- Provide an expedited process for systems under 25kW with a max. review time of 3 business days.
- Keep the application simple. For a standard inverter-based rooftop solar system, the interconnection application should be no more than two pages plus terms and conditions. Click to see an example.
- Make the application form easy to find online.
- Allow applications to be submitted electronically by email or through an online platform. Some utilities use services like PowerClerk to streamline online application processing.
- Consider combining application process with incentive and / or permit applications.
- Provide a single point of contact for every aspect of interconnection and metering.
- Make it easy for the customer to check the status of the application.
- Eliminate submission of single line drawings with the following possible exceptions:
• Systems that incorporate a battery backup
• Systems installed under a production incentive with a designated production meter
• Systems installed on a three phase service using single phase inverters
How do we rate?
Washington earns a “B” and Oregon earns an “A” in Freeing the Grid’s interconnection policies review. Washington interconnection policy is quite standard, considering that we have 62 different electric utilities. On-the-ground practice varies, however. Best practices noted by Freeing the Grid include:
- Adopt a standard EZ interconnection application for inverter-based rooftop solar systems
- Combine the application for interconnection with the application for a production meter, net metering, and possibly the Washington Department of Revenue certification.
- Make the application for easy to find and submit online
- Provide a single point of contact for every aspect of interconnection
- Eliminate redundant site visits by combining inspections wherever possible
- Provide a narrow window of time for the inspection to reduce the on-site wait time for installers.
Freeing the Grid’s suggestions for improvement for both states include:
- Remove requirements for redundant external disconnect switch
- Oregon should consider expanding interconnection procedures to all utilities (i.e., munis and co-ops)
- Washington should consider removing requirements for additional insurance.