'''''Note: In July 2012, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) opened a docket ([http://dis.puc.state.oh.us/CaseRecord.aspx?CaseNo=12-2051&x=0&y=0 Case 12-0251-EL-ORD]) to review the net metering and interconnection rules for investor-owned utilities. Details will be posted as more information is available.'''''
Prompted by the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) adopted new interconnection standards for distributed generation in March 2007. These standards, which apply to customers of Ohio's investor-owned utilities, replaced the state's original interconnection standards, adopted in April 2000.
Ohio's interconnection standards provide for three levels of review for the interconnection of DG systems up to 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity:
'''Level 1 interconnection''' is divided into three subsections:
- '''Level 1''' is a simplified review process for inverter-based systems of up to 10 kilowatts (kW) that use renewable energy as the fuel. The point of common coupling cannot be the transmission line. Systems must meet IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 standards.
- '''Level 1.1''' is a simplified review process for inverter-based systems of up to 10 kW. The point of common coupling cannot be the transmission line, and the interconnection must be located on the load side of an area network. Systems must meet IEEE 1547 standards.
- '''Level 1.2''' is for systems of up to 50 kW that are interconnected to an area network. Systems must meet IEEE 1547 standards.
'''Level 2 interconnection''', the expedited review procedure,applies to certified, inverter-based or synchronous systems up to 2 MW in capacity. These systems must meet IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 standards and may not be interconnected at the transmission level. Technical screens, fees and timelines are detailed in the rules.
'''Level 3 interconnection''', the standard procedure, applies to inverter-based or synchronous systems up to 20 MW in capacity that do not qualify for Level 1 or Level 2 certification. Technical screens, fees and timelines are detailed in the rules.
PUCO has developed two application forms for interconnection: a "short form" application for systems up to 50 kW in capacity, and a standard application for systems that do not qualify for the "short form" application. PUCO also provides a checklist for applicants to determine whether to complete the "short form" or the standard form. (On the PUCO interconnection web site, scroll down to "definitions" and then to "application" to access both types of applications as well as the [http://www.puco.ohio.gov/PUCO/Consumer/Information.cfm?id=8870 check list].)
Each utility must provide applicants with a standard agreement, and must designate an employee or office to handle interconnection application requests. Utilities may not require additional liability insurance beyond proof of insurance. The rules include a provision for alternative dispute resolution, and for formal complaints brought by applicants and interconnected customers. Interconnection to area networks is generally permitted.