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Note: The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) opened a docket (Case 12-2051-EL-RDR) to review interconnection rules for investor-owned utilities. The PUCO adopted amended rules for electric generator interconnection service and standards, in accordance with the State of Ohio’s 5-year rule review procedures. The amended rules became effective on July 10, 2014.
Ohio's interconnection standards provide for three levels of review for the interconnection of DG systems up to 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity.
All applicants are eligible but not required to request pre-application report that provides site-specific information. Interested applicants can choose to obtain this pre-application report at a cost (request procedure, timeline and cost are detailed in 4901:1-22-04(B)(2)).
Level 1 simplified review procedure allows eligible inverter-based distributed generators to have their interconnection request reviewed within 15 business days and a standard interconnection agreement within 5 business days of determination. Key eligibility requirements for this process include a nameplate capacity of 25 kilowatts or less and meeting IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 standards. Additional, site-specific eligibility requirements and approval criteria are listed in the rules.
Level 2 interconnection has expedited and supplemental review procedures that applies to certified, inverter-based or synchronous systems up to 5 MW in capacity. Specific capacity limits vary depending upon criteria at the proposed point of interconnection. These systems must meet IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 standards and may not be interconnected at the transmission level. Technical screens, fees, capacity-limit criteria, and timelines are detailed in the rules. Approved applicants will receive a standard interconnection agreement.
If the electric distribution utility determines that the applicant does not meet the approval criteria, the utility can:
Level 3 interconnection, the standard procedure, applies to inverter-based or synchronous systems up to 20 MW in capacity that do not qualify for Level 1 or Level 2 certification. Technical screens, fees and timelines are detailed in the rules.
The interconnection forms specify two application forms for interconnection: a "short form" application for systems up to 25 kW in capacity and utilize equipment that is certified in compliance with IEEE 1547 and UL1741, and a standard application for systems that do not qualify for the "short form" application. The PUCO website also provides a checklist for applicants to determine whether to complete the "short form" or the standard form.
Each utility must provide applicants with a standard interconnection agreement following completion of project review, and must designate an employee or office to provide the applicant with information on the requirements for the utilities’ application review process. Utilities may not require additional liability insurance beyond proof of insurance. The rules include a provision for alternative dispute resolution for non-residential and non-commercial customers, and for formal complaints brought by applicants and interconnected customers. Interconnection to area networks is generally permitted but is subject to review under the 3 level review framework.