United States: FERC Amends Pro Forma SGIP And SGIA

Last Updated: December 2 2013
Article by Glen S. Bernstein and Pamela C. Tsang

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Final Rule[1] on November 22 amending the pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Procedures (SGIP) and pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (SGIA). The SGIP and SGIA govern the interconnection of Small Generating Facilities with a public utility's transmission facilities or its FERC-jurisdictional distribution facilities and apply to facilities with capacity up to 20 megawatts (MW). The SGIP and SGIA also include special "fast track" provisions for Small Generating Facilities (no larger than 2 MW) as well as inverter-based facilities up to 10 kilowatts (kW).

FERC concluded that the reforms adopted in the Final Rule will reduce the time and cost required to process small generator requests for Interconnection Customers, maintain reliability, increase energy supply, and remove barriers to the development of new distributed resources. The effective date of the Final Rule is 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. As detailed below, Transmission Providers are required to make compliance filings within six months of the effective date of the Final Rule.

Preapplication Report

As part of the Final Rule, FERC adopted a proposal included in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that requires Transmission Providers to provide Interconnection Customers with an opportunity to request preapplication reports. FERC concluded that preapplication reports will help Interconnection Customers make more informed siting decisions and may diminish the practice of making multiple interconnection requests for a single project. Transmission Providers are required to provide a preapplication report within 20 business days of an initial request. A preapplication report will apply only to a single Point of Interconnection.

To facilitate the preparation of the report, an Interconnection Customer is required to complete a preapplication report request form. This form is set forth in section 1.2.2 of the pro forma SGIP and requests, among other things, the following information from the Interconnection Customer:

  • Type and size of generator
  • Single- or three-phase generator configuration
  • Whether the generator is stand-alone or serves on-site load
  • Whether the project requires new service or is an expansion of existing service
  • For single-phase circuits, the distance of the Point of Interconnection from the three-phase circuit

FERC believes the preapplication report request form will expedite the preapplication report process and resolve uncertainty about the precise location of a requested Point of Interconnection.

In response to concerns raised by a number of commenters, FERC clarified the data a Transmission Provider must provide and prepare for the preapplication report. A Transmission Provider must provide only data that is "readily available," meaning "information that the Transmission Provider currently has on hand." The Transmission Provider is not required to create new data, but it must gather and summarize information that it has readily available, such as available capacity or an estimate of available capacity, and must perform simple calculations using this information. The Transmission Provider is also required to provide reasonable clarifications but is not required to conduct any studies or analyses after issuing the report unless the Interconnection Customer makes a formal interconnection request.

FERC adopted a default fixed preapplication report fee of $300, which it found would often be sufficient to recover a Transmission Provider's costs of preparing the report. FERC rejected proposals to index the report fee or include an annual adjustment. However, Transmission Providers may propose a different fixed cost–based fee by providing a cost justification as part of the compliance filing required by the Final Rule.

Both the pro forma SGIP and the preapplication report will include a disclaimer that the information provided in the preapplication report is nonbinding and that the Transmission Provider will not be held liable if the information is no longer accurate. FERC added this disclaimer in response to comments that the report should be for informational purposes only, given the dynamic nature of system conditions. FERC adopted another disclaimer that would provide that the bank or circuit selected by the Transmission Provider in the preapplication report does not necessarily indicate the circuit to which the Interconnection Customer will ultimately connect.

Fast Track Process Eligibility

Under the Fast Track Process, technical screens are used to quickly identify reliability or safety issues. If the proposed interconnection passes the screens, the Transmission Provider must offer the Interconnection Customer an SGIA without further study. If the proposed interconnection fails the screens, but the Transmission Provider nonetheless determines that the proposed interconnection will not affect the safety and reliability of the system, the Transmission Provider must provide an SGIA to the Interconnection Customer. Otherwise, the Transmission Provider must give the Interconnection Customer the opportunity to attend a customer options meeting to discuss how to proceed.

FERC adopted a number of reforms to the Fast Track eligibility thresholds proposed by the stakeholder working group. For inverter-based machines, Fast Track eligibility will be based on individual system and generator characteristics as set forth in the table below.

Line Voltage

Fast Track Eligibility Regardless of Location

Fast Track Eligibility on a Mainline and S 2.5 Electrical Circuit Miles from Substation

< 5 kilovolt (kV)

≤ 500 kW

≤ 500 kW

≥ 5 kV and < 15 kV

≤ 2 MW

≤ 3 MW

≥ 15 kV and < 30 kV

≤ 3 MW

≤ 4 MW

≥ 30 kV and ≤ 69 kV

≤ 4 MW

≤ 5 MW

However, all projects interconnecting to lines greater than 69 kV are now ineligible for the Fast Track Process. FERC adopted language in section 2.1 of the pro forma SGIP reminding small generators that Fast Track eligibility is different from the Fast Track Process and that eligibility does not imply that the project will pass the Fast Track Process or supplemental review process.

Synchronous and induction machines will continue to be subject to the 2 MW Fast Track threshold. FERC explained that there are important technical differences between these generators and inverter-based generators. However, synchronous and induction machines may be interconnected under the Fast Track Process if they are interconnected to the Transmission Provider's system through a certified inverter or if they have been reviewed or tested by the Transmission Provider and determined to be safe to operate.

Fast Track Customer Options Meeting and Supplemental Review

If a proposed interconnection fails any of the Fast Track technical screens and the Interconnection Customer elects to attend a customer options meeting, the Transmission Provider must, in that meeting, (1) offer to perform facility modifications or minor modifications to its system that would allow the interconnection and to provide a nonbinding good-faith estimate of the cost to make the modifications; (2) offer to perform a supplemental review if the Transmission Provider may determine, through that review, that the Small Generating Facility could continue to qualify for interconnection under the Fast Track Process; or (3) obtain the Interconnection Customer's agreement to continue evaluating the interconnection request under the SGIP Study Process.

FERC added the following three screens to the supplemental review, based in part on supplemental review experience in California: (1) the Minimum Load Screen, (2) the power quality and voltage screen, and (3) the safety and reliability screen. FERC stated that the addition of these three screens will enhance transparency and consistency in the supplemental review process and "strike a balance" between handling the increased volume of small generator interconnection requests and maintaining the safety and reliability of the electric system. The Transmission Provider does not have to perform the Minimum Load Screen if the necessary data is unavailable or if it is unable to calculate, estimate, or determine minimum load, but the Transmission Provider must inform the Interconnection Customer of its reason for not performing the screen.

The Transmission Provider must provide a good-faith estimate of the cost to perform the supplemental review, and the Interconnection Customer is responsible for the actual cost of conducting the supplemental review. If the Interconnection Customer does not agree to pay the supplemental review fee, the Transmission Provider will direct the interconnection request to the section 3 Study Process for evaluation unless the Interconnection Customer withdraws the request.

FERC adopted language that would allow the Interconnection Customer to specify the order in which the supplemental review screens are performed. Additionally, the Transmission Provider is required to notify the Interconnection Customer within two business days if the Small Generating Facility fails any of the screens. The Transmission Provider is also required to obtain permission to continue with the supplemental review for informational purposes or to determine if the interconnection can proceed with minor modifications to the Transmission Provider's system.

If the proposed interconnection passes the supplemental review screens and does not require the Transmission Provider to construct facilities on its system, the Interconnection Customer is provided with an SGIA within 10 business days of being notified of the supplemental review results. If the Transmission Provider must construct interconnection facilities or make minor modifications to its system for the proposed interconnection to pass the supplemental review screens, and the Interconnection Customer agrees to pay for the costs of construction or modification, the Interconnection Customer will receive an SGIA within 15 business days of receiving written notification of the supplemental review results. However, if the proposed interconnection requires more than interconnection facilities or minor modifications, the proposed interconnection does not pass the supplemental review screens and must be evaluated under the Study Process. There is no cost threshold for modifications to fall within the term "minor modifications," but the term includes modifications such as changing meters, fuses, and relay settings.

Review of Required Upgrades

An Interconnection Customer will have the opportunity to review and comment on the upgrades that the Transmission Provider finds necessary for interconnection. Upon request, the Transmission Provider must provide the supporting documentation that is developed to prepare the interconnection facilities study. However, while an Interconnection Customer has a right to review and comment, the Transmission Provider will make the final decision on upgrades required for interconnection because it is responsible for the safety and reliability of its system.

If a Transmission Provider incorporates or proposes to incorporate Interconnection Customer comments through a process that differs from the one included in the Final Rule, the Transmission Provider may submit a compliance filing demonstrating how its process is consistent with or superior to the process set forth in the Final Rule.

Interconnection of Storage Devices

FERC found that the definition of "Small Generating Facility" is broad enough to include storage devices. It revised the definition to specify that it includes "storage for later injection of electricity."

To explain what capacity a Transmission Provider should use when determining whether a storage device may interconnect under the SGIP instead of under the Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (LGIP) and whether the storage device qualifies for the Fast Track Process, FERC revised the SGIP to clarify that the term "capacity" refers to "the maximum capacity that a device is capable of injecting into the Transmission Provider's system." To measure the capacity of a Small Generating Facility, the Transmission Provider must rely on the capacity specified in the interconnection request, which may be less than the maximum capacity the device is capable of injecting into the Transmission Provider's system. The Transmission Provider must agree that the Interconnection Customer's proposed method to limit the maximum capacity the device can inject into the Transmission Provider's system (e.g., a control system or power relays) will not adversely affect the safety and reliability of the system.

Network Resource Interconnection Service

FERC made revisions to the pro forma SGIP to clarify that an Interconnection Customer wishing to interconnect its Small Generating Facility using the Network Resource Interconnection Service must do so under the LGIP and use the Large Generator Interconnection Agreement.

Compliance Filing

Each public utility Transmission Provider is required to submit a compliance filing within six months of the effective date of the Final Rule. A Transmission Provider may seek to demonstrate that previously approved provisions in its SGIP or SGIA are consistent with or superior to the pro forma SGIP or SGIA, as modified by the Final Rule. Any nonpublic utility that has a safe-harbor tariff may amend its SGIA and SGIP so that they conform to or are superior to the pro forma SGIP and SGIA to continue to qualify for safe-harbor treatment.

Independent System Operators (ISOs) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) will be afforded greater flexibility to propose variations from the provisions of the Final Rule. FERC stated that ISOs and RTOs have different operating characteristics depending on their size and location and that they are less likely to act in an unduly discriminatory manner. On the other hand, a nonindependent transmission provider must justify variations in nonprice terms and conditions by making a request for a "regional reliability variation" that must be supported by references to established reliability requirements or by demonstrating that the variation is "consistent with or superior to" the Final Rule provision if the variation is unrelated to reliability requirements.

[1]. Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 792, 145 FERC ¶ 61,159 (2013), available here [hereinafter Final Rule].

Copyright 2013. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.

This article is provided as a general informational service and it should not be construed as imparting legal advice on any specific matter.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions