MPUC Orders Update of Interconnection Standards

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MPUC Orders Update of Interconnection Standards

January 24, 2017

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission today (Jan. 24) issued an order establishing a workgroup and process to update and improve state distributed electric generation interconnection standards.

Distributed generation means generating electricity with multiple, dispersed power sources. The MPUC order notes that “many benefits are attributed” to distribution generation, including increasing customer choice.

The order follows a proposal to reopen Minnesota’s 2004 Interconnection Standards, filed with the Commission by a coalition of environmental groups. Dakota Electric Association, an electric cooperative, also filed recommended changes to the standards.

On Jan. 5, the MPUC and interested parties met to discuss the matter.

The Commission noted that the 2004 standards have “become outdated due to continued maturation of distributed generation technologies, evolving national standards, increasing numbers of interconnection requests, and experience gained.” Most parties commenting at the meeting preferred to update the standards consistent with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission standards.

The MPUC agreed with that approach, and has designated authority to its Executive Secretary to issues notices, set schedules and designate comment periods. The Executive Secretary will, in cooperation with the Department of Commerce, convene a work group to develop the record more fully.

MMUA fully intends to participate in the process, and has received assurances that it will have a spot on the work group.