United States: FERC Adopts Reforms To Address Inefficiencies In Interconnection Process

Last Updated: April 30 2018
Article by Joseph W. Lowell and Pamela Tsang Wu

The revisions by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relate to the Large Generator Interconnection Procedures and Large Generator Interconnection Agreement, and are intended to provide increased certainty and additional interconnection service options to generation interconnection customers, while also enhancing the information available for interconnection decisionmaking. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Final Rule[1] on April 19 to adopt reforms to improve the efficiency of processing interconnection requests, maintain reliability, balance the needs of interconnection customers and transmission owners, and remove barriers to resource development. Transmission providers are required to submit compliance filings revising their tariffs to adopt these changes to the generator interconnection requirements within 90 days after the publication of the Final Rule in the Federal Register.

In the notice of proposed rulemaking issued in December 2016,[2] FERC identified a number of potential reforms to address issues with the generator interconnection process, including delays that interconnection customers experience, backlogs and long timelines of some interconnection queues, the impacts of late-stage interconnection request withdrawals, and the impacts of the lack of cost and timing certainty. Of the 14 reforms that FERC proposed in the December 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), FERC's Final Rule adopts 10 reforms to the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Procedures (LGIP) and pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA). FERC determined that the reforms were necessary because the current process may hinder the timely development of new generation, stifle competition in the wholesale markets, result in uncertainty and inaccurate information, or potentially unduly discriminate against new technologies.

The Final Rule is effective 75 days after publication in the Federal Register. All transmission providers must submit compliance filings to adopt the requirements of the Final Rule as revisions to the LGIP and LGIA in their open access transmission tariffs (OATTs) no later than 90 days after the Final Rule is published in the Federal Register.

Reforms to Improve Certainty for Interconnection Customers

Not Adopted: Scheduled Periodic Restudies. FERC declined to adopt the proposal that would have required transmission providers that conduct cluster studies to establish a schedule for conducting periodic restudies. FERC concluded that cascading restudies were not a significant problem and that scheduled periodic restudies would constrain the restudy process for transmission providers that are not experiencing cascading restudies.

Adopted: Interconnection Customer's Option to Build. FERC adopted the proposal to modify articles 5.1, 5.1.3, and 5.1.4 of the pro forma LGIA to allow interconnection customers to exercise the option to build with respect to the transmission provider's interconnection facilities and standalone network upgrades, regardless of whether the transmission provider can meet the interconnection customer's proposed dates. FERC concluded that this reform gives interconnection customers more control and certainty during the design and construction phases of the interconnection process.

Not Adopted: Customer Agreement to Self-Funding by Transmission Owner. FERC withdrew its proposal to revise the pro forma LGIA to require mutual agreement between the interconnection customer and the transmission owner or provider before the transmission owner or provider could choose to initially fund the cost of the network upgrades.

Adopted: New Non-Binding Dispute Resolution. FERC revised the pro forma LGIP to add a new section 13.5.5 to give parties the option to engage in non-binding dispute resolution before a neutral decisionmaker, regardless of whether the party has obtained mutual agreement to pursue the arbitration process under section 13.5 of the LGIP. This non-binding dispute resolution procedure is an alternative but not a replacement for the arbitration process.

Not Adopted: Capping Costs for Network Upgrades. FERC declined to propose revisions to the pro forma LGIP and pro forma LGIA to institute a cap on the cost of network upgrades required for interconnection. However, FERC stated that it will not bar a transmission provider from proposing to establish cost caps for network upgrades in its footprint by submitting a filing under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act.

Reforms to Promote More Informed Interconnection Decisions

Adopted: Identification and Definition of Contingent Facilities. FERC adopted the proposal to add a new section 3.8 to the pro forma LGIP that requires transmission providers to publish a method for identifying contingent facilities[3] in their LGIPs. The method must be provided to the interconnection customer at the conclusion of the system impact study and included in the generator interconnection agreement and must be sufficiently transparent to determine why a specific contingent facility was identified and how it relates to the interconnection request. In addition, at the interconnection customer's request, the transmission provider must provide the estimated interconnection facility and/or network upgrade costs and estimated in-service completion time of each identified contingent facility when the information is readily available and is not commercially sensitive.

Adopted: Additional Transparency Regarding Study Models and Assumptions. The Final Rule modifies section 2.3 of the pro forma LGIP to require transmission providers to maintain not only base case data but also network models and underlying assumptions on its OASIS site or a password protected website. FERC withdrew the proposal to require transmission providers to post shift factors, dispatch assumptions, load power factors, and power flows, finding that this information may not be informative to interconnection customers and could delay or burden the interconnection study process.

Not Adopted: Posting Congestion and Curtailment Information. FERC declined to adopt the proposal to add a new subsection to 18 CFR § 37.6 that would require transmission providers to post certain specified congestion and curtailment information to inform the decisionmaking of interconnection customers. FERC stated that the requirement could be technically infeasible or would require significant additional effort.

Adopted: Revised Definition of Generating Facility to Include Storage Resources. FERC adopted the proposal to modify the definition of Generating Facility to include "storage for later injection." FERC found that this will reduce a potential barrier to large electric storage resources with a generating facility capacity above 20 MW that wish to interconnect under the pro forma LGIP and pro forma LGIA.

Adopted: Posting Interconnection Study Metrics, but Not Deadlines. FERC adopted the proposal to modify the pro forma LGIP section on OASIS Posting to require transmission providers to post interconnection study metrics on a quarterly basis to increase the transparency of interconnection study completion timeframes. It also adopted new provisions that require transmission providers to submit study delay information to FERC. The Final Rule, however, does not adopt firm deadlines for completing interconnection studies or eliminate the existing "reasonable efforts" standard to meet study deadlines.

Not Adopted: Reforms to Improve Coordination with Affected Systems. In the NOPR, FERC sought comment on prescribing guidelines for affected systems coordination, imposing study requirements and associated timelines on affected systems that are also public utility transmission providers, standardizing the process for coordinating with an affected system during the interconnection, and developing a standard affected system study agreement. FERC declined to take further action on this issue at this time, but will be considering next steps in light of the technical conference to be held in Docket No. AD18-8.

Reforms to Enhance the Generator Interconnection Process

Adopted: Option to Request Interconnection Service Below Generating Facility Capacity. FERC adopted the proposal to modify the pro forma LGIP to allow interconnection customers to request interconnection service in an amount that is less than a resource's full generating facility capacity. The interconnection customer may do so through its initial interconnection request or may request to reduce the level of interconnection service after the interconnection process has begun as a revision of its interconnection request (1) before the interconnection customer returns an executed system impact study agreement to the transmission provider; and (2) before the interconnection customer returns an executed facility study agreement to the transmission provider.

A transmission provider will be required to study requests for interconnection service at the level of interconnection service requested by the interconnection customer for purposes of interconnection facilities, network upgrades, and associated costs, but it has the discretion to also perform other studies at the full generating facility capacity to ensure safety and reliability of the transmission system. The transmission provider would need to provide the interconnection customer with a detailed explanation of why a study at the full generating facility capacity is necessary, and the interconnection customer would bear the costs of the study. In addition, if the transmission provider determines, based on the studies, that additional upgrades are needed, it must specify which additional network upgrade costs are based on what studies and provide a detailed explanation on why the additional network upgrades are needed.

FERC withdrew the proposal to revise the definitions of Large Generating Facility and Small Generating Facility in the pro forma LGIA so that they are based on the level of interconnection service for the generating facility, rather than the generating facility capacity.

Adopted: Provisional Interconnection Service. FERC directed transmission providers to make changes to their LGIPs and LGIAs to enable all interconnection customers to request "provisional interconnection service," which is a temporary form of interconnection service using available capacity on the transmission system prior to the completion of the requisite upgrades for the interconnection customer's full service. Transmission providers are given discretion to determine the frequency for updating provisional interconnection studies and clarify the cost responsibilities of the interconnection customer. Interconnection customers will be allowed to enter into provisional agreements for limited interconnection service before the full interconnection process is completed, i.e., while it is waiting for the final results of the interconnection studies, the execution of the LGIA, and the construction of any additional interconnection facilities and/or network upgrades. FERC adopted the proposal to define Provisional Interconnection Service and Provisional Large Generator Interconnection Agreement in the pro forma LGIP and pro forma LGIA.

Adopted: Surplus Interconnection Service. FERC adopted the proposals to add a new Section 3.3 to the pro forma LGIP that requires transmission providers to establish a process for the use of surplus interconnection and a new Section 3.3.1 that describes the process for using surplus interconnection service. The surplus interconnection service reforms will permit an interconnection customer to use excess interconnection service capacity associated with an existing resource. FERC found that establishing an expedited process that is separate from the interconnection queue for surplus interconnection service could reduce costs for interconnection customers by increasing the use of existing interconnection facilities and network upgrades rather than requiring new ones.

Surplus interconnection service cannot exceed the total interconnection service already provided by the original interconnection customer's LGIA. In addition, if the original LGIA is for Energy Resource Interconnection Service (ERIS), any surplus interconnection customer associated with the original LGIA at the same interconnection point would need to be an ERIS customer to avoid the potential need for new network upgrades. However, if the original LGIA is for Network Resource Interconnection Service (NRIS), either ERIS or NRIS could be offered to the surplus interconnection customer.

A transmission provider must demonstrate that its tariff (1) includes a definition of surplus interconnection service consistent with the Final Rule; (2) provides an expedited interconnection process outside of the interconnection queue for surplus interconnection service, consistent with the Final Rule; (3) allows affiliates of the original interconnection customers to use surplus interconnection service for another interconnecting generating facility consistent with the Final Rule; (4) allows for the transfer of surplus interconnection service that the original interconnection customer or one of its affiliates does not intend to use; and (5) specifies what reliability-related studies and approvals are necessary to provide surplus interconnection service and to ensure the reliable use of surplus interconnection service.

FERC withdrew the proposal to require an open and transparent solicitation process if an original interconnection customer that has surplus interconnection service wishes to transfer this service to a non-affiliated third party. FERC determined that it is not necessary to achieve its overall open access goals.

Adopted: Material Modification and Incorporation of Advanced Technologies. The Final Rule adopts reforms requiring transmission providers to develop a definition of permissible technological advancement that the interconnection process can accommodate without triggering the material modification provision of the pro forma LGIP. A transmission provider must also incorporate a technological change procedure in its pro forma LGIP that specifies what technological advancements can be incorporated at various stages of the interconnection process, that identifies which requirements apply to the interconnection customer and which apply to the transmission provider, and that identifies the information an interconnection customer must include in a technological advancement request (to incorporate technological advancements into its generating facility). The procedure must identify the types of information the interconnection customer must provide and how the transmission provider will evaluate whether a technological advancement request is a material modification. If additional studies are required, the interconnection customer must provide a deposit to the transmission provider. A transmission provider must complete its studies within 30 days of the date the interconnection customer submits a formal technological advancement request and must explain why the technological advancement is a material modification.

Not Adopted: Modeling of Electric Storage Resources for Interconnection Studies. FERC declined to move forward with any requirements for modeling electric storage resources. Transmission providers can continue to model electric storage resources in ways that are most appropriate in their respective regions.


[1] Reform of Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements, Order No. 845, 163 FERC ¶ 61,043 (2018) ("Final Rule").

[2] Reform of Generator Interconnection Procedures and Agreements 82 Fed. Reg. 4,464 (Jan. 13, 2017) (NOPR).

[3] Contingent facilities are "unbuilt interconnection facilities and network upgrades upon which the interconnection request's costs, timing, and study findings are dependent, and if delayed or not built, could cause a need for restudies of the interconnection request or a reassessment of the interconnection facilities and/or network upgrades and/or costs and timing."

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
Troutman Sanders LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Troutman Sanders LLP
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