§ 39-26.3-4.1. Interconnection standards.
(a) The electric distribution company may only charge an interconnecting, renewable energy customer for any system modifications to its electric power system specifically necessary for and directly related to the interconnection.
(b) If the public utilities commission determines that a specific system modification benefiting other customers has been accelerated due to an interconnection request, it may order the interconnecting customer to fund the modification subject to repayment of the depreciated value of the modification as of the time the modification would have been necessary as determined by the public utilities commission. Any system modifications benefiting other customers shall be included in rates as determined by the public utilities commission.
(c) If an interconnecting, renewable energy customer is required to pay for system modifications and a subsequent renewable energy or commercial customer relies on those modifications to connect to the distribution system within ten (10) years of the earlier interconnecting, renewable energy customer's payment, the subsequent customer will make a prorated contribution toward the cost of the system modifications that will be credited to the earlier interconnecting, renewable energy customer as determined by the public utilities commission.
(d) An electric distribution company shall acknowledge to the interconnecting, renewable energy customer receipt of an application to initiate the interconnection process within three (3) business days of receipt. The electric distribution company shall notify the interconnecting, renewable energy customer in writing within ten (10) business days of receipt that the application is or is not complete and, if not, advise what is missing. Any disputes regarding whether and when an application to initiate the interconnection process is complete shall be resolved expeditiously at the public utilities commission. The maximum time allowed between the date of the completed application and delivery of an executable interconnection service agreement shall be one hundred seventy-five (175) calendar days or two hundred (200) calendar days if a detailed study is required. All electric distribution company system modifications must be completed by the date which is the later of: (1) No longer than two hundred seventy (270) calendar days, or three hundred sixty (360) calendar days if substation work is necessary, from the date of the electric distribution company's receipt of the interconnecting, renewable energy customer's executed interconnection service agreement; or (2) The interconnecting, renewable energy customer's agreed-upon extension of the time between the execution of the interconnection service agreement and interconnection as set forth in writing. All deadlines herein are subject to all payments being made in accordance with the distributed-generation interconnection tariff on file with the public utilities commission and the interconnection service agreement. These system modification deadlines cannot be extended due to customer delays in providing required information, all of which must be requested and obtained before completion of the impact study. The deadlines for completion of system modifications will be extended only to the extent of events that are clearly not under the control of the electric distribution company, such as extended prohibitive weather, union work stoppage or force majeure, or third-party delays, including, without limitation, delays due to ISO-NE requirements not attributable to electric distribution company actions, and that cannot be resolved despite commercially reasonable efforts. The electric distribution company shall notify the customer of the start of any claimed deadline extension as soon as practicable, its cause and when it concludes, all in writing. Any actual damages that a court of competent jurisdiction orders the electric distribution company to pay to an interconnecting, renewable energy customer as a direct result of the electric distribution company's failure to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall be payable by its shareholders and may not be recovered from customers, provided that the total amount of damages awarded for any and all such claims shall not exceed, in the aggregate, an amount equal to the amount of the incentive the electric distribution company would have earned as provided for in §§ 39-26.6-12(j)(3) and 39-26.1-4 in the year in which the system modifications were required to be completed. In no event shall the electric distribution company be liable to the interconnecting, renewable energy customer for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or punitive damages of any kind whatsoever as a result of the electric distribution company's failure to comply with this section.
(e) On or before September 1, 2017, the public utilities commission shall initiate a docket to establish metrics for the electric distribution company's performance in meeting the time frames set forth herein and in the distributed-generation interconnection standards approved by the public utilities commission. The public utilities commission may include incentives and penalties in the performance metrics.
(f) The proposed interconnection of any new renewable energy resource that replaces the same existing renewable energy resource of the same or less nameplate capacity that has been in operation in the twelve (12) months preceding notification of the replacement shall be subject to a sixty-day (60) review. The purpose of such sixty-day (60) review is to allow the electric distribution company to determine whether any system modifications are required to support the interconnection of the replacement renewable energy resource. If there is a need for system modifications because of an interconnection policy change implemented by the electric distribution company, then the system modification may be included in rates as determined by the public utilities commission. If there is a need for system modifications only because of a change in the rating or utility disturbance response that adversely affects the impact of the facility on the distribution system, then the interconnecting, renewable energy customer shall be responsible for the cost of the system modifications.
(P.L. 2017, ch. 112, § 2; P.L. 2017, ch. 176, § 2.)