Net Energy Metering for Fuel Cell Customer-Generators (NEMFC)

The NEMFC rate schedule is a Net Energy Metering schedule for eligible fuel cell generators. Note: Customers must not operate any generating facility in parallel with Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) distribution facilities until they receive written authorization from PG&E, as is required in Electric Rule 21. Unauthorized operation may result in personal injury, equipment damage and/or property damage for which the customer may be liable.

Attention: PG&E may not be able to interconnect your generator if it is located in certain areas of  San Francisco or Oakland. Please read our notice about Secondary Networks.

Background

On January 1, 2004, Assembly Bill 1214, added California Public Utilities Code Section 2827.10, creating a net energy metering program for qualified customers with fuel cell generators. PG&E's Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Net Energy Metering for Fuel Cell Customer-Generators (NEMFC) rate schedule was subsequently approved on April 9, 2004, by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

PG&E's NEMFC rate schedule is an optional rate schedule for customers who operate a fuel cell generator, operated in parallel with PG&E, to supply some or all of the customer's own energy needs. NEMFC works with a second rate schedule, referred to as the otherwise applicable rate schedule (OAS). The OAS is selected by the customer and can be any PG&E time-of-use (TOU) rate schedule that would be applicable to the customer's account, if that customer were not on NEMFC. The significance of the OAS is that it provides not only the charges, but also the credits that will be used to offset some of the charges when the customer is operating a generator under NEMFC. NEMFC customers need to consider their OAS options carefully.

Because NEMFC facilities require the interconnection of a generating facility with PG&E's grid, they are subject to the terms and conditions of:

  1. PG&E's Electric Rule 21 Generating Facility Interconnections, as approved by the CPUC, and
  2. Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Interconnection Handbook that describes the interconnection, operational and metering requirements for generating facilities connected to the utility's distribution system.

Customers may be served under the NEMFC rate schedule if they have submitted an application that is approved by PG&E for interconnection, and the generating facility commences operation before January 1, 2010 (unless this date is changed by legislation) . Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis by PG&E from the first 45,000 kilowatt hours (kw) kW of NEMFC generating capacity connected in parallel with PG&E. A PG&E approved NEMFC customer-generator would be eligible for the NEMFC for the operating life of the eligible fuel cell electrical generating facility.

Customers must certify their generating facility meets the definition of an Eligible Fuel Cell Electrical Generating facility (per the NEMFC rate schedule, Special Condition 5.a); that is, the generating facility used to produce electricity must include the following:

  1. Integrated power plant systems containing a stack, tubular array, or other functionally similar configuration used to electrodynamically convert fuel to electrical energy
  2. An inverter and a fuel processing system where necessary, and
  3. Other plant equipment, including heat recovery equipment necessary to support the plant's operation or its energy conversion

Also, the generators must be:

  1. Of a capacity of 1,000 kw or less,
  2. Located on or adjacent to the fuel cell customer-generator's premises, and
  3. The sole source of the customer's generation

Interconnection Process

The following information will guide you through the interconnection process for your eligible fuel cell electrical generating facility that is 1 mw or less.

Here, you'll find the various forms, reviews, agreements, inspections, and additional requirements that may be applicable to your fuel cell generation project. If you have additional questions, e-mail gen@pge.com.

NEMFC Rule 21 Generation Applications

Distributed generation interconnection procedures are contained in Rule 21. Complete Application Form (Form 79-974) and submit it along with all supporting documentation to Pacific Gas and Electric Company. To ensure that the application package is complete, refer to the following table:

ItemGeneral Comments
ApplicationMake sure that all applicable sections for your generator are completed.
Site Plan Show generator location with respect to building, transformer, main switchboard, utility disconnect switch and other pertinent electrical equipment.
Single Line Drawing Must include net generation meter (if required) and utility disconnect switch with manufacturer and model number.
Three Line Drawing Required if the generator is not certified or an external relay is used.
Proposed Relay Settings Required if the generator is not certified or an external relay is used.
Protection Operating Description Required if the generator is not certified or an external relay is used.

Submit the application package to Pacific Gas and Electric Company either by registered U.S. mail or by e-mail at gen@pge.com.

Mailing address:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Interconnection Services
Mail Code N7L
P.O. Box 770000
San Francisco, CA  94177-0001

NEMFC Rule 21 Generation Reviews

In accordance with Rule 21, Pacific Gas and Electric Company will conduct some or all of thefollowing interconnection reviews to determine the interconnection requirements for a generation project.

  1. Application Review: The application shall normally be acknowledged and reviewed for completeness within 10 business days of receipt of application. The application must be deemed complete before moving on to the initial review.
  2. Initial Review: The review shall be completed, absent of any extraordinary circumstances, within 10 business days of deeming the application complete. The review will determine if the generation facility qualifies for a simplified interconnection or if a supplemental review is required.
  3. Supplemental Review: The review, if required, should be completed within 20 business days of deeming the application complete. The review will determine if the generation facility can be interconnected or if a Detailed Interconnection Study is required.
  4. Detailed Interconnection Study: The applicant must enter into an agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company to perform such additional studies, facility design/engineering and to provide detailed cost estimates for fixed price or actual cost billing should interconnection upgrades be required. The study may be at the applicant's expense.

NEMFC Rule 21 Generation Agreements

Prior to interconnecting generation projects to Pacific Gas and Electric Company's distribution system, the applicant must execute some or all of the following agreements:

Interconnection Agreement for Net Energy Metering of Fuel Cell Generating Facilities: (PG&E form 79-1010) This standard CPUC agreement provides for the applicant to interconnect and operate its generating facility in parallel with Pacific Gas and Electric Company's distribution system and establishes the ongoing business relationship between the applicant and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, including operating and communication protocols.

Standby Agreement: NEMFC Customer-Generators are currently exempt from standby charges.

Special Facilities Agreement: This standard CPUC agreement is between Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the applicant and specifies the cost of the interconnection facilities to be constructed and owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company. In addition, the time of use bi-directional metering may involve special facilities charges. The metering costs for all other rate schedules, agricultural, commercial and industrial, are specific to your particular facility and current meters. You will be notified of those costs.

The agreements will be filled out by a utility Generation Interconnection Services (GIS) project manager after the completion of the review and study process, and sent to the customer-applicants for their execution. The GIS project manager will work with you to ensure that the appropriate agreements are properly prepared, at the appropriate time, and guide your project to interconnection.

Proof of Liability Insurance: The Customer-Generators must provide and maintain general liability insurance with a combined single limit in accordance with Section 9 of the "Interconnection Agreement for Net Energy Metering of Qualifying Fuel Cell Generating Facilities".

Pre-parallel Inspections

Upon notification of the generator's' readiness for the pre-parallel inspection, scheduling an inspection can normally take up to 10 days for certified generators with no external relays and up to 30 days for all other generators due to the availability resources. The following items must be completed prior to the scheduling of the inspection:

  1. Execute all required agreements.
  2. Provide a copy of the final signed building permit.
  3. Completion of all electric work by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
  4. Completion of (utility-owned) electric service.

Once the inspection is scheduled for non-certified generators or certified generators with external relays, the following information must be received by the utility a minimum of 15 days prior to the inspection:

  1. Approved single line and & three line relay drawings. (An electronic version is preferred.)
  2. Electronic submittal of the completed G5-1 Form (PDF, 375 KB). (One form for each generator.)
  3. Completed Basic Info Requirement Form (PDF, 58 KB).
  4. Approved results of relay field "bench tests" provided. (An electronic version is preferred.)

Note: It is imperative that the Interconnection Handbook Sections 1-6 (PDF, 460 KB) ( Formerly Sections G1 - 5) be followed to ensure that our interconnection and protection requirements are met and supporting documentation is provided and approved by PG&E prior to the inspection.

Please also note that no generating facility may operate in parallel with PG&E's electric system until the applicant has received express written consent from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.