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Combined Heat and Power Partnership

Iowa Interconnection Standards

Date Last Updated8/11/2014
Policy TypeInterconnection Standard
Policy Administrator/Contact OfficeIowa Utilities Board
Policy Initiation Date5/26/2010
Policy SummaryIowa has interconnection standards for systems including CHP for rate-regulated utilities (MidAmerican Energy, Interstate Power and Light, and Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative). The standards apply to distributed generation facilities, including CHP, up to 10 MW that are not subject to the interconnection requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc., or the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool. Although standard interconnection rules only apply to systems up to 10 MW, the rules state that interconnection of larger facilities should take place using the Level 4 review process as a starting point.

Iowa rules set four levels of review for interconnection requests. A project must meet all of the requirements of a given classification in order to be eligible for that level of expedited review:
  • Tier 1: applies to lab-certified, inverter-based systems up to 10 kW. Application fees are set at $50.
  • Tier 2: applies to lab-certified systems up to 2 MW, connected to a radial distribution network or a spot network serving one customer. Application fees are set at $100 plus $1 per kW.
  • Tier 3: applies to lab-certified, inverter-based systems up to 50 kW which are connected to an area network and which will not export power, or lab-certified, non-exporting systems connected to a radial distribution circuit that are up to 10 MW. Application fees are set at $500 plus $2 per kW.
  • Tier 4: applies to systems up to 10 MW that do not meet the criteria for inclusion in a lower tier, including all systems using non-lab-certified components and those that require additional construction by the utility in order accommodate the facility. Application fees are set at $1,000 plus $2 per kW.
The rules adopt IEEE 1547-2003 as the technical standard for evaluating interconnection requests. The rules also specify the technical screens which may be applied to applications at each level of review as well as time limits for different stages of the evaluation process. A lockable external disconnect switch (EDS) may be required at the utility's discretion, and the utility is permitted to make reasonable system monitoring and control requirements for systems >1 MW. All applicants are required to carry and provide proof of some type of general liability insurance as part of the interconnection agreement. For facilities <1 MW, homeowner's insurance is referred to by the rules as one acceptable form of general liability insurance without any specific minimum amount of coverage.For facilities 1 MW or larger, the customer must maintain a general liability insurance policy with a limit of at least $2 million per occurrence and at least $4 million in aggregate, which also names the utility as an additional insured party. The rules also specify a procedure for dispute resolution.
CHP Eligibility RequirementsBoth fossil-fueled and renewably-fueled CHP systems are eligible for standardized interconnection.
Eligible Project Size (MW)Standardized interconnection applies to systems up to 10 MW.
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