility determines that the detailed interconnection design package provided by the applicant is incomplete or otherwise deficient, the utility shall notify the applicant within ten (10) Business Days and provide a detailed explanation of the deficiencies identified and a list of what is required by the applicant. Unless otherwise notified by the utility, the CESIR review period begins upon confirmed receipt and acceptance of the applicant’s interconnection design package and associated fees. 


If the applicant fails to provide the utility authorization to proceed, CESIR fee, and information requested within thirty (30) Business Days of the request, the application shall be removed from the queue and no further action on the part of the utility is required. 

STEP 6: Utility Completes the CESIR 

The CESIR will consist of two parts: 
1) a detailed review and explanation of the impacts to the utility system associated with 
the interconnection of the proposed system, and 
2) a detailed review and explanation of the proposed system’s compliance with the applicable criteria set forth below. 
A CESIR will be performed by the utility to determine if the proposed generation on the circuit results in any protective coordination, fault current, thermal, voltage, power quality, or equipment stress concerns. 
The CESIR shall be completed within sixty (60) Business Days of receipt of the information set forth in Step 5. For systems utilizing type-tested equipment, the time required to complete the CESIR may be reduced. The utility shall complete the CESIR within sixty (60) Business Days, absent extraordinary circumstances, following authorization, receipt of the CESIR fee, and complete information set forth in Step 5. If the applicant fails to provide the utility authorization to proceed, CESIR fee and information requested within thirty (30) Business Days, the interconnection request shall be removed from the queue and no further action on the part of the utility is required. 
The applicant and the utility may agree to allow up to an additional forty (40) Business Days beyond the time specified above for completion of the CESIR, provided that no other application is adversely impacted 
Upon completion of the CESIR, the utility will provide the following, in writing, to the applicant: 
1. notification of whether the proposed system meets the applicable criteria considered in the CESIR process; 
2. utility system impacts, if any; 3. a description of where the proposed system is not in compliance with these requirements; 4. detailed description of reasoning and justification for any system upgrades and associated equipment deemed necessary for interconnection of the project; 5. a good faith, detailed estimate of the total cost of completion of the interconnection of the proposed system and/or a statement of cost responsibility for a dedicated transformer(s) or other required interconnection equipment, which is valid for sixty (60) Business Days. 
Appendix E sets forth the responsibility each applicant shall have with respect to the actual cost of the dedicated transformer(s) and other safety equipment. Utility cost estimates provided in the CESIR shall be detailed and broken down by specific equipment requirements, material needs, labor, overhead, and any other categories or efforts incorporated in the estimate. Contingencies associated with the cost estimates shall not exceed +/- 25%. 

 

STEP 7: Applicant Commits to Utility Construction of Utility’s System Modifications 

The applicant will execute the New York Standardized Interconnection Contract for interconnection and provide the utility with an advance payment of 25% of the utility’s estimated costs as identified in Step 6 within the time provided in Section D. The utility is not required to procure any equipment or materials associated with the project or begin construction until full payment has been received. 

STEP 8: Project Construction 
 

The applicant and the utility shall collaborate to identify an in-service date and develop a project schedule (Appendix L). The applicant shall build the facility in accordance with the utility-accepted design and the project schedule. The utility shall commence construction/installation of system modifications in accordance with the project schedule. Utility system modifications will vary in construction time depending on the extent of work and equipment required; the schedule for this work is to be discussed and agreed upon with the applicant in Step 6. 

STEP 9: The Applicant’s Facility is Tested in Accordance with the Standardized Interconnection Requirements 

 

The verification testing shall be performed by the applicant in accordance with the written test procedure(s) provided by the applicant in Step 5 and any site-specific requirements identified by the utility in Step 6. The final verification testing shall be performed within ten (10) Business Days of notification to the utility by the applicant of complete installation at a mutually agreeable time, and the utility shall be given the opportunity to witness the tests. If the utility opts not to witness the tests, the applicant shall send the utility within five (5) Business Days of completion of such testing a written notification certifying that the system has been installed and tested in compliance with the SIR, the utility accepted design, and the equipment manufacturer’s instructions. 
 

STEP 10: Interconnection 

 

The applicant’s facility will be allowed to commence parallel operation upon satisfactory completion of the tests in Step 9. In addition, the applicant must have complied with and must continue to comply with the contractual and technical requirements. 

 

STEP 11: Final Acceptance and Utility Cost Reconciliation 

 

If the utility witnessed the verification testing, then, within ten (10) Business Days of the completion of such testing, the utility will issue to the applicant either a formal letter of acceptance for interconnection or a detailed explanation of the deficiencies in the system. If the utility did not witness the verification testing, then, within ten (10) Business Days of receiving the written test notification from Step 9, the utility will either issue to the applicant a formal letter of acceptance for interconnection, or will request that the applicant and utility set a date and time to witness operation of the DG system. This witnessed verification testing must be completed within twenty (20) Business Days after being requested. Within ten (10) Business Days of the completion of any such witnessed testing, the utility will issue to the applicant either a formal letter of acceptance for interconnection or a detailed explanation of the deficiencies in the DG system. Within sixty (60) Business Days after issuance of the utility’s formal letter of acceptance, or submittal of final as-built drawings to the utility, whichever occurs last, the utility shall prepare and submit to the applicant a final reconciliation statement of its actual costs less any CESIR and construction advance payments made by the applicant. Within twenty (20) Business Days after delivery of the reconciliation statement, the applicant will receive either a bill for any balance due or a reimbursement for overpayment from the utility as determined by the utility’s reconciliation. The applicant may contest the reconciliation with the utility. If the utility’s final reconciliation invoice states a balance due from the applicant, unless it is challenged by a formal complaint interposed by the applicant, it shall be paid to the utility within thirty (30) business days or the utility reserves the right to lock the generating system offline. If the utility’s final reconciliation invoice states a reimbursement for overpayment to be paid by the utility, unless the reimbursement amount is challenged by a formal complaint interposed by the applicant, it shall be paid to the applicant within thirty (30) business days. If the applicant is not satisfied, a formal complaint may be filed with the Secretary to the Commission. 
 

D. Payment and Construction Milestones 

Applicants are responsible for payment of utility system modification cost estimates in accordance with the following rules and deadlines. All project costs will be subject to Appendix E, where applicable. 
When the utility’s estimated cost is $10,000 or less, the applicant shall pay the utility 100% of the estimate within ninety (90) Business Days of receiving the cost estimate from the utility. Within fifteen (15) Business Days of receiving the payment, the utility will provide the applicant, via electronic communication, a signed New York State Standardized Interconnection Contract in the form of Appendix A and a written confirmation, on its letterhead, of the compensation eligibility for which the project has qualified. The applicant will sign and return the contract to the utility within fifteen (15) Business Days. If the applicant does not return the signed contract within this period, the application shall be removed from the utility’s interconnection queue, and no further action on the part of the utility is required. 
When the estimated cost is greater than $10,000, the applicant will make an advance payment of 25% of the estimate to the utility within ninety (90) Business Days of receiving the cost estimate. Within fifteen (15) Business Days of receiving the applicant’s payment, the utility will provide the applicant, via electronic communication, a receipt for the payment, a signed New York State Standardized Interconnection Contract in the form of Appendix A, and a written confirmation, on its letterhead, of the compensation eligibility for which the project has qualified. The applicant will sign and return the contract to the utility within fifteen (15) Business Days. The applicant may request an extension of no more than fifteen (15) Business Days to return the contract. If the applicant does not return the signed contract within the time allowed, the application shall be removed from the utility’s interconnection queue, and no further action on the part of the utility is required. 
Within thirty (30) Business Days of receiving the 25% payment, the utility shall provide an initial construction schedule to the applicant (consistent with Appendix L). The utility shall commence design work in accordance with its published guidance, unless otherwise directed by the applicant. 

The applicant will have one hundred and twenty (120) Business Days from when the utility confirms receipt of the 25% payment to pay the remaining 75% to the utility. The utility will provide a receipt to the applicant. Within thirty (30) Business Days of the payment, the utility will provide an updated construction schedule (consistent with Appendix L). 
If the applicant does not make a payment due under this section in the time required, the application shall be removed from the utility’s interconnection queue with no further action required of the utility. 
If the applicant withdraws or is removed from the interconnection queue at any point after making a payment required under this section, any unspent portions of these payments will be refunded to the applicant consistent with the timelines described in Section C, Step 11. 
If a local permitting moratorium prevents an applicant from meeting the above timelines, the utilities may grant affected project applicants an extension. To be granted an extension of the required timelines, the applicant must submit the New York State Standard Moratorium Attestation Form, Appendix I. Upon the applicant’s payment of 25% expected upgrade costs, if applicant has received its CESIR, returned the executed Interconnection Contract, and submitted the Attestation Form to the utility, the due date for the remainder of the total upgrade payment shall be adjusted to 120 business days from the end of the moratorium. If applicable, any unused portion of the 25% payment shall be refunded if the project does not move forward after receiving an extension. 
If the final acceptance as set out in Section C, Step 11 is not completed within twelve (12) months of the date the applicant returns the executed New York State Standardized Contract as a result of applicant inactivity, the utility has the right to notify the applicant by U.S. first class mail with delivery receipt confirmation that the applicant’s project will be removed from the 
utility’s interconnection queue if the applicant does not respond within thirty (30) Business Days of the issue of such notification and provide a project status update and/or justification as to why the project should remain in the utility’s interconnection inventory for an additional period of time

 

Section II. Interconnection Requirements 

 

A. Design Requirements 

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