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Interconnection

Interconnection is the process of connecting a distributed generation system to the electric grid. Prior to connecting, the distributed generation system owner must obtain written approval from the local utility in the form of an Interconnection Service Agreement and subsequent Authorization to Connect. While emergency generators are not required to follow this process, customers installing emergency generation should contact their utility.

The interconnection process is necessary to protect the reliability and safety of the electric grid. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) regulates this process by requiring utilities to have standardized interconnection tariffs (links to the Interconnection Tariffs in effect as of March 15, 2017, are available at the right of the page).  

NOTE: On March 13, 2013, the DPU issued an Order (DPU 11-75-E) approving the Timeline of the recommendations in the DG Working Group Report and directed the utilities to file compliance tariffs within 30 days (stamp approved on May 2, 2013).  On July 31, 2014, the DPU issued an Order (DPU 11-75-F) approving a Utility Timeline Enforcement Mechanism filed by DOER and the utilities.  More background materials about this Order are available at the Distributed Generation Working Group web page.  Starting December 2014 DOER added new Interactive Charts on Utility Performance and Enforcement (see below).

For an overview of the interconnection process, please review the Frequently Asked Questions and a recent utilities' interconnection process workshop presentation

The detailed legal and engineering requirements for the interconnection process are set out in each utility's interconnection tariff (see links in right sidebar). For certain technical requirements not addressed in the tariff, see also the materials featured on the web page of the MA Technical Standards Review Group.

An interconnection project can follow three possible review paths: simplified, expedited, and standard. The path followed is primarily determined by the technology, size, and complexity of the project.

Interconnection Activity

Massachusetts utilities provide monthly reporting on the status of all interconnection applications submitted since January 2009 that follow the expedited or standard review process. The charts below provide an overview of the type and quantity of distributed generation projects that have entered or completed the interconnection process through 2016

Note: The graphs and full data set provided below cover only applications that follow the expedited or standard review processes. They do not include those applications that follow the simplified review process for smaller systems.

Utility Reporting & Circuit Analysis for Locational Value

In compliance with DPU Order 11-75-E and consistent with the DG Working Group Report filed in tha tproceeding, the electric utilities provide monthly reporting on projects following the Expedited and Standard processes (this data does not include projects following the Simplified process).  Download the full data set through September 2017 (posted 10/25/17) to see data reported on a project-by-project basis, now with circuits named and voltages identified to enable developers seeking high value and low cost locations for solar and storage.  The link takes users to a preview screen on Google Drive. Choose "file" and "download" for the entire file.  

Developers can also find circuit and substation data in the Resources to Aid Siting of Distributed Generation section of the Distributed Generation Working Group page.

Since the DPU and DG Working Group members are utilizing this information for performance tracking DOER also provides an update on the status of reporting.
DOER Reporting Update (5/2/13)

On-Site Generating Facilities Reports 

2015 On-Site Generating Facilities Report (filed with DPU 4/1/16)

2014 On-Site Generating Facilities Report (filed with DPU 4/1/15)

2012 On-Site Generating Facilities Report (filed with DPU 4/1/13)

2011 On-Site Generating Facilities Report (filed with DPU 4/1/12)

2010 On-Site Generating Facilities Report (filed with DPU 4/1/11)

2009 On-Site Generating Facilities Report (filed with DPU 4/1/10)


2008 On-Site Generating Facilities Report (filed with DPU 4/1/09)

2007 On-Site Generating Facilities Report

2006 On-Site Generating Facilities Report (xls data file)

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Additional Information

 

Utility Tariffs
Eversource Website 
   - NSTAR Tariff

   - WMECo Tariff
Unitil

NOTE: The above tariffs are the ones effective as of March 13, 2017 as a result of DPU docket 11-75 on interconnection. For more information, see the DPU File Room.

 

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