Maine PUC adopts “best practices” interconnection standards

MAINE –On January 4, the PUC issued an order in Docket No. 2009-219 (readers can look up the docket in the MPUC website) adopting statewide interconnection procedures. These procedures apply to all technologies, regardless of system size. The procedures establish four levels of review for interconnection requests and utility external disconnect switches are prohibited for small, inverter-based systems. A number of provisions in the standard were based on IREC’s Model Interconnection Procedures, including screens for network interconnections, insurance levels, and timelines. Although this policy was not adopted in time for inclusion in the 2009 Freeing the Grid Report, it would have received an “A” and surpassed Virginia as the top score for Interconnection.  Sorry Virginia.

Highlights include:

  • All state-jurisdictional interconnections are applicable, regardless of size of the generator
  • Four Interconnection levels of review (including a non-export level)
  • Spot and area network interconnection provisions are the same as those found in IREC’s model procedures.
  • Disconnect switch is prohibited for small inverter-based systems.
  • Application fees are $50 for level 1; $50 + $1/kW for other levels
  • Engineering fees: fixed at $100/hour
  • Insurance provisions were adopted levels from IREC’s 2009 model
  • Timelines were similar to IREC’s model
  • The dispute resolution adopts a flexible approach that allows commission to tailor to the circumstances, including use of informal methods such as teleconferences

The rule needs to be approved by the Attorney General before becoming effective.

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