Back to top Jump to featured resources

Distributed Generation Tariffs in Minnesota

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/dgtariff/

NOTE: People looking for the materials from the multi-year stakeholder and working group process that led to the adoption of the MN Distributed Generation Interconnection Standards – click here for the archive of materials

For updated information on distributed generation in Minnesota, we recommend following the Department of Commerce DG Workshops (which will likely lead to a policy update), ILSR’s archive of energy rules, or our distributed generation blog, Energy Self-Reliant States.

Here are the links to DG Interconnection Information from MN’s Regulated Utilities

 

Minnesota Distributed Generation Tariff Development and Resources

Welcome to the online resources page for the regulatory proceedings to establish Distributed Generation Tariffs and Interconnection standards in Minnesota.

NOTE (AUGUST 2009) – The MN PUC has re-done their web site and has not implemented a redirect of links to old content to their new locations hence many of the links pointing to the old PUC site are not working.

 Update April 2007

Folks, the regulatory proceedings are over and the utilities have put their interconnection standards and procedure documents on their web sites. Here are the links:

DG Interconnection Information for MN Utilities

NOTE: Although clunky, you can view the archived filings and schedules by going to the PUC’s e-Filing System and entering the docket number of interest:

  • Xcel Energy Docket: 04-2055
  • MN Power Docket: 04-2030
  • Interstate Power Docket: 04-2041
  • Otter Tail Power Docket: 04-2013
  • Dakota Electric Docket: 04-2049

NOTE: People looking for the materials from the multi-year stakeholder and working group process that led to the adoption of the MN Distributed Generation Interconnection Standards – click here for the archive of materials

Also, find many resources below on this page on DG standards development in other States (CA, MI, NJ, NY, TX and WI), FERC, MISO, and the IEEE.


PUC ORDER ON DG STANDARDS – September 28, 2004

PUC Staff Briefing Papers – prepared for meeting on July 20, 2004 and July 27, 2004

Information on DG Tariffs in Minnesota

1. Public Utilities Commission Generic Distributed Generation and Interconnection Proceeding(Docket No. E-999/CI-01-1023)

The Minnesota Legislature required that the PUC adopt standards for interconnection of distributed generation that uses natural gas or an equally clean or cleaner fuel under 10 MW in Minnesota that should remove some barriers to deployment of these technologies.

2. Xcel Energy’s Distributed Generation Energy Tariff (Docket No. E-002/M-01-937)

As part of the merger settlement agreements between Xcel Energy and various parties, the utility was directed to submit a filing to the MN Public Utilities Commission to clarify and make it easier for distributed energy generation to be connected to their power grid.

3. Xcel Energy’s Small Wind Energy Tariff (Docket #E002/M-00-1747)

As part of the merger settlement agreements between Xcel Energy and various parties, the utility was directed to submit a filing to develop a tariff for small wind energy systems.

4. Xcel Energy DG Interconnection Information

The below link is to the set of information that Xcel Energy use to make available to customers that were interested in installing generation on their system. See Xcel Energy’s MN Interconnection Guidelines For Customer-Owned Generation

5. Otter Tail Power Interconnection

6. Dakota Electric Interconnection

7. Historical PUC Documents

  • PUC Order Approving Dispersed Generation Plan – In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company for Approval of its 1991 Resource Plan, April 5, 1993 (Docket No. E-002/RP-91-682)
    This interesting piece of the historical regulatory record contains the following statement. “The Company considered dispersed generation a resource option worth developing for several reasons. Disbursed generation can supply part of the system’s future need for peaking capacity. It can meet specific customers’ needs for backup generation, arguably at lower total costs than customer-owned backup capacity. It can improve overall system reliability. It can reduce transmission and distribution costs and losses. It can help position the Company to exploit new technologies, such as fuel cells, being developed outside the traditional large power plant context.”

INFORMATION FROM OTHER STATES, FERC, MISO, PJM, AND IEEE

California

California’s electricity woes have led the state down a path to stabilize their electricity supply. They have instituted a program where for the next two years any qualifying distributed power project will be exempt from stand-by charges for the next 10 years. Even more incentives are provided to solar pv distributed generation projects of up to 1 MW in size. The primary Distributed Generation regulatory proceeding at the California PUC is Rulemaking 99-10-025

Michigan

New Jersey

  • Natural Gas Price Breaks for Distributed Generation – New Jersey
    New Jersey Natural Gas Company (NJNG) received approval in January 2003 from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to offer a special pricing plan to residential and commercial customers who use natural gas to fuel distributed generation (DG) technologies like fuel cells or microturbines. Under the rates, commercial and residential DG projects could see savings of up to 50 percent on their fuel costs. More…

New York

In December 1999, the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) issued a final order addressing interconnection of distributed generation (DG) resources of 300 kilowatts (kW) or less. The order addresses general technical guidelines for interconnection and application procedures. As part of an ongoing review of the requirements, substantive revisions were proposed and adopted in 2002 and 2003. Further review process in 2003 yielded changes consisting primarily of an increase in the upper capacity threshold from 300 kW to 2 MW, the adoption of an Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) standard for equipment certification, and the extension of the applicability beyond only radial distribution systems to also now include network distribution systems. The NY PSC adopted new rules in November 2004.

  • New York State Standardized Interconnection Requirements For Distributed Generators
  • The orders via the link below direct NY utilities to modify their standby rates for customers with interconnection distributed generation projects. Standby rates are seen as a significant barrier for DG projects and the modifications in New York provide a nice incentive for DG projects while at the same time protect other customers from significant economic harm. The utilities involved are Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation.Recognizing the environmental benefits of certain energy sources, customers that start DG operations between August 1, 2003 and May 31, 2006, using certain environmentally beneficial technology or small, efficient combined heat and power applications of less than one megawatt, can choose among three options. They can elect to remain on the current standard rate indefinitely, shift immediately to the new standby rate, or opt for a five-year phase- in period beginning on the effective date of the new standby rates. Under the standby rate decision, environmentally beneficial technology would include wind, solar, biomass, fuel cell technology, tidal, geothermal, and methane waste.
    • View all documents related to New York’s Stand-by Rates Dockets 02-E-0551, 02-E-0779, 02-E-0780, 02-E-0781, 02-E-1108
  • New York Department of Public Service has a section on Distributed Generation and also
  • Suffolk Law review has a very nice paper on the Debate over Stand-by Charges for Distributed Generation

Texas

The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) adopted final rules (Project No. 21220) in December 1999 addressing technical and contractual issues related to installing distributed resources. The Texas standards place the burden of proof on the utility to show if an interconnection should be disallowed. The Commission adopted a standard interconnection agreement and a standard tariff interconnection form. The PUC also released a final version of their Distributed Generation Interconnection Manual (Project No. 21965).

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO)

PJM’s Small Generation Interconnection Working Group

  • Home page of the PJM Interconnection
    FERC has accepted PJM Interconnection’s proposal that makes it easier for small generators (less than 2MW) to connect to the electric system and participate in PJM’s wholesale electricity market, the world’s largest. The PJM working group is now working on standards for DG units between 2-10 MW.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) DG Standards

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standards Coordinating Committee 21 continues development of the IEEE P1547 Draft Standard for Distributed Resources Interconnected with Electric Power Systems.


Distributed Generation Reports and Misc. (by date if possible)

  1. Distributed Generation Facilities in Minnesota 2014 – MN Department of Commerce, April 2014.
    • 2004 MN Electric Utility Qualifying Facilities Report
    – MN Department of Commerce, October 2004
    Generation data from interconnected qualifying facilities in 2003 that sell electricity to Minnesota electric utilities.

  2. Small Is Profitable: The Hidden Economic Benefits of Making Electrical Resources the Right Size – Rocky Mountain Institute, 2002
  3. Model DG Interconnection Agreement and Procedures – National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), October 2003
  4. National Regulatory Research Institute’s Distributed Generation Resources– research arm of NARUC
  5. Distributed Generation Strategic Plan – California Energy Commission, June 2002
  6. State by State Connecting to the Grid – by Interstate Renewable Energy Council
  7. Distributed Generation Interconnection Tool Kit – a number of resources to help electric cooperatives address the legal, economic and technical issues raised by consumer-owned generation. Put together by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Cooperative Research Network, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. and Energy Co-Opportunity, May 2002
  8. ILSR’s Section on Policy Models for Interconnection Standards for Distributed Power
  9. Public Financing of Self-Generation: Costs and Benefits of Onsite Photovoltaic, Fuel Cell, and Micro-turbine Systems – Office of Ratepayer Advocates, CA Public Utilities Commission, January 2001
  10. Making Connections: Case Studies of Interconnection Barriers and their Impacts on Distributed Power Projects – prepared for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, May 2000.
  11. Clean-Power.com’s Research on Distributed Generation – nice selection of reports and links
  12. Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)

FEDERAL RESOURCES

About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power. More

Contact John   |   View all articles by John Farrell