[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 74 (Thursday, April 17, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21745-21747]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-08754]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. Ic14-11-000]


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

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of information collection and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the 
currently approved information collection, [FERC-516A, ``Small 
Generator Interconnection Agreements'' (OMB No. 1902-2003)].

DATES: Comments on the collection of information are due June 16, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments (identified by Docket No. IC14-11-
000) by either of the following methods:
     eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp.
     Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., 
Washington, DC 20426.
    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 [email protected], 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Brown may be reached by email at 
[email protected], telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 
273-0873.

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 subject any person to any undue 
prejudice or disadvantage.
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    \1\ 16 U.S.C. 824d and 824e.
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    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.
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    \2\ ``Small generators'' are generating facilities having a 
capacity of no more than 20 megawatts (MW).
    \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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    Since the issuance of Order No. 2006, many aspects of the energy 
industry have changed including the growth 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\
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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).
    \5\ Sherwood, Larry, U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012 at 4, 
available at http://www.irecusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Solar-Report-Final-July-2013-1.pdf.
    \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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    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

[[Page 21746]]

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. SEIA asserted that the pro 
forma SGIP and SGIA as applied to small solar generation were no longer 
just and reasonable, had become unduly discriminatory, and presented 
unreasonable barriers to market entry.\9\ SEIA noted that its Petition 
would apply exclusively to solar electric generation due to its unique 
characteristics.\10\
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    \7\ 18 CFR 385.207 (2012).
    \8\ SEIA Petition at 4 (citing Order No. 2006, FERC Stats. & 
Regs. ] 31,180 at P 118).
    \9\ SEIA Petition at 12.
    \10\ Id. at 4 (explaining that solar generation occurs only 
during daylight hours when peak load typically occurs, and solar 
photovoltaic technology utilizes inverters with built-in functions 
that protect the safety and reliability of the electric system).
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    In 2012 the Commission issued a Notice of Petition for Rulemaking 
in Docket No. RM12-10-000 and began a public process to explore SEIA's 
Petition through the Commission's formal notice and comment process as 
well as technical conferences.
    In November 2013, the Commission issued Order No. 792 to amend the 
pro forma Small Generator Interconnection Procedures and pro forma 
Small Generator Interconnection Agreement.
    Order No. 792: (1) Incorporates provisions that provide 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 megawatt (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: \11\ 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:
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    \11\ 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.
    \12\ All of the requirements for transmission providers is 
mandatory. All of the requirements for interconnection customers is 
voluntary.
    \13\ The estimates for cost per response are derived using the 
following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $71.42 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.
    \14\ We assume each request for a pre-application report 
corresponds with one Interconnection Customer.

                                FERC-516A (Standardization of Small Generator Interconnection Agreements and Procedures)
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                                                                                                                           Total  annual
                                                                          Annual  number   Total  number      Average      burden hours
                                                             Number of     of  responses   of  responses  burden &  cost      & total        Cost per
                    Requirements \12\                       respondents         per         (1) * (2) =    per  response    annual cost     respondent
                                                           annually (1)   respondent (2)        (3)          \13\  (4)      (3) x (4) =   ($)  (5) / (1)
                                                                                                                                (5)
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Maintenance of Documents--Transmission Providers........  ..............  ..............  ..............               1              46  ..............
                                                                      46               1              46          $72.73       $3,345.58          $72.73
Filing of Agreements--Transmission Providers............  ..............  ..............  ..............              25           2,375  ..............
                                                                      95               1              95       $1,818.25     $172,733.75       $1,818.25
Pre-Application Report--Interconnection Customers \14\..  ..............  ..............  ..............               1             800  ..............
                                                                     800               1             800          $72.73         $58,184          $72.73
Pre-Application Report--Transmission Providers..........  ..............  ..............  ..............             2.5           2,000  ..............
                                                                     142            5.63             800         $181.83        $145,460       $1,024.37
Supplemental Review--Interconnection Customers..........  ..............  ..............  ..............             0.5             250  ..............
                                                                     500               1             500          $35.37      $18,182.50          $36.37
Supplemental Review--Transmission Providers.............  ..............  ..............  ..............              20          10,000  ..............
                                                                     142            3.52             500       $1,454.60        $727,300       $5,121.83
Review of Required Upgrades--Interconnection Customers..  ..............  ..............  ..............               1             250  ..............
                                                                     250               1             250          $72.73      $18,182.50          $72.73
Review of Required Upgrades--Transmission Providers.....  ..............  ..............  ..............               2             500  ..............
                                                                     142            1.76             250         $145.46         $36,365         $256.09
���������������������������������������������������������
    Totals..............................................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............          16,221  ..............
                                                          ..............  ..............           3,241  ..............   $1,179,753.33  ..............
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[[Page 21747]]

    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.

    Dated: April 11, 2014.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2014-08754 Filed 4-16-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P