During 2010 all of the previous interconnection rules, procedures, fees, and timelines for completing these agreements have been massively changed for solar PV farms in California. Starting first in the spring was the CAISO collapse of separate interconnection rules for small (SGIP) and large (LGIP) solar facilities on the transmission line systems of the utilities into one inclusive “cluster” process. The serial and much simpler SGIP rules were basically abandoned because of utility concerns for being swamped with applications that had overlapping system reliability concerns being studied in isolation of one another. Indeed the CAISO transmission, SCE WDAT, and PG&E WDAT interconnection queues have exploded during 2010. Late in the fall the three utilities abandoned their WDAT distribution connection rules and moved, in unison, to a “cluster” process .
What this means is that the old serial study of individual projects at specific sites is now gone forever into a study process that puts your project into a system upgrade study process with all projects in the same region of the utility system. There are subtle exceptions such as a proposed Independent Study Process or a Fast Track Process that may be viable for smaller projects, but in general the rules are much more complicated and costly to navigate for a solar PV developer.
With some reading of the massive new rules it becomes apparent that your 2011 project trying to get an interconnection agreement in some finite time MUST be placed into the cluster #4 application group that closes by the end of March 2011. If you miss this window then you may wait until the late fall for another possible opening. Of course by then your possible connection site will already be over the capacity allocation limit for a reasonable interconnection charge and you will get a nice large system upgrade bill over a year later than the first group.
The time is now to work with Solar Land Partners to understand these new realities and to make this looming deadline for both transmission and distribution applications for 2011.
There are lots of steps a solar energy farm developer usually takes toward receiving a power purchase agreement. Probably the most critical step may be the Project Viability Calculator. The Project Viability Calculator has been specially designed to ensure the utility companies can assess the viability of the alternative energy project when compared to other projects which are bidding into the alternative energy queue.
The Project Viability Calculator utilizes many standard categories and sub-categories which help in quantifying the weaknesses and strengths of the specific project. It isn’t a device to reduce applications but rather screen them to help figure out which projects provide the best probability of finishing construction and becoming functional.
The electric utilities are under state mandates to realize renewable targets. When they receive applications for projects they will utilize the Project Viability Calculator which in turn enables them to recognize which projects are likely to assist them in meeting their alternative energy goals. What most folks don’t realize is the fact that electric utilities must utilize the Project Viability Calculator to gauge bids.
When planning to obtain a power purchase agreement, the first step is making certain you understand the Project Viability Calculator thoroughly. Solar Land Partners focuses on this kind of co-developer work and is expert at assisting you with your solar energy farm project.
One more significant aspect about the Project Viability Calculator is the fact that the electric companies may revise the Project Viability Calculator inside of specific guidelines. As an example, the electric company can add criteria and modify the criteria rating. They can’t, on the other hand, eliminate pre-existing criteria or insert brand new categories. An electric utility company is unable to modify scoring guidelines and any changes to the official Project Viability Calculator should be clearly explained and documented.
When you score well on the Project Viability Calculator you then are more likely to obtain a power purchase agreement. Typically the Project Viability Calculator is an additional very important step any solar energy farm project developer needs to execute precisely. Ensure that it suits the design of your project. And finally, make certain that the Project Viability Calculator is targeted with regard to the power purchase agreement program that you are applying for.