The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) adopted revised standards and procedures for the interconnection of generating facilities in New Mexico in July 2008.
Rule 569 applies to all qualifying facilities (QFs) under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, which generally includes all renewable energy systems and combined heat and power (CHP) systems up to 80 megawatts (MW) in capacity.
Rule 568 applies to renewable energy systems and CHP systems up to 10 MW in capacity. The purpose of Rule 568 is to simplify the interconnection requirements for QFs up to 10 MW and to encourage the use of small-scale, customer-owned renewables or alternative energy resources.
All utilities subject to PRC jurisdiction must offer net metering and comply with these standards. (Municipal utilities, which are not regulated by the commission, are exempt.)
Two of New Mexico’s investor-owned utilities currently offer performance-based incentives to interconnected customers in exchange for the customer’s generated renewable energy certificates (a compliance mechanism for the state’s renewable portfolio standard). For more information, click on the program of interest:
Interconnection applications will generally follow this review path:
Systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity are eligible for the "Simplified Interconnection Process," which includes simplified applications.
Systems greater than 10 kW and up to 2 MW are eligible for the "Fast Track Process," which might include supplemental review.
Systems greater than 2 MW and up to 10 MW must follow the "Full Interconnection Study Process."
Systems greater than 10 MW must follow the "Case Specific Study Process."
All systems must comply with all relevant local and national standards (including the NEC, IEEE and UL standards) and meet any additional requirements approved by the PRC. A redundant external disconnect device is required for all interconnected systems. For systems greater than 10 kW, the disconnect switch must be visibly marked and accessible to and lockable by the utility.
The PRC may require the owner of a generating facility with a rated capacity of up to 250 kW to obtain general liability insurance prior to connecting with a utility if the utility provides a sufficient reason for doing so. A utility may directly and independently require owners of systems greater than 250 kW to provide proof of insurance, with reasonable limits not to exceed $1,000,000, or other reasonable evidence of financial responsibility. A mutual indemnification agreement between the customer and the utility is required.
Interconnected customers must pay an application fee that varies according to the size of the system. Systems up to 10 kW must pay $50; systems greater than 10 kW and up to 100 kW must pay $100; and systems greater 100 kW must pay $100 plus $1 per kW. In addition to these fees, a small utility with fewer than 50,000 customers may charge reasonable consulting fees for systems greater than 10 kW.