On June 16, 2016, FERC revised the pro forma Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (“LGIA”) and the pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Agreement (“SGIA”) to require wind generators to design their facilities to be capable of providing reactive power at their points of interconnection as a condition of interconnection. As a result, going forward all newly interconnecting non-synchronous generators, including wind generators, must be able to provide reactive power as a condition of interconnection.
The pro forma LGIA and pro forma SGIA have historically required interconnecting generators to design their facilities to provide reactive power at their points of interconnection as a condition of interconnection. However, prior to FERC’s recent revisions, wind generators were exempt from this requirement absent a study finding that the provision of reactive power was necessary to maintain safety or reliability. FERC decided to revisit this exemption based upon the determination that requiring wind generators to be able to provide reactive power is no longer a barrier to wind power development, coupled with the concern that a substantial number of generators currently might not be required to provide reactive power.
In the final rule removing the exemption, FERC stated that the reactive power requirements for interconnection were no longer just and reasonable and required updating. In addition to removing the exemption for wind generators, FERC also required all newly interconnecting non-synchronous generators to design their facilities to maintain a composite power delivery at continuous rated power output at the point of interconnection at a power factor within the range of 0.95 leading to 0.95 lagging, measured at the high-side of the generator substation. In addition, FERC ruled that non-synchronous generators are eligible for the same compensation for reactive power as all other generators. Finally, FERC stated that it will apply the requirements of the final rule to all newly interconnecting non-synchronous generators that have not yet executed a Facilities Study Agreement as of the effective date of the final rule, and that it will not apply the requirements to existing non-synchronous generators making upgrades that require new interconnection requests unless the transmission provider determines through the generator’s System Impact Study that reactive power is required to maintain system safety or reliability.
The final rule will become effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register. A copy of the final rule is available here.