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Combined Heat and Power Partnership

Virginia Interconnection Standards

Date Last Updated8/13/2014
Policy TypeInterconnection Standard
Policy Administrator/Contact OfficeVirginia State Corporation Commission (SCC)
Policy Initiation Date1/1/1999
Policy SummaryVirginia has interconnection standards for systems including CHP distinguished into two separate sets of rules: one for net-metered systems and another for systems that are not net-metered.

Net-Metered Systems: Virginia's first set of interconnection standards apply to residential net-metered systems up to 20 kW and commercial net-metered systems up to 500 kW (or greater if the utility's net metering tariff specifies a higher capacity limit for commercial systems). Net-metered systems that comply with national safety standards such as NEC, IEEE, and UL do not need to install additional safety equipment. However, utilities may require their customers to install a manual, external disconnect switch.

Customer-generators must notify the electric distribution company and the energy service provider prior to interconnecting; the minimum advance-notice requirement depends on system size. Customer-generators may be required to pay up to $50 for an inverter inspection for inverter-based systems. In addition, customer-generators with systems greater than 25 kW in capacity must reimburse the utility for its cost to modify any facilities needed to accommodate the interconnection with respect to power quality, voltage regulation and transformer loading.

Systems up to 10 kW must have at least $100,000 in liability insurance, and customers with systems >10 kW must have at least $300,000 in liability insurance.

Non-Net-Metered Systems: These rules apply to all electric utilities in the state: IOUs, MOUs, and electric cooperatives. The rules are based on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Small Generator Interconnection Procedure (SGIP). There are three tiers of interconnection standards, applying to systems up to 20 MW:
  • Level 1: applies to small generating facilities up to 500 kW. A Level 1 request must submit $100 fee. In general, Level 1 requests require an evaluation and no additional studies.
  • Level 2: applies to certified facilities up to 2 MW that do not qualify for the Level 1 process. A Level 2 request must submit $500 fee and require an initial review and possibly a supplemental review.
  • Level 3: applies to facilities up to 20 MW that do not qualify for the Level 1 or 2 processes. Level 3 requests must submit a deposit of $1000 or 50% of the estimated cost of the feasibility study (whichever is less). Level 3 requests may include a scoping meeting (which may be waived), a feasibility study (which may be waived), system impact study, and facilities study.
The SCC specifies IEEE Standard 1547 ("Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electrical Power Systems") as the technical standard of evaluation. Systems are considered to be lab-certified if the components have been evaluated as compliant with UL 1741 and the National Electric Code (NEC).

Interconnection requests that include multiple energy production devices located on one site with a single point of interconnection will be evaluated on the aggregate capacity of all systems. Interconnection request for systems wishing to increase capacity shall be evaluated on total new capacity.

Insurance requirements vary depending on the size of the generator facility. Facilities with rated capacity up to 10 kW must carry liability insurance of at least $100,000 per occurrence. Facilities with rated capacity >10 kW but up to 500 kW must carry liability insurance with coverage of at least $300,000 for each occurrence. Facilities with rated capacity >500 kW but up to 2 MW must carry liability insurance with coverage of at least $2 million per occurrence. Insurance coverage for facilities with rated capacity >2 MW will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the size of the installation and potential risk of system damage.

It is the utility's discretion whether to require an external disconnect switch. In addition, Virginia's interconnection standards for non-net metered systems stipulate a dispute resolution process. The parties involved in the dispute may choose one of two options: they may seek assistance from the SCC's Division of Energy Regulation, or they may seek third-party assistance. If these attempts are unsuccessful at resolving the dispute, the parties may file a formal complaint with the SCC.
CHP Eligibility RequirementsOnly renewably-fueled CHP systems are eligible for standardized interconnection.
Eligible Project Size (MW)Standardized interconnection applies to systems <20 MW.
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