South Dakota PUC Adopts Interconnection Rules for Systems up to 10 MW

SOUTH DAKOTA –On May 29, the South Dakota PUC issued an order approving their proposed South Dakota Small Generation Interconnection Rules. The rules specify interconnection procedures for systems up to 10 MW, based on the following tiers:

Tier 1: Includes inverter-based systems of 10 kW or less which uses only lab tested equipment, interconnecting to a distribution line.

Tier 2: Facilities that do not qualify for tier 1 review, with a nameplate rating of two MW or less, interconnecting to a distribution line or spot network serving one customer. Tier 2 facilities may use interconnection equipment that is either lab tested or field tested.

Tier 3: Facilities that do not qualify for 1 or 2, and have a nameplate capacity rating of 2 MW or less, not connecting to a transmission line. Tier 3 facilities may not export power beyond the point of interconnection and must use low forward power relays or other protection functions that prevent power flow onto the grid.

Tier 4: Interconnection review procedures for an application that does not qualify for tier 1, 2 or 3 and for which the small generator facility has a capacity of ten MW or less.

If a generation facility has a capacity of more than ten MW that may be subject to the commission’s interconnection jurisdiction, these rules may be used as the basis for the interconnection process. The rules also provide for multiple meter aggregation. The choice of whether to require an external disconnect switch seems to have been left to the discretion of the utility.

The application fees are as follows:

Tier 1: $50;

Tier 2: $50 plus $1 per kilowatt of rated generation output up to a maximum of $500;

Tier 3: $100 plus $2 per kilowatt of rated generation output up to a maximum of $1,000; and,

Tier 4: $100 plus $2 per kilowatt of rated generation output up to a maximum of $1,000.

The customer may also be responsible for the cost of minor system upgrades and adverse system impact mitigation upgrades.

These rules also impose the following insurance requirements:

Tier 1: Proof of adequate homeowners, general liability, or commercial liability insurance;

Tier 2: Proof of insurance up to a maximum of $500,000 per public utility request;

Tiers 3 and 4: Proof of insurance up to a maximum of $1,000,000 per public utility request.

In addition, for nonresidential systems and all systems 10 kW and greater, the insurance policy must include the naming of the public utility as an additional insured; a severability of interest clause or cross-liability clause; and, a provision that the public utility may not by reason of its inclusion as an additional insured incur liability to the insurance carrier for the payment of premium for the insurance. The customer may self-insure when applicable.

Utilities must also provide the commission with an annual report containing the following information for all interconnections in its service territory for the previous year: size of the facility, the amount paid by the small generator to the utility for interconnection, the date of the application, and the date the interconnection was completed.

If requested, commission staff may assist the parties in informal resolution of disputes. In the event the parties are unable to resolve the dispute within 30 calendar days or other period as the parties may agree upon by mutual agreement, the complaining party may formally file a complaint with the commission.

Please see docket RM08-002 for more information.


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