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Notice

Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-516A); Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION:

Comment request.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting its information collection FERC-516A, Standardization of Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission previously issued a Notice in the Federal Register (79 FR 21745, 4/17/2014) requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments on the FERC-516A and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

DATES:

Comments on the collection of information are due by September 2, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0203, should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: oira_submission@omb.gov. Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-4718.

A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC14-11-000, by either of the following methods:

Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/​help/​submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​docs-filing.asp.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ellen Brown may be reached by email at DataClearance@FERC.gov, by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: FERC-516A, Standardization of Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures.

OMB Control No.: 1902-0203.

Type of Request: Three-year extension of the information collection requirements for FERC-516A with no changes to the current reporting requirements.

Abstract: Under Sections 205 and 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) [1] the Commission is charged with ensuring just and reasonable electric transmission rates and charges as well as ensuring that jurisdictional providers do not Start Printed Page 44444subject any person to any undue prejudice or disadvantage.

The lack of consistent and readily accessible terms and conditions for connecting resources to the grid led to a large number of disputes between jurisdictional transmission providers and small generators [2] in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In response, the Commission directed transmission providers to include Commission-approved, standard, pro-forma interconnection procedures (small generator interconnection procedures or SGIP) and a single uniformly applicable interconnection agreement (small generator interconnection agreement or SGIA) in their open-access transmission tariffs (OATTs). The requirement to create and file these documents was instituted August 2005 by Commission Order No. 2006 [3] and is codified in 18 CFR 35.28(f). This requirement set and maintained a standard in OATTs for consistent consideration and processing of interconnection requests by transmission providers.

Since the issuance of Order No. 2006, many aspects of the energy industry have changed including increased numbers of small generator interconnection requests [4] and the growth in solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. These changes have been driven, in part, by state renewable energy goals and policies. For example, approximately 3,300 MW of grid-connected PV capacity were installed in the U.S. in 2012 [5] compared to 79 MW in 2005, the year Order No. 2006 was issued.[6]

In February 2012, pursuant to Sections 205 and 206 of the FPA and Rule 207 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures,[7] and noting that the Commission encouraged stakeholders to submit proposed revisions to the regulations set forth in Order No. 2006,[8] the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) filed a Petition to Initiate Rulemaking (Petition). The Petition requested the Commission revise the pro forma SGIA and SGIP set forth in Order No. 2006

In 2012 the Commission issued a Notice of Petition for Rulemaking in Docket No. RM12-10-000 seeking comments on the Petition and held a technical conference to discuss issues related to the Petition.

In January 2013, the Commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that included proposed revisions to the pro forma SGIP and pro forma SGIA. In November 2013, the Commission issued Order No. 792 revising the pro forma SGIP and pro forma SGIA.

Order No. 792: (1) Provided an interconnection customer with the option of requesting from the transmission provider a pre-application report providing existing information about system conditions at a possible point of interconnection; (2) revised the 2 MW threshold for participation in the Fast Track Process included in section 2 of the pro forma SGIP; (3) revised the customer options meeting and the supplemental review following failure of the Fast Track screens so that the supplemental review is performed at the discretion of the interconnection customer and includes minimum load and other screens to determine if a small generating facility may be interconnected safely and reliably; (4) revised the pro forma SGIP Facilities Study Agreement to allow the interconnection customer the opportunity to provide written comments to the transmission provider on the upgrades required for interconnection; (5) revised the pro forma SGIP and the pro forma SGIA to specifically include energy storage devices; and (6) clarified certain sections of the pro forma SGIP and the pro forma SGIA.

With these modifications, the Commission concluded that the package of reforms adopted in Order No. 792 will reduce the time and cost to process small generator interconnection requests for interconnection customers and transmission providers, maintain reliability, increase energy supply, and remove barriers to the development of new energy resources.

Type of Respondents: Jurisdictional transmission service providers.

Estimate of Annual Burden:[9] Based on filings received in 2013 and the increased burden from Order No. 792, the Commission estimates the total Public Reporting Burden for this information collection as:

FERC-516A (Standardization of Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures)

Requirements 10Number of respondents annuallyAnnual number of responses per respondentTotal number of responsesAverage burden & cost per response 11Total annual burden hours & total annual costCost per respondent ($)
(1)(2)(1)*(2) = (3)(4)(3) × (4) = (5)(5) ÷ (1)
Maintenance of Documents—Transmission Providers461461 $7546 $3,450  $75
Filing of Agreements—Transmission Providers9519525 $1,818.252,375 $172,733.75  1,818.25
Pre-Application Report—Interconnection Customers 1280018001 $72.73800 $58,184  72.73
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Pre-Application Report—Transmission Providers1425.638002.5 $181.832,000 $145,460  1,024.37
Supplemental Review—13 Interconnection Customers50015000.5 $35.37250 $17,685  35.37
Supplemental Review—Transmission Providers1423.5250020 $1,454.6010,000 $727,300  5,121.83
Review of Required Upgrades—Interconnection Customers25012501 $72.73250 $18,182.50  72.73
Review of Required Upgrades—Transmission Providers1421.762502 $145.46500 $36,365  256.09
Totals  3,24116,221 $1,179,360.25

Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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Dated: July 25, 2014.

Kimberly D. Bose,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

2.  “Small generators” are generating facilities having a capacity of no more than 20 megawatts (MW).

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3.  Standardization of Small Generation Interconnection Agreements and Procedures, Order No. 2006, 70 FR 34189 (May 12, 2005), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶31,180 (2005).

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4.  See, e.g., Cal. Indep. Sys. Operator Corp., 133 FERC ¶ 61,223, at P 3 (2010) (stating that an increasing volume of small generator interconnection requests had created inefficiencies); Pacific Gas & Elec. Co., 135 FERC ¶ 61,094, at P 4 (2011) (stating that increased small generator Interconnection Requests resulted in a backlog of 170 requests over three years); PJM Interconnection, LLC, 139 FERC ¶ 61,079, at P 12 (2012) (stating that smaller projects comprised 66 percent of recent queue volume).

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6.  U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, 2012 Year in Review, Executive Summary Table 2.1, available at http://www.seia.org/​research-resources/​us-solar-market-insight-2012-year-in-review.

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8.  SEIA Petition at 4 (citing Order No. 2006, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,180 at P 118).

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9.  The Commission defines burden as the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, reference 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

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10.  All of the requirements for transmission providers are mandatory. All of the requirements for interconnection customers are voluntary.

11.  The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $75 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. This figure is the average of the salary plus benefits for an attorney, consultant (engineer), engineer, and administrative staff. The wages are derived from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics at http://bls.gov/​oes/​current/​naics3_​221000.htm and the benefits figure from http://www.bls.gov/​news.release/​ecec.nr0.htm.

12.  We assume each request for a pre-application report corresponds with one interconnection customer.

13.  In the initial public notice for this collection the Commission had an error in the Total Annual Cost and Cost per Respondent fields for this category of burden. We correct the errors in this notice.

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[FR Doc. 2014-18043 Filed 7-30-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P