Interconnection Guidelines

Program Interconnection Guidelines
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Rhode Island
Website http://www.ripuc.state.ri.us/utilityinfo/electric.html
Technologies Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential

NOTE: SB 637 enacted in July 2017 prohibits distribution companies from charging interconnection charges for system modifications that is not directly related to the interconnection, except accelerated modifications for which the developer is repaid when the modification would have otherwise been made. Any upgrade paid by the developer for interconnection will be paid on a prorated basis by any future interconnection that relies on the particular upgrade for the period of 10 years. 

Rhode Island enacted legislation (HB 6222) in June 2011 to standardize the application process for the interconnection of customer-sited renewable-energy systems to the state’s distribution grid.  The new application process, which took effect in July 2011, applies to the state's electric distribution companies, including National Grid.

Under this process, an interconnection applicant must submit an application to the utility for an impact study, including a request for an estimate of the cost of interconnecting the proposed system. The applicant may choose to request a feasibility study prior to requesting an impact study. The utility must provide a feasibility study, if requested, within 30 days of receipt of a completed application, and it must provide an impact study within 90 days of receipt of a completed application.

There is no feasibility study fee for residential systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) that comply with UL 1741.1. There is a $50 fee for residential systems greater than 25 kW that comply with UL 1741.1. For non-residential systems, the feasibility study fee ranges from $100 to $2,500, depending on system size and whether the system complies with UL 1741.1.

There is no impact study fee for residential systems up to 25 kW that comply with UL 1741.1. There is a $100 fee for residential systems greater than 25 kW that comply with UL 1741.1. For non-residential systems, the impact study fee ranges from $500 to $10,000, depending on system size and whether the system complies with UL 1741.1. This fee structure will remain in effect through December 31, 2012. The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is authorized to raise fee levels beginning January 1, 2013.

SB 637 enacted in July 2017 prohibits distribution companies from charging interconnection charges for system modifications that is not directly related to the interconnection, except accelerated modifications for which the developer is repaid when the modification would have otherwise been made. Any upgrade paid by the developer for interconnection will be paid on a prorated basis by any future interconnection that relies on the particular upgrade for the period of 10 years. 

The electric distribution company must acknowledge the interconnection request within three business days, notify if the request is complete or not within ten business days, and complete interconnection service agreement within 175 calendar days or 200 calendar days if detailed study is required. All system modifications must be completed within 270 to 360 calendar days from interconnection service agreement. 

National Grid has incorporated these provisions into its "Standards for Interconnection of Distributed Generation." These standards are included in National Grid's tariffs, which are accessible via the PUC's web site.

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