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North Carolina

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Interconnection Standards   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/30/2012
Program Overview:
State: North Carolina
Incentive Type: Interconnection
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Fuel Cells, Municipal Solid Waste, CHP/Cogeneration, Anaerobic Digestion, Small Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Microturbines, Other Distributed Generation Technologies
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Agricultural, Institutional
Applicable Utilities:Investor-owned utilities
System Capacity Limit:No limit specified
Standard Agreement:Yes
Insurance Requirements:Varies by system size and/or type; levels established by NCUC
External Disconnect Switch:Not required for inverter-based systems up to 10 kW (utility may choose to install at its own expense); utility's discretion for all other systems
Net Metering Required:No
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
NCUC Order, Docket No. E-100, Sub 101
6/9/2008
6/9/2008
Summary:

The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) adopted comprehensive interconnection standards for distributed generation in June 2008. The NCUC standards, which are similar to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) interconnection standards for small generators, govern interconnection to the distribution systems of the state's three investor-owned utilities: Progress Energy, Duke Energy and Dominion North Carolina Power.* The standards apply to all state-jurisdictional interconnections (including interconnection of three-phase generators) regardless of the capacity of the generator, the voltage level of the interconnection, or whether the customer intends to offset electricity consumption or sell electricity.

The NCUC standards, like the FERC standards, use a three-tiered approach to simplify the interconnection process:

  • Systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) must follow the 10-kW "inverter process" of simplified interconnection;
  • Systems larger than 10 kW and up to two megawatts (MW) must follow the "fast-track process;" and
  • Systems greater than 2 MW must follow the "study process."

Utilities may not require residential customers to carry liability insurance beyond the amount required by a standard homeowner’s policy ($100,000 minimum). Non-residential generators are required to carry comprehensive general liability insurance ($300,000 minimum). Customers that meet certain eligibility requirements are allowed to self-insure. Generators are responsible only for the costs of upgrades and improvements directly associated with a system's interconnection, but these costs may be determined by utilities.

As specified in a December 2008 order, utilities are authorized to require an external disconnect switch, but must reimburse owners of systems smaller than 10kW for the cost of the switch. Interconnection agreements are not transferrable; new owners must secure an agreement by filing an interconnection request and submitting a fee of $50. (However, the interconnection will not need to be re-studied.) The standards include a provision for mutual indemnification and a weak process for dispute resolution.

The NCUC established a fee structure for interconnection applications: $100 for generators up to 20 kW; $250 for generators larger than 20 kW but not larger than 100 kW; and $500 for generators larger than 100 kW but not larger than to 2 MW. The FERC fee structure applies to the interconnection of systems over 2 MW.

The NCUC has ruled that renewable-energy credits (RECs) generally remain the property of the system owner. However, for net-metered systems, any net excess generation (NEG) and the RECs associated with NEG are granted to the utility once annually.

Legislation enacted by North Carolina in August 2007 (S.B. 3) required the NCUC to establish interconnection standards for distributed generation systems up to 10 MW in capacity. The law stated that the commission “shall adopt, if appropriate, federal interconnection standards.” This law also established North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS).

Click here for Duke Energy's web site for interconnection, or here for Progress Energy's web site for interconnection. 

*The NCUC’s interconnection standards do not govern interconnection to municipal utilities or electric cooperatives.


 
Contact:
  Kennie Ellis
North Carolina Utilities Commission
Public Staff
430 N. Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27611
Phone: (919) 733-2267
Fax: (919) 733-4744
E-Mail: Kennie.Ellis@ncmail.net
Web Site: http://www.ncuc.commerce.state.nc.us
 
  Dan Conrad
North Carolina Utilities Commission
430 N. Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27611
Phone: (919) 733-0835
E-Mail: dconrad@ncuc.net
Web Site: http://www.ncuc.commerce.state.nc.us
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.