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Interconnection Issues
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council's (IREC) 2003 publication (see below) on interconnection categorizes the issues in three groups:
  • Technical issues include the safety, power quality, system impacts that must be addressed. Safety must be viewed from both the perspective of the DG owner and the utility, and while there is growing consensus that individual DG and renewable energy systems can be prevented from islanding, attention is now more focused on the high penetration levels on individual feeders. The national safety codes are discussed in this context.
  • Procedural and legal issues are becoming more important as time delays and uncertainty have been identified as major barriers to successful inter-connection. This includes having a clear process defined, incorporating time limits for steps in the process, and using standardized forms.

    Tariffs, rates, and fees comprise the third set of interconnection issues and represent major barriers to interconnection if not structured properly.
IREC continues:

"While the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) formally opened the door for non-utility owned generation, the smaller scale of distributed generation technologies today and the potentially high levels of penetration in the distribution grid force the interconnection issues into sharper focus. DG technologies on the market fall in the <1 kW - 10 MW range, which is small compared to industrial co-generation units, which are rarely under 100 megawatts (MW). This difference in scale has important implications for interconnection requirements. Whereas the developer of an industrial co-generation facility can afford to have a professional engineer review the system design and an attorney review the utility contract, experience has shown that these sorts of non-equipment expenses can be deal killers for a residential customer looking to install a 1 kW PV system or a small business owner looking to install a 1 MW combined heat and power unit."
The State of Oregon currently does not have uniform interconnection standards or procedures. Each utility has different requirements. Contact your utility at an early phase of your project to find out what is required.

For more information:
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has an excellent draft Guidelines that also contains Model Procedures, Application and Agreement forms.
IREC Interconnection Newsletter
From the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners: "Model Distributed Generation Interconnection Procedures and Agreement".
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association ToolKit
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory
California Energy Commission has several publications that are informative:
Interconnection Guidebook
Distributed Energy Resource Guide: California Electric Rule 21, Supplemental Review Guideline (December 5, 2002)
Renewable Energy
Wind Energy Home
National Wind Resource Assessment
National Wind Technology Center (NREL)
United States Department of Energy - Wind Energy Program