In December, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission continued work in proceeding UE-112133, to revise state-jurisdictional interconnection standards. Interestingly, this work also includes a discussion of third-party ownership for customer-sited distributed generation. While typically addressed in net metering rules, third party ownership is an issue in Washington’s interconnection procedures due to restrictive language in the current procedures.
IREC was a participant in the working group that developed the draft interconnection rule and has submitted several rounds of comments encouraging a broad range of reforms. The draft rule features many improvements from the existing standards, including technical review screens for expedited review of Level 1 (inverter-based systems 25 kW or less) and Level 2 (500 kW or less) generators. The UTC requested comments on these draft rules, which were due in December. The draft rules include a new proposed definition of an “interconnection customer” that would explicitly recognize he ability of third-party owned systems to engage in net metering in Washington. This alone would be a significant advance for DG policy in the state and would remove a significant barrier to market growth.