Manage the interconnection process
As a contractor, you play a vital role in customers' NEM interconnection. Use "Your Projects", the online tool, to manage the interconnection process. Features include:
- Completing required documents
- Finding an easier path to engineering review
- Setting customer expectations
- Interconnection requirements
- Tips for the application process
- Advice for your sales team
- Information about solar water heating
Important documentation is required for the Interconnection Application. Learn how to complete these documents. Get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the interconnection process, including eligibility and typical timelines. Review the standard NEM process and requirements.
Keep track of the NEM program cap
Get NEM program cap tracking status. Access the NEM program tracking.
Understand how to prevent delays on your interconnection project. Save time by following PG&E’s tips for seasoned professionals. Get faster approval and detailed guidance.
Note: Never turn on the solar or renewable system before receiving permission to operate from PG&E. Doing so is against Electric Rule 21 guidelines.
- Request the customer's email address
- You will need an email address for the electronic signature on the A&A form, as well as for faster customer notification when permission to operate is granted.
- You will need an email address for the electronic signature on the A&A form, as well as for faster customer notification when permission to operate is granted.
- Double-check that names and critical account information are entered correctly
- Ask for a copy of the customer's PG&E statement, which contains important information necessary to fill out the form, including the customer’s name, service address, service agreement ID and meter ID.
- Be sure to list your complete company name on the form as it is registered with the California State License Board (CSLB).
- Make sure your customer is aware of the rate-schedule options
- Make your customers aware of the rate-schedule options so that they may evaluate what is most beneficial to them. Visit pge.com/rateoptions.
- The PG&E online interconnection tool has a drop-down menu that only lists rate schedules applicable to your customer.
- A customer may elect to remain on a closed rate schedule (e.g., E7, E8). However, if the customer moves to a different rate schedule, it will not be possible to return to the closed rate schedule in the future.
- View the customer's previous 12 months of electric usage
- A customer can provide you with usage information by logging into his/her PG&E account and using the green button feature:
- If 12 months of usage data is not available, you may provide the square footage of the building instead.
- Information will be automatically populated when using online interconnection tool.
- Complete the A&A form via pdf, if you prefer
- If you are downloading the PDF instead of entering directly into the online application tool, please follow these steps:
- Download and fill out the interactive PDF forms using your computer, not with pen or pencil.
- Upload the completed forms to the PG&E online interconnection tool for verification.
- Choose a signature option:
- Use the PG&E DocuSign electronic signature functionality and route it electronically to the customer
- Upload a wet signature or your own electronic signature by an authorized party.
- Note: If you are uploading a document, it must include the full 5 pages of the agreement. Both signature paths can be submitted using PG&E's online interconnection tool.
- If you are downloading the PDF instead of entering directly into the online application tool, please follow these steps:
- Remember to obtain the customer's authorization and signature
- A customer must explicitly authorize you, as a contractor, to apply for interconnection on his/her behalf.
- For electronic signatures, use the DocuSign functionality embedded within PG&E's online interconnection tool for faster processing time.
- If downloading the fillable PDF, you will need to upload the form to the PG&E online interconnection tool for validation. However, you can still use the DocuSign (electronic signature functionality) embedded within PG&E’s online interconnection tool to obtain a Customer signature.
- For accuracy, double-check the electric service agreement ID and meter numbers using a recent customer statement.
- Make sure the system size installed and listed on the Interconnection Application is less than or equal to the size you indicated on the A&A form.
- Include a copy of the final building permit/inspection certificate that clearly indicates that final inspection for the solar or renewable installation has been performed.
- Clearly identify the modules being installed using the list of California Energy Commission (CEC)-approved equipment that appears in the drop-down menu of the application using the PG&E online interconnection tool. If the equipment is not on the approved list, please specify the full make and model numbers of any equipment being installed.
Follow these tips to help avoid the need for a variance request. For more information about the engineering review process and what might necessitate additional review and/or system upgrades, see the Electric Rule 21 Engineering Decision Tree (PDF).
Note: A variance request may still be required after following these steps depending on your project's details.
- Use standard equipment from the CEC List of Authorized Equipment.
- PG&E recommends the use of Underwriter Laboratories (UL) 1741 certified inverters.
- Make sure the point of interconnection is below the main breaker on the customer load side.
- Check to confirm that your system is either three phase or single phase. An engineering review will be prompted by putting a three-phase system on a single-phase service, or a single-phase system greater than 20 percent of the transformer nameplate or 20 kilowatt (kW) on a three-phase service.
- Check to confirm the project is a 240 volt-connected service. A 120 volt-connected service will require an additional engineering review.
- Do not install more than one AC disconnect, and ensure it is no more than 10 feet from the service panel. (See AC Disconnect and Variance Logic (PDF).
Make your sales team's job easier, gain more satisfied customers
Encourage your sales team to set expectations with your customers. At the beginning of the project, share key information with your customers about the steps involved.
Practical advice and links to share with your customers
It is important for customers to understand the key steps in the installation and interconnection process, as well as each party’s role and the order in which the steps must proceed. You play a vital part in communicating this information. The better your customers understand their roles and responsibilities, as well as yours, the smoother the entire process.
Share these links with your customers:
PG&E encourages you to advise customers about applicable rate-schedule options before signing the Agreement and Customer Authorization (A&A) form, so that they may make an informed decision. This step not only helps your customers save money but also may lead to higher overall customer satisfaction for your business.
Inform your customers that PG&E offers several rate schedules, with the possibility of remaining on the current plan.
Visit rate options
Note: A customer may remain on a closed rate schedule (e.g., E7, E8). However, if the customer moves to a different rate schedule, it will not be possible to go back to the closed rate schedule in the future
A few simple measures to boost energy efficiency can save your customers money and reduce overall energy consumption at their homes or businesses. PG&E encourages customers to look into these cost- and energy-saving measures before deciding on the size of the renewable energy system necessary to install. Educate your customers about PG&E’s tools to assess and reduce overall energy consumption.
Offer customers energy-efficiency tools such as PG&E’s Energy Checkup
Increased customer satisfaction comes from sizing the system to best meet customers' usage needs and savings goals. For customers on a time-of-use rate, PG&E recommends sizing the system to offset 80 to 85 percent of the average electricity usage in order to minimize the electricity bill. For non-time-of-use rate schedules, PG&E suggests sizing the system to offset 90 to 95 percent of customers' annual needs in order to minimize the electricity bills.
Please note that Net Energy Metering (NEM) systems may be sized no larger than 110 percent of the customer's total previous 12 months of usage or projected future increase. Please advise your customers about the most efficient options.
For additional customer information on system sizing and energy efficiency: Visit How system size affects costs for solar and renewable energy systems.
Note: There is no incentive for the customer to install a system larger than the home or business needs. Compensation for excess generation through Net Surplus Compensation is set by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) at roughly $0.03 to $0.04 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and does not justify the cost of an oversized system.
Customers may not turn on the system without receiving permission to operate from PG&E.
PG&E has also found it beneficial for contractors to show customers, in person, how to turn on the system for the first time, once permission to operate has been granted.
Reminder: Make sure to include the customer's email address on the A&A form to ensure faster delivery of the Permission to Operate (PTO) Letter.
Most customers installing a solar or renewable energy system will not require an on-site inspection performed by PG&E prior to receiving permission to operate. However, PG&E encourages you to inform your customers that some applications are randomly selected for post-installation inspection to ensure equipment is installed correctly.
Note: Customers who do not currently have a smart meter will need an inspection to install a NEM meter prior to PG&E issuing permission to operate.
In some cases, network upgrades may be necessary before customers can have the solar or renewable system installed. Please explain that you will work with PG&E to determine if upgrades are required and inform your customers of any additional costs that may be incurred as a result.
Solar water heating
Note: PG&E stopped accepting solar water heating program applications on August 1, 2020.
In compliance with Assembly Bill 797, Advice Letter 4090-G established July 31, 2020, as the final date to submit new applications to the program.
- Solar collectors work with the sun. A pump circulates fluid to the solar collectors on your roof to absorb the sun's thermal heat.
- Solar storage tanks keep the water warm. The solar heated fluid is then pumped through an insulated water storage tank via sealed coils. These hot coils heat the water stored in the tanks.
- Preheated water now flows into your conventional water heater. Any additional hot water needed is generated by your original water heater.
- Plentiful hot water is available. Through the solar water heater, hot water is supplied around the clock. This water can meet all your needs, if you choose the right system.
See how one family used solar water heating to save energy and help the environment.
Reducing the amount of hot water used in your home or business can reduce the size and cost of the system that you must install. Before you install a solar water heating system, consider other energy-efficient upgrades. The upgrades can include high-efficiency washers and dishwashers, and low-flow showers and toilets.
Ensure your roof is in good shape. Consider replacing your roof when you install your hot water heating system, if the roof is in poor condition. Ensure that enough roof space is exposed to the sun to accommodate your system. Establish a space near your current water heater to install the separate solar storage tank.
Solar water heating systems are designed to be reliable. A typical setup can last 20 to 25 years. In addition, the systems require very little maintenance if they are installed properly.
Glossary of terms
Added Facilities: See Special Facilities.
Adverse System Impact:The negative effects due to technical or operational limits on conductors or equipment being exceeded that may compromise the safety and reliability of the electric system.
Affected System: An electric system other than the CAISO Controlled Grid that may be affected by the proposed interconnection, including the Participating TO’s electric system that is not part of the CAISO-Controlled Grid.
Allocated Capacity: Existing aggregate generation capacity in megawatts (MW) interconnected to a substation/area bus, bank or circuit (i.e., amount of generation online).
Anti-Islanding: A control scheme installed as part of the Generating or Interconnection Facility that senses and prevents the formation of an Unintended Island.
Annual Full Capacity Deliverability Study: The annual deliverability study performed by the ISO described in GIP Section 4.22.2, under which a Generating Facility previously studied as Energy-Only Deliverability Status will have an option to determine whether it can be designated for Full Capacity Deliverability Status using available transmission capacity.
Applicable Reliability Council: The reliability council applicable to the Distribution System to which the Generating Facility is directly interconnected.
Applicable Reliability Standards: The requirements and guidelines of NERC, the Applicable Reliability Council, and the Control Area of the Distribution System to which the Generating Facility is directly interconnected, including the requirements pursuant to Section 215 of the Federal Power Act.
Applicant: The entity submitting an Interconnection Request.
Application: See Interconnection Request.
Available Capacity: Total Capacity less the sum of Allocated Capacity and Queued Capacity.
Balancing Authority Area: The collection of generation, transmission and loads within the metered boundaries of the Balancing Authority. The Balancing Authority maintains load-resource balance within this area.
Base Case: Data including, but not limited to, base power flow, short circuit and stability data bases, underlying load, generation, and transmission facility assumptions, contingency lists, including relevant special protection systems, and transmission diagrams used to perform the Interconnection Studies. The Base Case may include Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (as that term is defined by FERC). The Base Case shall include (a) transmission facilities as approved by Distribution Provider or CAISO, as applicable, (b) planned Distribution Upgrades that may have an impact on the Interconnection Request, (c) Distribution Upgrades and Network Upgrades associated with generating facilities in (iv) below, and (d) generating facilities that (i) are directly interconnected to the Distribution System or CAISO Controlled Grid; (ii) are interconnected to Affected Systems and may have an impact on the Interconnection Request; (iii) have a pending request to interconnect to the Distribution System or an Affected System; or (iv) are not interconnected to the Distribution System or CAISO Controlled Grid, but are subject to a fully executed Generator Interconnection Agreement (or its equivalent predecessor agreement) or for which an unexecuted Generator Interconnection Agreement (or its equivalent predecessor agreement) has been requested to be filed with FERC.
Biodiesel: A renewable fuel derived in whole or in part from a biomass feedstock such as agricultural crops or agricultural wastes and residues, including but not limited to animal wastes, remains and tallow; food wastes, recycled cooking oils, and pure vegetable oils; or an eligible solid waste conversion process using municipal solid waste.
Biogas: Digester gas, landfill gas, and any gas derived from an eligible biomass feedstock.
Biomass: Any organic material not derived from fossil fuels including, but not limited to, agricultural crops, agricultural wastes and residues, waste pallets, crates, dunnage, manufacturing, construction wood wastes, landscape and right‐of‐way tree trimmings, mill residues that result from milling lumber, rangeland maintenance residues, biosolids, sludge derived from organic matter, wood and wood waste from timbering operations, and any materials eligible for “biomass conversion” as defined in Public Resources Code Section 40106. Agricultural wastes and residues include, but are not limited to, animal wastes, remains, and tallow; food wastes; recycled cooking oils; and pure vegetable oils. Landscape or right‐of‐way tree trimmings include all solid waste materials that result from tree or vegetation trimming or removal to establish or maintain a right‐of‐way on public or private land for:
- The provision of public utilities, including, but not limited to, natural gas, water, electricity and telecommunications
- Fuel hazard reduction resulting in fire protection and prevention
- The public’s recreational use
Biomethane: See Pipeline biomethane.
Breach: The failure of a Party to perform or observe any material term or condition of the Generator Interconnection Agreement (GIA).
Breaching Party: A Party that is in Breach of the GIA.
Business Day: Monday through Friday, excluding Federal and State Holidays.
CAISO: The California Independent System Operator Corporation, a state chartered, California non-profit public benefit corporation that operates the transmission facilities of all Participating Transmission Owners and dispatches certain Generating Units and Loads.
CAISO Controlled Grid: The system of transmission lines and associated facilities that have been placed under CAISO’s Operational Control.
CAISO Tariff: The CAISO FERC Electric Tariff.
Calendar Day: Any day, including Saturday, Sunday or a Federal or State Holiday.
Capacity: The maximum amount of electricity that a generating unit, power facility, or utility can produce under specified conditions. Capacity is measured in kilowatts or megawatts.
Central Station Facility: An electric generation facility that interconnects to the electricity transmission system.
Certification; Certified; Certificate: The documented results of a successful Certification Testing.
Certified Equipment: Equipment that has passed all required Certification Tests.
Certification Test: A test pursuant to this Rule that verifies conformance of certain equipment with Commission-approved performance standards in order to be classified as Certified Equipment. Certification Tests are performed by Nationally Recognized Test Laboratories (NRTLs).
Cluster Application Window: The time period for submitting Interconnection Requests as set forth in Generator Interconnection Procedures Section 4 (Distribution) and CAISO Tariff Appendix Y Section 3.3 (Transmission).
Cluster Study Process: The interconnection study process that evaluates a group of Interconnection Requests collectively. Engineering analyses for these requests are conducted in two phases. You may apply for a Cluster Study only during the Cluster Study application window.
Co-metering: Part of the net energy metering (NEM) program that applies to large wind projects and fuel cell installations. Co-metering uses the customer’s revenue meter to separately measure consumption and exports in discrete time intervals (usually 15 minutes).
Commercially Available: For the Emerging Renewables Program, any complete generating system that is based on a designated emerging technology and is available for immediate purchase under typical business terms and deliverable within a reasonable period.
Commercial Operation: The status of a Generating Facility that has commenced generating electricity for sale, excluding electricity generated during Trial Operation.
Commercial Operation Date: The date on which an Electric Generating Unit at a Generating Facility commences Commercial Operation as agreed to by the Parties.
Commission: The Public Utilities Commission of the State of California.
Commissioning Test: A test performed during the commissioning of all or part of a Generating Facility to do one or more of the following:
- Verify specific aspects of its performance
- Calibrate its instrumentation
- Establish instrument or Protective Function set-points
Community Choice Aggregator (CCA): As defined in Public Utilities Code Section 331.1, any of the following entities, if that entity is not within the jurisdiction of a local publicly owned electric utility that provided electrical service as of January 1, 2003: any city, county, or city and county whose governing board elects to combine the loads of its residents, businesses and municipal facilities in a communitywide electricity buyers’ program or any group of cities, counties or cities and counties whose governing boards have elected to combine the loads of their programs, through the formation of a joint powers agency established under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code.
Confidential Information: Any confidential, proprietary or trade secret information of a plan, specification, pattern, procedure, design, device, list, concept, policy or compilation relating to the present or planned business of a Party, which is designated as confidential by the Party supplying the information, whether conveyed orally, electronically, in writing, through inspection, or otherwise.
Conservation Voltage Regulation (CVR): The CVR program that the Commission directed Distribution Providers to implement as applicable to the operation and design of distribution circuits and related service voltages.
Construction Activities: Actions by Distribution Provider that result in irrevocable financial commitments for the purchase of major electrical equipment or land for Distribution Provider’s Interconnection Facilities, Distribution Upgrades, or Network Upgrades assigned to the Interconnection Customer that occur after receipt of all appropriate governmental approvals needed for Distribution Provider’s Interconnection Facilities, Distribution Upgrades, or Network Upgrades.
Control Area: An electrical system or systems bounded by interconnection metering and telemetry, capable of controlling generation to maintain its interchange schedule with other Control Areas and contributing to frequency regulation of the interconnection. A Control Area must be certified by an Applicable Reliability Council.
CPUC: The California Public Utilities Commission.
Conventional Power Source: As defined in Public Utilities Code Section 2805, power derived from nuclear energy, the operation of a hydropower facility greater than 30 megawatts (MW) or the combustion of fossil fuels, unless cogeneration technology, as defined in Public Resources Code Section 25134, is employed in the production of such power.
Customer: The entity that receives or is entitled to receive Distribution Service through Distribution Provider’s Distribution System or is a retail Customer of Distribution Provider connected to the Transmission System.
Dedicated Transformer; Dedicated Distribution Transformer: A transformer that provides electricity service to a single Customer. The Customer may or may not have a Generating Facility.
Default: The failure of a Breaching Party to cure its Breach in accordance with the Generator Interconnection Agreement.
Deliverability Assessment: An evaluation by the Participating Transmission Owner, CAISO or a third- party consultant for the Interconnection Customer to determine a list of facilities, the cost of those facilities, and the time required to construct these facilities, that would ensure a Generating Facility could provide Energy to the CAISO-Controlled Grid at peak Load, under a variety of severely stressed conditions, such that the aggregate of Generation in the local area can be delivered to the aggregate of Load on the CAISO Controlled Grid, consistent with the CAISO’s reliability criteria and procedures.
Delivery Network Upgrades: The transmission facilities at or beyond the point where Distribution Provider’s Distribution System interconnects to the CAISO Controlled Grid, other than Reliability Network Upgrades, as defined in the CAISO Tariff.
Departing/Departed Load: Load in the utility service territory that is served by non-utility generation. For example, a customer that uses 500 kW of power, but uses a 100 kW generator would only be served 400 kW by the utility. The customer has 100kW of “Departed Load.” PG&E is required to charge customers a very small fee per kWh called non-bypassable charges for Departed Load. There are many exemptions for Departed Load charges for renewable generation. This departing load may either be estimated using assumptions about the generator’s operation, or measured using a meter to read the energy produced by the generator. Departing Load is used as the basis for calculating departing load charges.
Departing Load Charges: Billed (on a monthly basis) to customers who install generation that displaces customer consumption that PG&E would normally serve had the generator not been installed. PG&E’s retail rates list the various departing load charges. Certain generators are exempt from some or all of these charges.
Detailed Study: An Independent Study, a Distribution Group Study or a Transmission Cluster Study.
Device: A mechanism or piece of equipment designed to serve a purpose or perform a function. The term may be used interchangeably with the terms “equipment” and function without intentional difference in meaning. See also Function and Protective Function.
Digester Gas: Gas from the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes including, but not limited to, animal wastes, remains, tallow and biosolids.
Dispute Resolution: Procedure for resolution of a dispute between the Parties in which they will first attempt to resolve the dispute on an informal basis.
Distributed Generation: Small-scale electric generation facilities typically owned by non-utility entities, such as generation developers or utility customers, that offset all or part of the customer’s on-site electrical load. Distributed generation is often sited at a customer’s location or close to a load center. In contrast, central station generation is not used primarily to serve the on-site electrical load, but instead serves the electrical needs of a large number of offsite customers. Distributed generation may or may not be interconnected to the electrical transmission grid.
Distribution Group Study Process: The study process defined in Section F.3b.
Distribution Interconnection Facilities: The electrical wires, switches and related equipment that are required in addition to the facilities required to provide electric Distribution Service to a Customer to allow Interconnection. Interconnection Facilities may be located on either side of the Point of Common Coupling as appropriate to their purpose and design. Interconnection Facilities may be integral to a Generating Facility or provided separately. Interconnection Facilities may be owned by either Producer or Distribution Provider.
Distribution Network: Utility‐controlled network of electrical lines that interconnect homes, buildings and other customer locations to the electric system. Some of the customers may be customer‐generators with electric generation facilities that serve on‐site, offsite or both on‐site and offsite electricity loads. The voltage of distribution lines varies by utility in California. For example, SCE’s distribution network includes 66 kilovolt (kV) and 115 kV systems. However, SDG&E systems of 138 kV and 69 kV are considered transmission and they are controlled by the California ISO. Similarly, much of PG&E’s 115 kV system is also considered transmission.
Distribution Owner: The entity that owns, leases or otherwise possesses an interest in the portion of the Distribution System at the Point of Interconnection and that may be a Party to the Generator Interconnection Agreement to the extent necessary.
Distribution Provider: The public utility (or its designated agent) that owns, controls, or operates transmission or distribution facilities used for the transmission of electricity in interstate commerce and provides transmission or wholesale distribution service under the Tariff. The term Distribution Provider should be read to include the Distribution Owner when the Distribution Owner is separate from the Distribution Provider.
Distribution Provider's Interconnection Facilities: All facilities and equipment owned, controlled, or operated by the Distribution Provider from the Point of Change of Ownership to the Point of Interconnection as identified in the GIA, including any modifications, additions or upgrades to such facilities and equipment. Distribution Provider's Interconnection Facilities are sole use facilities and shall not include Distribution Upgrades, Stand Alone Network Upgrades or Network Upgrades.
Distribution Service: The service of delivering energy over the Distribution System pursuant to the approved tariffs of Distribution Provider other than services directly related to the Interconnection of a Generating Facility under this Rule.
Distribution System: All electrical wires, equipment, and other facilities owned or provided by Distribution Provider, other than Interconnection Facilities or the Transmission System, by which Distribution Provider provides Distribution Service to its Customers. For PG&E, distribution facilities transport energy with voltage lower than 60 kV. This portion of the system is known as the non-CAISO-controlled grid.
Distribution Upgrades: The additions, modifications, and upgrades to Distribution Provider's Distribution System at or beyond the Point of Interconnection to facilitate interconnection of the Generating Facility and render the Distribution Service. Distribution Upgrades do not include Interconnection Facilities.
Effective Date: The date on which the Generator Interconnection Agreement becomes effective upon execution by the Parties subject to acceptance by FERC, or if filed unexecuted, upon the date specified by FERC.
Electrical Independence Test (EIT): The test set forth in the Wholesale Distribution Generation Interconnection Procedures Section 3.1.1 used to determine eligibility for the Independent Study Process.
Electric Generating Unit: shall mean an individual electric generator and its associated plant and apparatus whose electrical output is capable of being separately identified and metered.
Electric Service Provider: As defined in Public Utilities Code Section 218.3, an entity that offers electric service to customers within the service territory of an electrical corporation. Does not include an entity that offers electric service solely to service customer load consistent with Public Utilities Code Section 218, Subdivision (b), and does not include an electrical corporation or a public agency that offers electric service to residential and small commercial customers within its jurisdiction, or within the service territory of a local publicly owned electric utility. Electric service providers include the unregulated affiliates and subsidiaries of an electrical corporation.
Electrical Corporations: Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, PacifiCorp, Liberty Energy‐California Pacific Electric Company (formerly Sierra Pacific Power Company), Bear Valley Electric Service (a division of Golden State Water Company) or other electrical corporations as defined by Public Utilities Code Section 218. Also referred to as "investor‐owned utilities."
Eligible Renewable Energy Resource: As defined in Public Utilities Code Section 399.12, Subdivision (e), an electric generating facility that meets the definition of "renewable electrical generation facility" in Public Resources Code Section 25741, and is subject to the limitations of Public Utilities Code Section 399.12, Subdivision (e), and Section 399.12.5.
Emergency: Whenever in Distribution Provider's discretion an Unsafe Operating Condition or other hazardous condition exists or whenever access is necessary for emergency service restoration, and such immediate action is necessary to protect persons, Distribution Provider's facilities or property of others from damage or interference caused by Interconnection Customer's Generating Facility, or the failure of protective device to operate properly, or a malfunction of any electrical system equipment or a component part thereof.
Emerging Renewable Technology: Technology that uses a renewable power source, such as solar or wind energy, to generate electricity, and that has emerged beyond the research and development phase, is commercially available and has significant commercial potential as determined by the Energy Commission. Emerging renewable technologies include photovoltaic, solar thermal electric, fuel cells using a renewable fuel, and small wind turbine technology no greater than 50 kilowatts in size.
End‐use Customer (End User): A residential, commercial, agricultural or industrial electric customer who buys electricity to be consumed as a final product (not for resale).
Energy-Only Deliverability Status: A condition elected by an Interconnection Customer for a Generating Facility interconnected to the Distribution System the result of which is that the Interconnection Customer is responsible only for the costs of Reliability Network Upgrades and is not responsible for the costs of Delivery Network Upgrades, but the Generating Facility will be deemed to have a Net Qualifying Capacity of zero as defined in the CAISO Tariff. The Generating Facility will interconnect to the PG&E distribution system but will not deliver its full output to the aggregate of load on the grid.
Engineering and Procurement Agreement: An agreement that authorizes Distribution Provider to begin engineering and procurement of long lead-time items necessary for the establishment of the Interconnection in order to advance the implementation of the Interconnection Request.
Environmental Law: Applicable Law or Regulation relating to pollution or protection of the environment or natural resources.
Existing Circuit: Any of the utility power lines that already serve load customers. To contrast, a gen-tie is a circuit that a GIS customer would build purely to deliver their power to the utility.
Expanded NEM: A Net Energy Metering (PDF) program for residential, commercial, agricultural or industrial solar, wind or hybrid systems that are 1 megawatt or less and do not qualify for Standard NEM or Wind Energy Co-Metering.
Exporting Generating Facility: Any Generating Facility other than a Non-Export Generating Facility, NEM Generating Facility, or uncompensated Generating Facility.
Facilities Study: See Interconnection Facilities Study.
Fast Track Process: The process for applying to interconnect a certified inverter-based facility of up to 5 MW, where the power generated will require minimal or no upgrades to the utility grid. The Fast Track study process typically takes about three months. If PG&E's engineering analysis determines that a customer does not qualify for the Fast Track process, an additional study will be required.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Referred to herein as FERC.
Feed-in Tariff: A Feed-in Tariff (FIT) is a simple mechanism for customers with small renewable generators to sell power to a utility using a Power Purchase Agreement with predefined terms and conditions, without having to engage in contract negotiations.
Field Testing: Testing performed in the field to determine whether equipment meets Distribution Provider's requirements for safe and reliable Interconnection.
Fossil Fuel: Fuel consisting of hydrocarbon constituents, including coal, petroleum or natural gas, occurring in and extracted from underground deposits, and mixtures or byproducts of these hydrocarbon constituents.
Fuel Cell: A generating technology that uses hydrogen (typically formed from natural gas) to produce electrical energy.
Full Capacity Deliverability Status--Distribution: The condition whereby a Generating Facility interconnected with the Distribution System, under coincident ISO Control Area peak demand and a variety of severely stressed system conditions, can deliver the Generating Facility's full output to the aggregate of load on the ISO Grid, consistent with the ISO's reliability criteria and procedures and the CAISO On-Peak Deliverability Assessment as set forth in the Wholesale Distribution Tariff Section 22.214.171.124.1.
Full Capacity Deliverability Status--Transmission: The condition whereby a Large Generating Facility interconnected with the CAISO Controlled Grid, under coincident CAISO Balancing Authority Area peak Demand and a variety of severely stressed system conditions, can deliver the Large Generating Facility's full output to the aggregate of Load on the CAISO-Controlled Grid, consistent with the CAISO's Reliability Criteria and procedures and the CAISO On-Peak Deliverability Assessment.
Function: Some combination of hardware and software designed to provide specific features or capabilities. Its use, as in Protective Function, is intended to encompass a range of implementations from a single-purpose device to a section of software and specific pieces of hardware within a larger piece of equipment to a collection of devices and software.
Generating Facility: All Generators, electrical wires, equipment, and other facilities, including storage and excluding Interconnection Facilities, owned or provided by Producer for the purpose of producing electric power.
Generating Facility Capacity: The net capacity of the Generating Facility and the aggregate net capacity of the Generating Facility where it includes multiple Generators.
Generator: A device converting mechanical, chemical, or solar energy into electrical energy, including all of its protective and control functions and structural appurtenances. One or more Generators comprise a Generating Facility.
Generator Interconnection Agreement: An agreement between Distribution Provider and Producer providing for the Interconnection of a Generating Facility that gives certain rights and obligations to effect or end Interconnection. For the purpose of Rule 21, Net Energy Metering or Power purchase agreements authorized by the Commission are also defined as Generator Interconnection Agreements. For an Interconnection Customer who chooses a state-jurisdictional Generator Interconnection Agreement pursuant to Section 4.24.1 and Section 5.8.1 of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company Wholesale Distribution Tariff, the pro forma version will be the CPUC-approved form Rule 21 Generator Interconnection Agreement.
Generator Interconnection Procedures (GIP): The Wholesale Distribution GIP implements the requirements for Generating Facility interconnections to the Distribution System. This GIP applies to all Generating Facilities regardless of size. The Wholesale Transmission GIP implements the requirements for both Small and Large Generating Facility interconnections to the CAISO Controlled Grid. This GIP applies to Interconnection Requests that are either: (i) assigned to a Queue Cluster, (ii) included in the Independent Study Process, or (iii) included in the Fast Track Process, pursuant to the terms of this CAISO Tariff for the performance of its Interconnection Studies.
Generator Interconnection Study Process Agreement: The agreement entered into by the Interconnection Customer and the Distribution Provider that sets forth the Parties’ agreement to perform Interconnection Studies under the Cluster Study Process, a pro forma version of which is set forth in Attachment 6 of the GIP.
Gen-tie: A circuit that a customer builds to deliver self-generated power to the utility.
Geothermal: Natural heat from within the earth, captured for production of electric power.
Grid: The electric transmission and distribution system linking power plants to customers through high-power transmission line service.
Good Utility Practice: Any of the practices, methods and acts engaged in or approved by a significant portion of the electric utility industry during the relevant time period, or any of the practices, methods and acts which, in the exercise of reasonable judgment in light of the facts known at the time the decision was made, could have been expected to accomplish the desired result at a reasonable cost consistent with good business practices, reliability, safety and expedition. Good Utility Practice is not intended to be limited to the optimum practice, method, or act to the exclusion of all others, but rather to be acceptable practices, methods, or acts generally accepted in the region.
Governmental Authority: Any federal, state, local or other governmental regulatory or administrative agency, court, commission, department, board, or other governmental subdivision, legislature, rulemaking board, tribunal, or other governmental authority having jurisdiction over the Parties, their respective facilities, or the respective services they provide, and exercising or entitled to exercise any administrative, executive, police, or taxing authority or power; provided, however, that such term does not include Interconnection Customer, Distribution Provider, or any Affiliate thereof.
Gross Rating; Gross Nameplate Rating; Gross Capacity or Gross
Nameplate Capacity: The total gross generating capacity of a Generator or Generating Facility as designated by the manufacturer(s) of the Generator(s).
Group Study: The process whereby more than one Interconnection Request is studied together, instead of individually, for the purpose of conducting one or more of the Interconnection Studies or analyses therein.
Host Load: The electrical power, less the Generator auxiliary load, consumed by the Customer, to which the Generating Facility is connected.
Hydroelectric: A technology that produces electricity by using the kinetic energy of flowing or falling non-marine water to turn a turbine generator. See “small hydroelectric.”
Independent Study Process: The interconnection study process set forth in the Wholesale Distribution Generator Interconnection Procedures Section 3. This process evaluates an interconnection request for a generating facility independently of other projects. A customer can apply for an Independent Study at any time, but must pass an Electrical Independence engineering analysis after application to remain eligible. The Independent Study process may take 6-12 months.
Independent Study Process Study Agreement: The agreement entered into by the Interconnection Customer and Distribution Provider which sets forth the Parties’ agreement to perform Interconnection Studies under the Independent Study Process.
Initial Review: See Section F.2.a.[K1]
Initial Synchronization Date: The date on which the Generating Facility is initially synchronized and on which Trial Operation begins.
In-rush Current: The current determined by the In-rush Current Test.
In-service Date: The estimated date upon which Applicant reasonably expects it will be ready to begin use of Distribution Provider’s Interconnection Facilities.
Interconnection; Interconnected: The physical connection of a Generating Facility in accordance with applicable rules so that Parallel Operation with Distribution Provider’s Distribution or Transmission System can occur (has occurred).
Interconnection Agreement: See Generator Interconnection Agreement.
Interconnection Customer: Any entity, including the Distribution Provider, the Distribution Owner or any of the affiliates or subsidiaries of either, that proposes to interconnect its Generating Facility with the Distribution Provider's Distribution System.
Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities: All facilities and equipment, as identified in the Generator Interconnection Agreement, that are located between the Generating Facility and the Point of Change of Ownership, including any modification, addition, or upgrades to such facilities and equipment necessary to physically and electrically interconnect the Generating Facility to the Distribution Provider's Distribution System. Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities are sole-use facilities.
Interconnection Facilities: The electrical wires, switches and related equipment required in addition to the facilities required to provide electric Distribution Service to a Customer to allow Interconnection. Interconnection Facilities may be located on either side of the Point of Common Coupling as appropriate to their purpose and design. Interconnection Facilities may be integral to a Generating Facility or provided separately. Interconnection Facilities may be owned by either Producer or Distribution Provider.
Interconnection Facilities Study: A study conducted by Distribution Provider for an Interconnection Customer under the Independent Study Process to determine a list of facilities (including Distribution Provider's Interconnection Facilities, Distribution Upgrades, and Network Upgrades as identified in the Interconnection System Impact Study), the cost of those facilities, and the time required to interconnect the Generating Facility with Distribution Provider's Distribution or Transmission System. The scope of the study is defined in the Wholesale Distribution Generator Interconnection Procedures Section 3.6.
Interconnection Financial Security: Any of the financial instruments listed in Wholesale Distribution Generator Interconnection Procedures Sections 3.10 and 4.23.
Interconnection Handbook-Distribution ; Interconnection Handbook- Transmission: A handbook, developed by the Distribution or Transmission Provider and posted on the Provider’s website or otherwise made available by the Provider, describing the technical and operational requirements for wholesale generators and loads connected to the Distribution or Transmission System. The handbook may be modified or superseded from time to time. The standards contained in the Interconnection Handbook shall be deemed consistent with Good Utility Practice and applicable reliability standards. In the event of a conflict between the terms of the Generator Interconnection Procedures and the terms of the Distribution or Transmission Provider’s Interconnection Handbook, the terms in the Generator Interconnection Procedures shall govern.
Interconnection Request: An Applicant’s request to interconnect a new Generating Facility, or to increase the capacity of, or make a Material Modification to the operating characteristics of, an existing Generating Facility that is interconnected with Distribution Provider's Distribution or Transmission System.
Interconnection Service: The service provided by the Distribution Provider associated with interconnecting the Interconnection Customer's Generating Facility to the Distribution Provider's Distribution System and enabling it to receive electric energy and capacity from the Generating Facility at the Point of Interconnection, pursuant to the terms of the Generator Interconnection Agreement and, if applicable, the Distribution Provider's Tariff.
Interconnection Study: Any of the following studies: the Phase I Interconnection Study, the Phase II Interconnection Study, the Interconnection System Impact Study and the Interconnection Facilities Study.
Interconnection Study Cycle: All requirements, actions, and respective obligations of the Distribution Provider and Interconnection Customer under the Cluster Study Process of the Generator Interconnection Procedures applicable to an Interconnection Request submitted in a particular Cluster Application Window.
Interconnection Study Deposit: The cash deposit provided to the Distribution Provider under Sections 3.2 or 4.2 of the Generator Interconnection Procedures as a requirement of a valid Interconnection Request to be used to offset the cost of the Interconnection Studies.
Interconnection System Impact Study: An engineering study conducted by Distribution Provider for an Interconnection Customer under the Independent Study Process that evaluates the impact of the proposed interconnection on the safety and reliability of Distribution Provider's Distribution and/or Transmission System and, if applicable, an Affected System.
Investor‐owned utility (IOU): See “Electrical Corporations.”
- For the Existing Renewable Facilities Program Guidebook, New Solar Homes Partnership Guidebook, and the Emerging Renewables Program Guidebook, refers collectively to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company and Bear Valley Electric Service (a division of Golden State Water Company), the four electrical corporations whose ratepayers are subject to a surcharge for funding various public goods programs, including the Energy Commission’s Renewable Energy Program.
- For the Renewables Portfolio Standard Eligibility Guidebook, refers collectively to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, PacifiCorp, Liberty Energy‐California Pacific Electric Company (formerly Sierra Pacific Power Company) and Bear Valley Electric Service (a division of Golden State Water Company).
Island; Islanding: A condition on Distribution Provider’s Distribution System in which one or more Generating Facilities deliver power to Customers using a portion of Distribution Provider’s Distribution System that is electrically isolated from the remainder of Distribution Provider’s Distribution System.
ISO: The California Independent System Operator Corporation, a state-chartered, nonprofit corporation that controls certain transmission facilities of all Participating Transmission Owners and dispatches certain generating units and loads.
ISO Generator Interconnection Procedures (ISO Tariff GIP): The procedures included in Appendix Y of the ISO Tariff to interconnect a Generating Facility directly to the ISO Grid, as such procedures may be modified from time to time, and accepted by the Commission.
ISO Grid: The system of transmission lines and associated facilities of the Participating Transmission Owners that have been placed under the ISO’s Operational Control.
Kilowatt (kW): 1,000 watts. A unit of measure for the amount of electricity needed to operate given equipment. A typical home using central air conditioning and other equipment might have a demand of 4‐6 kW on a hot summer afternoon.
Kilowatt Hour (kWh): The most commonly used unit of measure telling the amount of electricity consumed over time. It means one kilowatt of electricity supplied for one hour. A typical California household consumes about 500 kWh in an average month.
Landfill Gas (LFG): Gas produced by the breakdown of organic matter in a landfill (composed primarily of methane and carbon dioxide) or the technology that uses this gas to produce power.
Large Generating Facility: A Generating Facility having a Generating Facility Capacity of more than 20 MW.
Line Section: That portion of Distribution Provider’s Distribution or Transmission System connected to a Customer bounded by automatic sectionalizing devices or the end of the distribution line.
Load: An end-use device of an end-use customer that consumes power. Load should not be confused with demand, which is the measure of power that a load receives or requires.
Load Shedding: The systematic reduction of system demand by temporarily decreasing the supply of energy to loads in response to transmission system or area capacity shortages, system instability, or voltage control considerations.
Local Furnishing Bond: Tax-exempt bond utilized to finance facilities for the local furnishing of electric energy, as described in Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 142(f).
Local Furnishing Distribution Provider: Any Distribution Provider that owns facilities financed by Local Furnishing Bonds.
Loss: Any and all losses relating to injury to or death of any person or damage to property, demand, suits, recoveries, costs and expenses, court costs, attorney fees and all other obligations by or to third parties, arising out of or resulting from the other Party's performance or non-performance of its obligations under the Generator Interconnection Agreement on behalf of the indemnifying Party, except in cases of gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing by the indemnifying Party.
Material Modification: Modification that has a material impact on cost or timing of any Interconnection Request with a later queue priority date or a change in Point of Interconnection. A Material Modification does not include a change in ownership of a Generating Facility.
Megawatt (MW): 1,000 kilowatts. One megawatt is about the amount of power to meet the peak demand of a large hotel.
Megawatt Hour (MWh): A unit of measure describing the amount of electricity consumed over time. It means one megawatt of electricity supplied for one hour. Two typical California households consume about a combined total of 1 MWh in an average month, one household consumes about 0.5 MWh.
Metered: The independent measurement with a standard meter of the electricity generated by a project or facility.
Metering: The measurement of electrical power in kilowatts (kW) and/or energy in kilowatt hours (kWh), and if necessary, reactive power in kVAR at a point, and its display to Distribution Provider. Metering Equipment shall mean all metering equipment installed or to be installed at the Generating Facility pursuant to the Generator Interconnection Agreement at the metering points, including but not limited to instrument transformers, MWh-meters, data acquisition equipment, transducers, remote terminal unit, communications equipment, phone lines and fiber optics.
Momentary Parallel Operation: The Interconnection of a Generating Facility to the Distribution and Transmission System for one second (60 cycles) or less.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW): Solid waste as defined in Public Resources Code Section 40191.
Municipal Utility: A local publicly owned (customer‐owned) electric utility that owns or operates electric facilities subject to the jurisdiction of a municipality, as opposed to the California Public Utilities Commission. Also referred to as “local publicly owned electric utility.”
Nameplate Capacity: The total gross generating capacity of a Generator or Generating Facility as designated by the manufacturer(s) of the Generator(s).
Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL): A laboratory accredited to perform Certification Testing requirements.
NERC: The North American Electric Reliability Council or its successor organization.
Net Energy Metering (NEM): A type of Distributed Generation that allows customers with an eligible power generator to offset the cost of their electric usage with energy they export to the grid. A specially programmed “net meter” is installed to measure the difference between the electricity the customer purchases and the electricity the customer exports to the grid. The methods of applying credit for exported energy vary with the program. PG&E's NEM programs are: Standard NEM, Expanded NEM, Virtual NEM, NEM Multiple Technologies and NEM Fuel Cell.
NEM Fuel Cell: Fuel cell technology converts hydrogen, typically formed from natural gas, to produce electrical energy. PG&E's Net Energy Metering Fuel Cell (NEMFC) program allows customers to receive credit for the energy a fuel cell system delivers to the PG&E electric grid. To qualify for this program, he fuel cell system must have a capacity of one megawatt or less, meet the other qualifying requirements found in PG&E’s Schedule NEMFC and safely and reliably connect to and interoperate with PG&E’s electrical grid. The utility meter records the net amount of energy you use when you are enrolled in PG&E's net energy metering program. When you're generating more electricity with your PV system than you're using, your meter will "spin backwards" and the excess electricity is sent to the electric grid. This provides you with a surplus to help offset the cost of your electricity usage at night or on cloudy days when your system is not producing.Photovoltaic (PV) refers to the process of turning sunlight into electricity. Individual PV cells are connected to panels. Solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity where an inverter converts DC into alternating current (AC) for electricity in the home. The utility meter records the net amount of energy you use when you are enrolled in PG&E's net energy metering program. When you're generating more electricity with your PV system than you're using, your meter will "spin backwards" and the excess electricity is sent to the electric grid. This provides you with a surplus to help offset the cost of your electricity usage at night or on cloudy days when your system is not producing.
NEM Multiple Technologies: A self-generation method that includes two or more types of generation technologies--solar, wind, hydroelectric, fuel cell or natural gas engine--at a single service point. The power generated from these technologies cannot be sold using PG&E or California Independent System Operator (CAISO) equipment.
Net Generation Output Metering: Metering of the net electrical power output in kW or energy in kWh, from a given Generating Facility. This may also be the measurement of the difference between the total electrical energy produced by a Generator and the electrical energy consumed by the auxiliary equipment necessary to operate the Generator. For a Generator with no Host Load and/or Section 218 Load, Metering that is located at the Point of Common Coupling. For a Generator with Host Load and/or Section 218 Load, Metering that is located at the Generator but after the point of auxiliary load(s) and prior to serving Host Load and/or Section 218 Load.
Net Rating or Net Nameplate Rating: The Gross Rating minus the consumption of electrical power of the auxiliary load.
Networked Secondary System: An AC distribution system where the secondaries of the distribution transformers are connected to a common bus for supplying electricity directly to consumers. There are two types of secondary networks: grid networks (also referred to as area networks or street networks) and Spot Networks. Synonyms: Secondary Network. Refer to IEEE 1547.6 for additional detail.
Network Upgrades: Additions, modifications, and upgrades to the Participating Transmission Owner's Transmission System required at or beyond the point at which the Small Generating Facility interconnects with the CAISO-Controlled Grid to accommodate the interconnection of the Small Generating Facility with the CAISO-Controlled Grid. Network Upgrades do not include Distribution Upgrades.
Non-Emergency: Conditions or situations that are not Emergencies, including but not limited to meter reading, inspection, testing, routine repairs, replacement, and maintenance.
Non-Export; Non-Exporting: When the Generating Facility is sized and designed such that the Generator output is used for Host Load only and is designed to prevent the transfer of electrical energy from the Generating Facility to Distribution Provider’s Distribution or Transmission System as described in Appendix One.
Non-Islanding: Designed to detect and disconnect from a stable Unintended Island with matched load and generation. Reliance solely on under/over voltage and frequency trip is not considered sufficient to qualify as Non-Islanding.
Notice of Dispute: A written notice of a dispute or claim that arises out of or in connection with the Generator Interconnection Agreement or its performance.
Ocean Thermal: Experimental technology that uses the temperature differences between deep and surface ocean water to produce electricity.
Ocean Wave: Experimental technology that uses ocean waves to produce electricity.
Off-Peak Deliverability Assessment: The technical study performed under Section 126.96.36.199.2 of the Generator Interconnection Procedures.
On-Peak Deliverability Assessment: The technical study performed under Section 188.8.131.52.1 of the Generator Interconnection Procedures.
Operating Requirements: Any operating and technical requirements that may be applicable due to the CAISO, Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Balancing Authority Area or the Participating Transmission Owner's requirements, including those set forth in this Agreement.
Operational Control: The rights of CAISO under a Transmission Control Agreement and the CAISO Tariff to direct the parties to the Transmission Control Agreement how to operate their transmission lines and facilities and other electric plant affecting the reliability of those lines and facilities for the purpose of affording comparable non-discriminatory transmission access and meeting applicable reliability criteria.
Paralleling Device: An electrical device, typically a circuit breaker, operating under the control of a synchronization relay or by a qualified operator to connect an energized generator to an energized electric power system or two energized power systems to each other.
Parallel Operation: The simultaneous operation of a Generator with power delivered or received by Distribution Provider while Interconnected. For the purpose of this Rule, Parallel Operation includes only those Generating Facilities that are Interconnected with Distribution Provider’s Distribution or Transmission System for more than 60 cycles (one second).
Party or Parties: The Distribution Provider, Distribution Owner, Transmission Provider, Transmission Owner, CAISO, Interconnection Customer or any combination of the above.
Periodic Test: A test performed on part or all of a Generating Facility/Interconnection Facilities at pre-determined time or operational intervals to achieve one or more of the following: 1) verify specific aspects of its performance; 2) calibrate instrumentation; and 3) verify and re-establish instrument or Protective Function set-points.
Phased Generating Facility: A Generating Facility that is structured to be completed and to achieve Commercial Operation in two or more successive sequences, such that each sequence comprises a portion of the total megawatt generation capacity of the entire Generating Facility.
Phase I Interconnection Study: The engineering study conducted by the Distribution Provider that evaluates the impact of the proposed interconnection on the safety and reliability of the Distribution System, ISO Grid and, if applicable, an Affected System. The portion of the study required to evaluate the impacts on the ISO Grid will be coordinated with the ISO and will be completed in a manner consistent with the ISO Tariff Generator Interconnection Procedures. The study shall identify and detail the system impacts that would result if the Generating Facility(ies) were interconnected without identified project modifications or system modifications, as provided in the On-Peak Deliverability Assessment or Off-Peak Deliverability Assessment, and other potential impacts, including but not limited to those identified in the Scoping Meeting as described in the Generator Interconnection Procedures. The study will also identify the approximate total costs of mitigating these impacts, along with an equitable allocation of those costs to Interconnection Customers for their individual Generating Facilities.
Phase II Interconnection Study: An engineering and operational study conducted by the Distribution Provider to determine the Point of Interconnection and a list of facilities (including Distribution Provider’s Interconnection Facilities, Network Upgrades, Distribution Upgrades, and Stand Alone Network Upgrades), the estimated cost of those facilities, and the estimated time required to interconnect the Generating Facility(ies) with the Distribution System. The portion of the study required to evaluate the impacts on the ISO Grid will be coordinated with the ISO and will be completed in a manner consistent with the ISO Tariff Generator Interconnection Procedures.
Photovoltaic (PV): Technology that uses a semiconductor to convert sunlight directly into electricity.
Pipeline Biomethane: Biogas that has been upgraded or otherwise conditioned such that it meets the gas quality standards applicable to the natural gas transportation pipeline system into which the biogas is first accepted for transportation. The pipeline owner/operator must have written gas quality standards that are publicly available. Also referred to as biomethane.
Placed in Service: For the Emerging Renewables Program, refers to a generating system that has been installed, is operational and is capable of producing electricity.
Point of Change of Ownership: The point, as set forth in the Generator Interconnection Agreement, where the Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities connect to the Distribution Provider’s Interconnection Facilities.
Point of Common Coupling (PCC): The transfer point for electricity between the electrical conductors of Distribution Provider and the electrical conductors of Producer.
Point of Interconnection: The point where the Interconnection Facilities connect with Distribution Provider’s Distribution or Transmission System. This may or may not be coincident with the Point of Common Coupling.
Power Purchase Contract: An agreement for the purchase of electrical energy and/or capacity that may be structured to provide payments based on both fixed and variable factors.
Pre-Construction Activities: The actions by Distribution Provider, other than those required by an Engineering and Procurement Agreement, undertaken prior to Construction Activities in order to prepare for the construction of Distribution Provider’s Interconnection Facilities, Distribution Upgrades, or Network Upgrades assigned to the Interconnection Customer, including, but not limited to, preliminary engineering, permitting activities, environmental analysis, or other activities specifically needed to obtain governmental approvals for Distribution Provider’s Interconnection Facilities, Distribution Upgrades, or Network Upgrades.
Producer: The entity that executes a Generator Interconnection Agreement with Distribution Provider. Producer may or may not own or operate the Generating Facility, but is responsible for the rights and obligations related to the Generator Interconnection Agreement.
Production Test: A test performed on each device coming off the production line to verify certain aspects of its performance.
Project: For hydroelectric facilities under the Renewables Portfolio Standard Program, “project” refers to a group of one or more pieces of generating equipment and ancillary equipment, necessary to interconnect to the transmission grid, that is unequivocally separable from any other generating equipment or components. Two or more sets of generating equipment that are located within a one‐mile radius of each other and are either 1) contiguous or 2) share common control or maintenance facilities and schedules shall constitute a single project, except in the following circumstances:
A conduit hydroelectric facility, certified as a conduit hydroelectric facility and not a small hydroelectric facility, may be considered a separate project even though the facility itself is part of a larger hydroelectric facility, provided that the larger hydroelectric facility commenced commercial operations prior to January 1, 2006,
- and the conduit hydroelectric facility commenced commercial operations on or after January 1, 2006, does not cause an adverse impact on in-stream beneficial uses or cause a change in the volume or timing of streamflow, is separately metered to identify its generation and is separately certified as RPS‐eligible by the Energy Commission. A conduit hydroelectric facility certified as a small hydroelectric facility may not be part of a larger project without considering the capacity of the entire project in the certification.
- For a small hydroelectric generation unit with a nameplate capacity not exceeding 40 megawatts that is operated as part of a water supply or conveyance system, as defined in this guidebook, and generation from the facility was under contract to, or owned by, a retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility as of December 31, 2005, the turbine and generator of the hydroelectric generation unit shall constitute a project.
For the Emerging Renewables Program, “project” refers to all otherwise eligible generating systems installed during the term of this program at one physical location and serving the electrical needs of all real and personal property at this location, as evidenced by the electric utility meter for this location.
For the New Solar Homes Partnership, “project” refers to all otherwise eligible generating systems installed during the term of this program at one physical location and serving the electrical needs of all real and personal property at this location, as evidenced by the electric utility meter for this location.
For the Existing Renewable Facilities Program, “project” refers to a group of one or more pieces of electrical generating equipment, and ancillary equipment necessary to attach to the transmission grid, that is unequivocally separable from any other electrical generating equipment or components. Two or more sets of electrical generating equipment that are contiguous or that share common control or maintenance facilities and schedules and are located within a one‐mile radius shall constitute a single project.
Protective Function(s): The equipment, hardware and/or software in a Generating Facility (whether discrete or integrated with other functions) whose purpose is to protect against Unsafe Operating Conditions.
Prudent Electrical Practices: Those practices, methods, and equipment, as changed from time to time, that are commonly used in prudent electrical engineering and operations to design and operate electric equipment lawfully and with safety, dependability, efficiency, and economy.
Pumped Hydro: An energy storage technology consisting of two water reservoirs separated vertically; during off‐peak hours, water is pumped from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir, allowing the off‐peak electrical energy to be stored indefinitely as gravitational energy in the upper reservoir. During peak hours, water from the upper reservoir may be released and passed through hydraulic turbines to generate electricity as needed.
Qualifying Facility (QF): Facility that interconnects with PG&E's transmission or distribution system, producing wind, hydroelectric, biomass, waste or geothermal energy. Qualifying facilities can also be cogeneration facilities that produce electricity and another form of thermal energy. Energy deregulation has allowed these generators to choose the markets in which they sell the electricity they generate.
Queue Position: See Section 1.3 of Attachment I to the Wholesale Distribution Tariff or Section C of Electric Rule 21.
Queued Capacity: Aggregate queued generation capacity (in MW) for a substation/ area bus, bank or circuit (i.e., amount of generation in the queue).
Reasonable Efforts: With respect to an action required to be attempted or taken, efforts that are timely and consistent with Good Utility Practice and are otherwise substantially equivalent to those a Party would use to protect its own interests.
Reliability Network Upgrades: The transmission facilities at or beyond the point where the Distribution Provider's Distribution System interconnects to the ISO Grid, necessary to interconnect one or more Generating Facility(ies) safely and reliably to the ISO Grid, which would not have been necessary but for the interconnection of one or more Generating Facility(ies), including Network Upgrades necessary to remedy short-circuit or stability problems, or thermal overloads. Reliability Network Upgrades shall only be deemed necessary for thermal overloads, occurring under any system condition, where such thermal overloads cannot be adequately mitigated through the ISO's congestion management, operating procedures, or special protection systems based on the characteristics of the Generating Facilities included in the Interconnection Studies, limitations on market models, systems, or information or other factors specifically identified in the Interconnection Studies. Reliability Network Upgrades also include, consistent with the Applicable Reliability Council's practice and Applicable Reliability Standards, the facilities necessary to mitigate any adverse impact the Generating Facility's interconnection may have on a path's Applicable Reliability Council rating.
Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS): Defined in Public Utilities Code Section 399.12, Subdivision (i), to mean the specified percentage of electricity generated by eligible renewable energy resources that a retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility is required to procure pursuant to Public Utilities Code Section 399.11 et seq. Under the RPS, a retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility must increase its total procurement of eligible renewable energy resources so that 33 percent of its retail sales are procured from eligible energy resources no later than December 31, 2020.
Renewable Technology: Any power source not derived from a conventional technology such as nuclear energy, a hydropower facility greater than 30 megawatts or fossil fuels combustion, unless cogeneration technology is employed in producing such power. Examples of renewable power sources are solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, hydro, wind, wave, ocean thermal and tidal.
Residential Building: For the New Solar Homes Partnership, includes a house, condominium, apartment or other residential unit.
Results Meeting: The meeting among the Distribution Provider, the Interconnection Customer and if applicable, the ISO and other Affected System Operators to discuss the results of the Interconnection Studies as set forth in the Generator Interconnection Procedures.
Retail Generation: Energy that customers generate by means such as rooftop solar or wind for their own use and not for export or sale to the electrical system. The process for interconnecting retail generators in California to the electrical system is governed by the State of California.
Rule 21: The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) tariff that determines the requirements for customers to interconnect their retail generation facilities with the electric grid.
Scoping Meeting: The meeting between representatives of the Interconnection Customer and Distribution Provider, and if applicable, the ISO, conducted for the purpose of discussing alternative interconnection options, to exchange information including any transmission data and earlier study evaluations that would be reasonably expected to impact such interconnection options, to analyze such information and to determine the potential feasible Points of Interconnection.
Section 218 Load: Electric power that is supplied in compliance with California PUC section 218. PUC section 218 defines an "Electric Corporation" and provides conditions under which a transaction involving a Generating Facility would not classify a Producer as an Electric Corporation. These conditions relate to "over-the-fence" sale of electricity from a Generating Facility without using Distribution Provider's Distribution or Transmission System.
Short-Circuit Contribution Ratio (SCCR): The ratio of the Generating Facility's short circuit contribution to the short circuit contribution provided through Distribution Provider's Distribution System for a three-phase fault at the high voltage side of the distribution transformer connecting the Generating Facility to Distribution Provider's Distribution System.
Single-Line Diagram; Single-Line Drawing: A schematic drawing showing the major electric switchgear, Protective Function devices (including relays, current transformer and potential transformer configurations/wiring in addition to circuit breakers/fuses), wires, Generators, transformers, meters and other devices, providing relevant details to communicate to a qualified engineer the essential design and safety of the system being considered.
Site Control: Documentation reasonably demonstrating: (1) ownership of, a leasehold interest in or a right to develop a site for the purpose of constructing the Generating Facility; (2) an option to purchase or acquire a leasehold site for such purpose; or (3) an exclusivity or other business relationship between Interconnection Customer and the entity having the right to sell, lease or grant Interconnection Customer the right to possess or occupy a site for such purpose.
Site Exclusivity: Documentation reasonably demonstrating: (1) For private land: (a) Ownership of, a leasehold interest in, or a right to develop property upon which the Generating Facility will be located consisting of a minimum of 50 percent of the acreage reasonably necessary to accommodate the Generating Facility; or (b) an option to purchase or acquire a leasehold interest in property upon which the Generating Facility will be located consisting of a minimum of 50 percent of the acreage reasonably necessary to accommodate the Generating Facility. (2) For public land, including that controlled or managed by any federal, state or local agency, a final, non-appealable permit, license, or other right to use the property for the purpose of generating electric power and in acreage reasonably necessary to accommodate the Generating Facility, which exclusive right to use public land under the management of the federal Bureau of Land Management shall be in a form specified by the Bureau of Land Management. The demonstration of Site Exclusivity, at a minimum, must be through the Commercial Operation Date of the new Generating Facility or increase in capacity of the existing Generating Facility.
Small Generating Facility: The Interconnection Customer's device with a capacity of no more than 20 MW for the production of electricity identified in the Interconnection Request. Such device shall not include the Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities.
Small Hydroelectric: An electric generation facility employing one or more hydroelectric turbine generators, the sum capacity of which does not exceed 30 megawatts, except in the case of efficiency improvements or conduit hydroelectric facilities as described below. Pursuant to Public Utilities Code Section 399.12, Subdivision (e)(1)(A), an existing small hydroelectric generation facility of 30 MW or less may be an eligible renewable energy resource only if a retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility owned or procured the electricity from the facility as of December 31, 2005. Pursuant to Public Utilities Code Section 399.12, Subdivision (e)(1)(A), a new small hydroelectric facility is not an eligible renewable energy resource for purposes of the RPS if it will cause an adverse impact on in-stream beneficial uses or cause a change in the volume or timing of streamflow.
A small hydroelectric facility may exceed 30 megawatts if it is the result of efficiency improvements made to the facility after January 1, 2008, and the efficiency improvements do not cause an adverse impact on in-stream beneficial uses or cause a change in the volume or timing of streamflow. The generating capacity of a conduit hydroelectric facility that is associated with or part of a small hydroelectric facility is not considered part of the generating capacity of the small hydroelectric facility, provided the small hydroelectric facility commenced commercial operations prior to January 1, 2006, and the conduit hydroelectric facility commenced commercial operations on or after January 1, 2006, does not cause an adverse impact on in-stream beneficial uses or cause a change in the volume or timing of streamflow, is separately metered to identify its generation and is separately certified as RPS-eligible by the Energy Commission.
The term "beneficial use" shall be defined consistent with the California Code Regulations, Title 23, Sections 659 through 672, to include the following uses of water:
domestic use, irrigation use, power use, municipal use, mining use, industrial use, fish and wildlife preservation and enhancement use, aquaculture use, recreational use and heat control use.
Solar Thermal Electric: The conversion of sunlight to heat and its concentration and use to power a generator to produce electricity.
Solid‐Fuel Biomass: A biomass technology that uses solid fuel, such as wood, agricultural waste and other organic material that may be burned to produce electricity.
Special Facilities: As defined in Distribution Provider's Rule 2.
Spot Network: For purposes of Rule 21, a Spot Network is a type of distribution system found within modern commercial buildings to provide high reliability of service to a single customer.
Stand Alone Network Upgrades: Network Upgrades that an Interconnection Customer may construct without affecting day-to-day operations of the Transmission System during their construction. Both the Distribution Provider and the Interconnection Customer must agree as to what constitutes Stand Alone Network Upgrades and identify them in an Appendix to the Generator Interconnection Agreement.
Standard NEM: a Net Energy Metering program for customers with eligible solar, wind or hybrid (solar and wind) generators that are less than or equal to 30 kilowatts in size. Download Net Energy Metering (PDF).
Starting Voltage Drop: The percentage voltage drop at a specified point resulting from In-rush Current. The Starting Voltage Drop can also be expressed in volts on a particular base voltage (e.g., 6 volts on a 120-volt base, yielding a 5 percent drop).
Supplemental Review: A Supplemental Review determines if (i) the Generating Facility qualifies for Fast Track Interconnection, or (ii) the Generating Facility requires Detailed Study. If Applicant requests Supplemental Review and submits a nonrefundable Supplemental Review fee, if required, Distribution Provider shall complete Supplemental Review within twenty (20) Business Days, absent extraordinary circumstances, following authorization and receipt of the fee.
System Impact Study: See Interconnection System Impact Study.
System Integrity: The condition under which Distribution Provider's Distribution and Transmission System is deemed safe and can reliably perform its intended functions in accordance with the safety and reliability rules of Distribution Provider.
System Protection Facilities: The equipment, including necessary protection signal communications equipment, required to protect (1) the Distribution Provider's Distribution System, the ISO-Controlled Grid and Affected Systems from faults or other electrical disturbances occurring at the Generating Facility and (2) the Generating Facility from faults or other electrical system disturbances occurring on the Distribution Provider's Distribution System, the ISO-Controlled Grid or on other delivery systems or other generating systems to which the Distribution Provider's Distribution System and Transmission System are directly connected.
Tariff, Wholesale Distribution: The Distribution Provider’s Wholesale Distribution Tariff through which open access distribution service and Interconnection Service are offered, as filed with the FERC, and as amended or supplemented from time to time, or any successor tariff.
Tariff, Wholesale Transmission: The CAISO tariff, as filed with FERC, and as amended or supplemented from time to time, or any successor tariff.
Tidal Current Power: Energy obtained by using the motion of the tides to run water turbines that drive electric generators.
Telemetering: The electrical or electronic transmittal of metering data on a real-time basis to Distribution Provider.
10 kW Inverter Process: The procedure for evaluating an Interconnection Request for a certified inverter-based Generating Facility no larger than 10 kW that uses the section 2 screens. The application process uses an all-in-one document that includes a simplified Interconnection Request, simplified procedures, and a brief set of terms and conditions. See Generator Interconnection Procedures Attachment 5.
Total Capacity: Capacity (in MW) of a substation/area bus, bank or circuit based on normal or operating ratings.
Transfer Trip: A Protective Function that trips a Generating Facility remotely by means of an automated communications link controlled by Distribution Provider.
Transient Stability: The ability of an electrical system to withstand disturbances. Transient Stability studies are performed to ensure power system stability and are time-based simulations that assess the performance of the power system during and shortly following system disturbances.
Transmission: An interconnected group of lines (with voltages of 60 kV and over for PG&E transmission lines) and associated equipment for the movement or transfer of electrical energy between points of supply and points at which it is transformed for delivery to customers or other electric systems. This portion of California's electrical system is governed by the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO).
Transmission Cluster Study Process: The cluster study process as defined in Distribution Provider’s Wholesale Distribution Tariff.
Transmission Interconnection Facilities: The Participating Transmission Owner's Interconnection Facilities and the Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities. Collectively, Interconnection Facilities include all facilities and equipment between the Small Generating Facility and the Point of Interconnection, including any modification, additions or upgrades that are necessary to physically and electrically interconnect the Small Generating Facility to the Participating TO's Transmission System. Interconnection Facilities are sole-use facilities and shall not include Distribution Upgrades or Network Upgrades.
Transmission Owner (TO): An entity owning transmission facilities or having firm contractual rights to use transmission facilities.
Transmission System: The facilities owned and operated by the Participating Transmission Owner and that have been placed under the CAISO’s Operational Control, which facilities form part of the CAISO Controlled Grid. For PG&E, transmission facilities transport energy with voltage greater than 60 kV.
Trial Operation: The period during which Interconnection Customer is engaged in onsite test operations and commissioning of the Generating Facility prior to Commercial Operation.
Type Test: A test performed on a sample of a particular model of a device to verify specific aspects of its design, construction and performance.
Uncontrollable Force: Any act of God, labor disturbance, act of the public enemy, war, insurrection, riot, fire, storm, flood, earthquake, explosion, breakage or accident to machinery or equipment, any curtailment, order, regulation or restriction imposed by governmental, military or lawfully established civilian authorities, or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of the Distribution Provider or Interconnection Customer which could not be avoided through the exercise of Good Utility Practice. An Uncontrollable Force event does not include acts of negligence or intentional wrongdoing by the Party claiming Uncontrollable Force.
Unintended Island: The creation of an Island, usually following a loss of a portion of Distribution Provider’s Distribution System, without the approval of Distribution Provider.
Upgrades: The required additions and modifications to the Distribution Provider's Transmission System and Distribution System at or beyond the Point of Interconnection. Upgrades may be Network Upgrades or Distribution Upgrades. Upgrades do not include Interconnection Facilities
Unsafe Operating Conditions: Conditions that, if left uncorrected, could result in harm to personnel, damage to equipment, loss of System Integrity or operation outside pre-established parameters required by the Generator Interconnection Agreement.
Virtual NEM: Solar photovoltaic electric generation for a multi-tenant housing facility where the electricity generator is used only to cover the load of common and tenant areas and is not be resold to third parties. The goal of this program is to incorporate high levels of energy efficiency and high-performing solar systems to enhance the quality of affordable housing.
Watt: A unit of electrical power equal to the power developed in a circuit by a current of one ampere flowing through a potential difference of one volt.
Wholesale Distribution Tariff: PG&E’s Wholesale Distribution Tariff (WDT).Photovoltaic (PV) refers to the process of turning sunlight into electricity. Individual PV cells are connected to panels. Solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity where an inverter converts DC into alternating current (AC) for electricity in the home.
Wholesale Generation: Self-generated energy that is sold to the electric system. Wholesale generation transactions and the process for interconnecting wholesale generators to the electric system are governed by the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC).
Wind Power: Energy from wind converted into mechanical energy and then electricity.
If you can't find the term you're looking for in this Glossary, try checking the definitions sections in the following documents:
- CAISO Master Definition File
- Download "Appendix A - Master Definition Supplement."
- Wholesale Distribution Glossary of Terms (PDF)
- Electric Rule 21 Glossary (PDF)
- Once this document is open, scroll down to Section C titled "Definitions" for a full list of Rule 21 generator interconnection terms and definitions.
- California Energy Commission (CEC) Guidebook
- On the CEC website, scroll down to the section "RPS Guidebook" and expand the section using the plus sign next to it.
- Use the link this drop down section to access the latest RPS Guidebook.
- If there are any issues with this link and accessing the guidebook, submit this problem to the CEC webmaster for resolution using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page.
More NEM resources
NEM and your bill
Understand Net Energy Metering and your bill.
PG&E service requirements
Download, search or access the Greenbook online.
Electric Services Handbooks
For detailed requirements, explore the handbooks for PG&E electric services.