§ 39-26.3-3. Application process.
(a) The application process set out in this section shall be applicable to electric distribution companies thirty (30) days after the enactment of this chapter.
(b) An applicant for a renewable distributed generation interconnection must submit an application to the electric distribution company for an impact study, including a request for an estimate of the cost of interconnecting the renewable distributed generation resource to the distribution system. The applicant may request a feasibility study prior to requesting an impact study, but the applicant is not required to do so and may submit an application for an impact study without having obtained a feasibility study. The distribution company shall follow the schedule below for all applications.
(c) Upon receipt of a completed application requesting a feasibility study and receipt of the applicable feasibility study fee, the electric distribution company shall provide a feasibility study to the applicant within thirty (30) days.
(d) Upon receipt of a completed application requesting an impact study and receipt of the applicable impact study fee, the electric distribution company shall provide an impact study within ninety (90) days.
(e) In anticipation of the electric distribution company needing to add resources that are not currently in Rhode Island or covered in rates, to provide the necessary services to advance the aggressive goals and objectives set forth in title 39, the electric distribution company shall be authorized to add up to two (2) incremental employee resources located in Rhode Island that shall be primarily dedicated to servicing Rhode Island applicants and customers in connection with net metering and the development of distributed generation resources, including the requisite resources to perform impact and feasibility studies for distributed generation interconnections and to assure that feasibility studies and impact studies, as well as other engineering activity necessary to facilitate the completion of distributed generation projects in Rhode Island are implemented and delivered on a timely basis. Prior to new rates going into effect following the company's next general rate case filing, the cost of such incremental employee resources shall be recovered through rates on an annual basis through an annual reconciliation mechanism, provided that the total amount of fees collected from impact studies and feasibility studies shall be netted against such costs. Only the cost of time and work actually spent on Rhode Island renewable energy project matters shall be included in such annual reconciliation. The commission shall have the authority to review these positions in the electric distribution company's next general rate case as a cost of service in the same manner as it reviews all other expenses in a rate case to determine whether they should continue. Nothing contained in this section shall preclude the electric distribution company from adding additional resources, subject to commission approval.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the application process and fees set forth in this chapter apply only to interconnections to the distribution system by renewable distributed generation resources. To the extent that a renewable generation resource seeks an interconnection to the transmission system and such interconnection request is governed by rules and regulations under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal energy regulatory commission, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply.
(g) The rules and fees established in this chapter shall be incorporated within the applicable "Standards for Interconnection of Distributed Generation" approved by the commission.
(P.L. 2011, ch. 140, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 144, § 1.)