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Colorado

Colorado

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Interconnection Standards   

Last DSIRE Review: 09/27/2012
Program Overview:
State: Colorado
Incentive Type: Interconnection
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, CHP/Cogeneration, Anaerobic Digestion, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Microturbines, Other Distributed Generation Technologies
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Utility, Agricultural, Institutional
Applicable Utilities:IOUs with 40,000 or more customers
All electrical cooperatives
Municipal utilities with 5,000 or more customers
System Capacity Limit:10 MW
Standard Agreement:Yes
Insurance Requirements:$300,000 (10 kW or less)
$1,000,000 (up to 500 kW)
$2,000,000 (up to 2 MW)
Case-by-case determination (up to 10 MW)
Net Metering Required:No
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
4 CCR 723-3, Rule 3667
12/15/2005
7/2/2006
Authority 2:
C.R.S. 40-9.5-118
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
C.R.S. 40-2-124
3/26/2008
Summary:

In December 2005, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted standards for net metering and interconnection, as required by Amendment 37, a renewable energy ballot initiative approved by Colorado voters in November 2004. The PUC standards generally apply to investor-owned utilities (IOUs) with 40,000 or more customers and all electric cooperatives.* Municipal utilities with 5,000 customers or more are required to adopt interconnection rules that are functionally similar to the PUC's standards (see H.B. 1160). Electric cooperatives and municipal utilities may reduce or waive any insurance requirements that apply to IUOs (H.B. 07-1169). The PUC adopted new rules in September 2009, as required by S.B. 51, which relaxed some of the insurance requirements for interconnection and addressed utility concerns with highly seasonal circuits and voltage flicker.

Colorado’s interconnection rules are based on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) interconnection standards for small generators, adopted in May 2005 by FERC Order 2006. Colorado's rules for interconnection include provisions for three levels of interconnection for systems up to 10 megawatts (MW), based on system complexity. Interconnection requirements, standards, and review procedures are divided into three levels:

  • Level 1 Interconnection applies to inverter-based systems with a maximum nameplate capacity of 10 kilowatts (kW). These systems must comply with the IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 standards and other applicable standards. Liability insurance with a single occurrence limit of $300,000 is required at the customer's expense.
  • Level 2 Interconnection applies to systems with a maximum capacity of 2 MW. These systems must comply with the IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 standards and must be connected to a portion of the distribution system that is subject to the utility's tariff. There are specific limitations on a single system's potential impact and the aggregate potential impact on the grid. If a proposed interconnection fails one of the various screening tests, the customer-generator may need to pay for a supplemental review by the utility. Liability insurance with a single occurrence limit of $1 million is required for systems above 10 kW and up to 500 kW at the customer's expense. Systems above 500 kW and up to 2 MW must carry a $2 million insurance policy.
  • Level 3 Interconnection applies to systems up to 10 MW that do not qualify for either Level 1 or Level 2 interconnection procedures. Level 3 interconnection may require studies involving project scope, feasibility, impact, and facilities. The customer may need to make a deposit and incur a portion of the total costs associated with these studies. Insurance levels will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the servicing utility.

Interconnection to area networks for systems up to 300 kW in capacity is permitted.


 
Contact:
  Bill Dalton
Colorado Public Utilities Commission
1560 Broadway, Suite 250
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 894-2908
E-Mail: william.dalton@dora.state.co.us
Web Site: http://www.dora.state.co.us/PUC
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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.