Upcoming Changes to the NorthWestern Energy Net Metering Process
NorthWestern Energy’s Net Metering Interconnection Process, also referred to as Level 1 Interconnection, will be changing effective October 1, 2019. This change comes as a result of the Small Generator Interconnection Final Order from the Montana Public Service Commission (“Commission”) (Docket No. D2016.9.66, Order Nos. 7621a and 7621b).
All Small Generator Facilities that will be installed and inspected by a state or local electrical inspector on or before October 1, 2019 will be allowed to submit a Net Meter Request Form (Form 3651). After October 1, 2019, Applicants must follow the revised Level 1 Interconnection process. However, installers with Interconnection Customers who have either committed in writing or provided installers with the required down payment to install a Small Generator Facility that will not meet the October 1, 2019 inspection deadline will be considered separately. Installers are asked to provide NorthWestern Energy with a list of those Customers (name, account number, physical address (including city), phone number, and email address no later than September 30, 2019. NorthWestern Energy will contact these Customers and work with them directly to complete the revised Level 1 Application and execute an Interconnection Agreement. These customers will not be subject to the new Interconnection request fee or the pre-approval process.
The revised Level 1 Interconnection process is described in the following NorthWestern Energy Electric Tariffs:
Electric Net Metering (Rule No. 16);
Interconnection Procedures for Small Generator Facilities Other than Qualifying Facilities (Rule No. 17); and
Level 1 Small Generator Facility Interconnection Agreement (Rule No. 18)
Note: The Electric Tariffs have been submitted to the Commission for approval. Upon approval, a follow-up notice will be sent and the Small Generator Facility Interconnection Tariffs and documentation will be available on the NorthWestern Energy website http://www.NorthWesternEnergy.com/interconnection.
Below are key changes to the Small Generator Facility Interconnection, Level 1 process:
Interconnection Request: All Applicants who are looking to Interconnect, make a capacity change, or change the status of a proposed or operating Small Generator Facility must submit a Small Generator Facility Interconnection Request to NorthWestern Energy.
Request Fee: There is a non-refundable Interconnection Request fee of $200 required for interconnection, capacity change, or change of status of the Small Generator Facility.
Queue Position: The Interconnection Request shall be date and time stamped upon receipt. The date and time stamp applied to the Interconnection Request at the time of its original submission shall be accepted as the qualifying date and time stamp for the purpose of any timetable in these procedures.
Screening Process: NorthWestern Energy must verify that the Small Generator Facility can be interconnected safely and reliably prior to the system being installed.
o If the proposed Interconnection passes the screens and is approved for Interconnection under the Level 1 review, the Interconnection Request shall be approved and NorthWestern will provide an Interconnection Agreement to the Applicant within 5 business days after the determination.
o If the proposed Interconnection fails the screens and is not approved for Interconnection under the Level 1 review, NorthWestern shall provide the Applicant a letter explaining its reasons for denying the Interconnection Request.
Interconnection Agreement: The Applicant will sign and return the Interconnection Agreement to NorthWestern within 30 business days after receipt of the agreement.
Transfer Agreement: Transfer of ownership for premises with an existing net metering system must enter into an Interconnection Agreement – Transfer with NorthWestern Energy.
Visit http://www.NorthWesternEnergy.com/interconnection for additional resources and relevant information pertaining to the Small Generator Facility Interconnection and net metering.
Any questions regarding Small Generator Facility Interconnection Requests, including net metering, can be directed to the Interconnection Specialist, Casey Woodbury using the contact information provided below.
Casey L. Woodbury
Specialist, Generation and Transmission Interconnection
11 East Park Street I Butte, MT 59701-9394