On December 27, 2010, the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) opened a public comment period for minor changes to the state’s net metering and interconnection rules.
Back in June, 2010, the PSC issued an order, promulgating final, state-wide rules governing net metering arrangements and interconnection for distributed generation systems. The rules became effective August 30, 2010. However, on September 29, on its own motion, the PSC initiated a general investigation proceeding to invite comments on a proposed rulemaking to amend these rules to correct an error identified by the PSC, after the rules were issued. The rules contained an omission in the Interconnection Agreement (Level 2), which is attached to the Form No. 2 interconnection standards as Appendix F. Article 3.3.2 of the Agreement refers to an “Article 6.6” default provision that does not exist in the Agreement. In October PSC Staff filed comments, recommending proposed rule amendments to correct the Appendix F–Interconnection Agreement (Level 2) in the Net Metering Rules.
To correct the omission in the Agreement, Staff recommended that the Commission revise the Agreement based on the provisions of Article 6 in the model interconnection agreement provided in the current edition of the IREC Model Interconnection Procedures. Staff omitted reference to the limitation of liability, indemnity, and consequential damages provisions that are also included in the model interconnection agreement in Article 6. In its comments filed, Staff did not explain why it included the default and force majeure provisions, but omitted the other provisions included in Article 6 of the IREC model interconnection agreement, in its proposed language to correct the Agreement.
In the absence of a reason to depart from IREC’s model, the PSC proposes to correct the Interconnection Agreement (Level 2) by incorporating the relevant model Article 6 provisions in their entirety into the proposed rules. In the comment period provided by this Order, Staff and other interested parties will have the opportunity to file comments regarding the proposed amendments to the Appendix F–Interconnection Agreement (Level 2) and to address whether or not the Commission should include the complete Article 6 provisions from the model interconnection agreement provided in the IREC Model Interconnection Procedures, 2009 Edition, in the final rules. The Commission requests that the parties file specific comments to address what of the model Article 6 provisions from the IREC model interconnection agreement should be included in the revised Agreement, based on West Virginia law and the best policy practices for this jurisdiction.
In a separate rulemaking the PSC also amended the definition for “run of river hydropower” and so the PSC also wanted to change this definition in the state’s net metering and interconnection rules.
The public comment period ends January 26, 2011 and allows interested parties to comment on these changes.