Rule 21 applies to customers who:
The State of California provides incentives for the development of generators fueled by renewable energy sources. Your facility must use a renewable generation technology to qualify for Net Energy Metering (NEM). Renewable energy sources are defined in the latest version of the California Energy Commission’s (CEC’s) Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Eligibility Guidebook and Overall Program Guidebook, as well as in PG&E's NEM tariff, as:
Interconnection is the electrical connection, using wires and protection devices, that allows your electric generator and the utility system to operate in parallel. Regardless of whether you export energy, your generator still operates while connected with the electrical grid. As a result, it must interconnect with the grid in a manner that ensures: :
Because PG&E is fully committed to keeping customer account information confidential, we will not share your information with your contractor or other representative without an Authorization to Receive Customer Information or Act on a Customer's Behalf form providing your written authorization. (This information is built in to the September 2012 Standard NEM Application form.) You can use this form to authorize your contractor to complete most of the paperwork needed to apply for interconnection to the PG&E electric grid. If you plan to fill out the application materials yourself and you do not require PG&E to share your account information with your contractor, you do not need to submit this form.The California Energy Commission may also require you to fill out an authorization form if you are applying for a rebate from them so they can access your account information.
PG&E requires that customers submit their applications online except for Standard NEM and Virtual NEM at this time.For Standard NEM and Virtual NEM only, you may submit your application package to Pacific Gas and Electric Company by registered U.S. mail, ATTN: Electric Generation Interconnection, Mail Code N7L, P.O. Box 770000, San Francisco, CA 94177-0001 or via e-mail submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The queue is a list of interconnection applications used to assign responsibility for modifications or upgrades to the electric grid during the study phase. The queue also keeps track of the modifications and upgrades identified in a study phase but not yet implemented.
For all interconnection projects under Rule 21 except Net Energy Metering, PG&E assigns a queue position and posts it monthly to our website, as required by Rule 21 Section E.5.d. This queue is integrated with PG&E’s Wholesale Distribution Tariff interconnection requests.
In accordance with Rule 21, PG&E will conduct some or all of the following reviews to determine the interconnection requirements for a generation project. Generally, we will complete all steps in the interconnection process, including reviews and studies, within the timeframes outlined in Rule 21.
The timeline for completing the interconnection process varies. Project energy needs, location and impact on the PG&E electrical system all affect the amount of time your interconnection process can take. This chart includes some typical project timelines from application receipt to commercial operation (generator online). Your actual timeline may vary.
Fast Track Process 3-5 months
Detailed Interconnection Study 12 months
Delays in an interconnection project can be related to location, energy needs, electric system infrastructure and size of generator. In addition, some of the more common causes for delays include:
Please be sure all the following steps are completed before you schedule your pre-parallel inspection with PG&E:
If your generator is non-certified or certified with external relays, you must also submit the following information to PG&E a minimum of 15 business days prior to the inspection (electronic submissions are preferred):
Net Energy Metering (NEM) is a rate schedule that allows customers with an eligible electric generator to offset the cost of their electric usage with energy they export to the grid. With NEM, the customer pays only for the net amount of energy used from the utility. A specially programmed “net meter” (a meter that registers the flow of electricity in both directions) is installed to measure the difference between the electricity the customer purchases and exports to the grid within given time intervals. NEM customers are allowed to "net" their total annual energy exports to the grid against their annual usage. In some cases, when customers consume less energy than what they generate, the excess energy exported to the grid over this annual period is also purchased by PG&E at our avoided cost.
Net Energy Metering in California is available for solar, wind, biomass, biogas, hydro, geothermal and other renewable energy systems up to 1 MW. PG&E's NEM programs are: Standard NEM, Expanded NEM, Other Renewable NEM, NEMV, NEMVMASH, NEM Multiple Tariff and NEM Fuel Cell. The methods of applying credit for exported energy vary with the program.
PG&E performs a true-up at the time you change your energy supply service from PG&E to your CCA. PG&E will continue to send out your bill; however:
Yes, you remain eligible for NEM if you are receiving your electric supply from a CCA. You will need to contact the CCA for details about its NEM program. Your CCA will determine its own NEM-related charges and credits for the generation portion of your bill. PG&E will continue to be your point of contact for the interconnection of your solar or wind generator with the electric grid and will calculate NEM-related charges and credits for the non-generation portion of your bill.
PG&E provides permission to operate your generation system under NEM regardless of who supplies your energy. To apply for NEM, please complete and submit to PG&E the documents listed on the Standard NEM website under “How do I apply?”. PG&E will review your completed application and, if approved, install your bi-directional meter. You may operate your system following receipt of your Permission to Operate letter.If your solar or wind generator is larger than 30 kilowatts (kW), please follow the instructions on applying for Expanded NEM.
You own any RECs for the power you generate and use at your own site. PG&E owns any RECs for the power we purchase under the PPA.
No. The California Public Utilities Commission has decided that customers who sell their power using a Feed-in Tariff must sell all their exports; they cannot split exports between NEM and a PPA.
If your existing meter can separately meter usage and exports, then you will not have to pay for two meters. However, you may have to pay a reprogramming charge so your meter will appropriately collect the information needed. If your existing meter cannot separately meter usage and exports, you will need to pay for the installation of a new meter.
PG&E generally has two types of electrical distribution systems: secondary and radial networks. Secondary networks are designed to meet the higher reliability needs and limited space commonly found in urban areas. The criteria PG&E uses to install secondary networks are a function of the density of the load, economics and other related factors. In PG&E's territory, only the downtown areas of San Francisco and Oakland are served by secondary networks.
In a secondary network, electricity is delivered through a complex, integrated system of transformers and underground cables that operate in parallel. Power can flow in either direction on the lower-voltage service delivery lines, commonly called secondary distribution lines. The loss of a single line or transformer in a secondary network does not cause an interruption of power, unlike in radial systems where there is only one line for power to flow through, starting at the distribution substation and terminating at the customer’s service entrance or meter. If a radial line experiences an outage, service is interrupted until repairs are completed.In secondary networks, devices called “network protectors” prevent power from “back-feeding” from one transformer through another. Network protectors open (that is, break the circuit) quickly when they detect back-feeding. Any power exported by a generator into this system is detected as back-feeding by the network protectors. Since most network protectors are not designed or tested to operate as switching or isolation devices for operating electric generators, PG&E can't allow installation of net energy generators within areas served by secondary networks.