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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Interconnection Standards   

Last DSIRE Review: 12/01/2014
Program Overview:
State: Pennsylvania
Incentive Type: Interconnection
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells, Municipal Solid Waste, Waste Coal, Coal-Mine Methane, Industrial by-product technologies, (CHP/Cogen)*, Anaerobic Digestion, Other Distributed Generation Technologies
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Fed. Government, Agricultural, Institutional
Applicable Utilities:Investor-owned utilities
System Capacity Limit:5 MW
Standard Agreement:Yes
Insurance Requirements:"Additional" liability insurance not required
External Disconnect Switch:Required
Net Metering Required:Yes
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
73 P.S. § 1648.5
11/30/2004 (subsequently amended)
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
52 Pa. Code § 75.21 et seq.
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
52 Pa. Code § 69.2101 et seq.
Authority 4:
Date Enacted:
PUC Opinion and Order Docket M-00051865

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission was required to adopt interconnection standards and net-metering rules by the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004.The PUC subsequently adopted interconnection standards for net-metered distributed generation (DG) systems in August 2006 (52 Pa. Code § 75.21 et seq.). In July 2007, H.B.1203 required the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to develop "technical and net-metering interconnection rules for customer-generators... consistent with rules defined in other states within the service region of the regional transmission organization that manages the transmission system in any part of the [state]."

In July 2008 the PUC issued a final rulemaking order (effective November 2008) adopting new net metering regulations, but leaving the state's interconnection standards unchanged. Separately, in February 2009 the PUC issued two additional determinations affecting interconnection. One action adopted a "Policy Statement" defining application fees for different levels of interconnection review (52 Pa. Code § 69.2101 et seq.), a subject that had been left unaddressed in the existing rules. The other issued an opinion and order adopting a set of standardized interconnection applications and agreements for use by electric distribution utilities.

Pennsylvania's standards include provisions for four levels of interconnection for generators up to five megawatts (MW)* in capacity:

  • Level 1 interconnection applies to certified, inverter-based systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. Application fee of $100.
  • Level 2 interconnection applies to certified, inverter-based systems up to 5 MW in capacity that do not qualify or were not approved for Level 1 interconnection. Application fee of $250 plus $1.00/kilowatt (kW) of nameplate capacity.
  • Level 3 interconnection applies to systems up to 5 MW in capacity that do not qualify or were not approved for Level 1 or Level 2 interconnection. Application fee of $350 plus $2.00/kilowatt (kW) of nameplate capacity.
  • Level 4 interconnection applies to systems that do not qualify or were not approved for Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 interconnection, and that do not export power to the grid. Application fee of $350 plus $2.00/kilowatt (kW) of nameplate capacity.

The IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 technical standards are used in evaluating interconnection requests under all levels of review. There are technical screens and specified time lines for each level of interconnection. The standards allow a single point of interconnection for a location with multiple generators. Limited interconnection to area networks is permitted. The approved application fee schedule also allows utilities to charge the customer for the cost of grid upgrades necessary to accommodate the system and costs of up to $100/hour associated with system impact, feasibility, or facility studies. Utilities are not permitted to deviate from the fee structure described above without an approval that such a deviation is appropriate from the PUC.

Customer-generators must provide an accessible external disconnect switch or access to a disconnect switch through a lock-box system. The customer-generator must pay for the disconnect switch. However, customer-generators are not required to carry liability insurance. The program web site contains draft, standardized forms for Level 1 applications and Level 2, 3 and 4 applications. Actual interconnection forms can be found on the applicable utility web site.

Utilities must designate a contact person from whom customer-generators may obtain relevant information regarding a project. A list of these contacts is available on PUC web site. Disputes may be resolved through complaint procedures available through the PUC, or through an alternative process approved by the commission.

  Scott Gebhardt
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
P.O. Box 3265
Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265
Phone: (717) 425-7584
Fax: (717) 787-2545
Web Site:
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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 2014 - 2015 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.