Maine PUC Considers IREC Model Standards for Interconnection

MAINE – On December 5, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued a Draft Report on Small Generator Interconnection Standards, which is now available for public comment. During the 2008 session the Maine Legislature enacted a resolve (L.D. 2149) to encourage renewable energy and energy conservation in Maine. This resolve states that the PUC must review and make a determination regarding the establishment of statewide standards for the interconnection of small renewable energy facilities to the utility grid.

Currently in Maine, each utility has its own requirements for the interconnection of small generators to their distribution systems. The majority of comments received by the MPUC support imposing statewide standards for small generator interconnection. The report asserted that the adoption of statewide standards for the interconnection of renewable resources would compliment the state’s net metering rules and would further facilitate small renewable projects at the consumer level by making it easier and cheaper to connect systems to the grid.

The Commission report discussed the policy attributes of FERC’s Small Generator Interconnection Procedure (SGIP) and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc.’s (IREC) model standards and concluded that statewide interconnection procedures for Maine’s utilities should be imposed. Given that two of Maine’s utilities already use the FERC’s SGIP, the report recommends adopting the SGIP or a model rule like IREC’s. The report noted that the IREC model would be ‘more desirable,’ in that it is ‘somewhat less burdensome’ to utility customers who are seeking to interconnect small generation to their utility’s distribution system. Comments on this draft report are due by January 5, 2009. More information on this docket can be found at the MPUC website (Docket 2008-186).

 

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