Application ProcessiconForm1

  1. Provide an expedited process for systems under 25kW with a max. review time of 3 business days.
  2. 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. 
  3. Make the application form easy to find online.
  4. Allow applications to be submitted electronically by email or through an online platform. Some utilities use services like PowerClerk to streamline online application processing.
  5. Consider combining application process with incentive and / or permit applications.
  6. Provide a single point of contact for every aspect of interconnection and metering.
  7. Make it easy for the customer to check the status of the application.
  8. 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.