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How to Connect to Duke Energy's Grid South Carolina

Duke Energy wants to ensure that your electrical generating equipment is interconnected with the power grid in a manner that's safe and reliable. The following steps will help as you prepare to generate your own electricity and interconnect to our grid.

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Interconnection Request

Complete and return an application to interconnect. The application must be signed by the customer requesting service.

Application Fee

The completed application must be submitted with a non-refundable processing fee. The application fee is $100 for residential customers and $250 for non-residential customers. Checks should be made payable to Duke Energy Carolinas.

Electrical One-line Diagram

Include an electrical one-line schematic diagram depicting the project and the equipment to be installed with Interconnection Request. The one-line diagram should include the project owner's name, project name, project address, and model numbers and nameplate sizes of equipment, including number and nameplate electrical size information for solar panels, inverters, wind turbines, disconnect switches, etc.

The diagram should also depict the metering arrangement required whether installed on the customer side of an existing meter ("net metering/billing") or directly connected to the grid through a new delivery point requiring a separate meter. Include equipment specification (product literature) information for the solar panels and inverter(s) that provide technical information and certification information of the equipment to be installed with the application.

The diagram should also depict the metering arrangement required whether installed on the customer side of an existing meter (net metering) or directly connected to the grid through a new delivery point requiring a separate meter (purchased power). For drawings of typical configurations depicting how a customer-owned generating facility should interconnect to the Duke Energy system for both Net Metering and Purchased Power rates, please refer to Residential One-Line Diagram Examples and Non-Residential One-Line Diagram Examples.

Disconnect Switch

The National Electric Code and Duke Energy require the installation of a manual load-break AC disconnect switch or safety switch installed between the Utility System and the interconnection Customer’s equipment to be able to positively isolate the generation source from the grid when needed for emergency events, to perform maintenance, or assist in the restoration of service, etc. The switch must be able to provide a clear visible open point of disconnection, a clear visible indication of switch position, and have padlock provisions for locking the switch in the open position.

The switch must be installed on the Interconnection Customer’s side of the electrical interconnection with the Utility’s system, accessible to Utility personnel, and located in close proximity to the utility’s electrical delivery point. The switch must be labeled "Generator Disconnect Switch." The switch may isolate the Interconnection Customer and its associated load from the Utility’s System or disconnect only the Generator from the Utility’s System and shall be accessible to the Utility at all times.

FERC Qualifying Facility Status

A generating facility proposing to sell electricity to Duke Energy must be a "Qualifying Facility" as defined by the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 ("PURPA") and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") regulations implementing PURPA. A "Qualifying Facility" is one that meets certain federal guidelines and qualifies to receive avoided cost payments from the utility. Depending on the project, a customer may need to fill out FERC Form 556, which is available on the FERC website.

Projects smaller than 1 MW (1,000 KW) are no longer required to file an FERC Form 556 to obtain QF status as long as they meet the QF requirements. To determine if you are exempt from the requirement to file a Form 556 for your facility, based on the small size of your facility, download the Form 556 from the FERC website and complete section 7. If the value you obtain in line 7g is less than or equal to 1,000 KW, then your facility is exempt from the Form 556 filing requirement.

Although facilities smaller than 1 MW are exempt from the requirement to file, there is no prohibition against filing the Form No. 556 application either for self-certification or Commission certification for these facilities.

Facilities larger than 1 MW (1,000kW) in size as defined by maximum net power production capacity must file a FERC Form No. 556 either as a self-certification (or self-recertification) or as an application for Commission certification.

Instructions for completing this simple, self-registration process with the FERC are found on the Duke Energy Web site under Obtaining FERC Qualifying Facility Status or directly on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's website located at www.ferc.gov.

Please send a copy of the FERC QF Certificate filing to Duke Energy Carolinas with the Application to Interconnect if you are required to file Form 556.

Insurance Certificate

Customers are required to demonstrate liability insurance coverage maintained with an insurer authorized to do business in South Carolina. This should be submitted to Duke Energy with the Application to Interconnect.

Residential customers are required to demonstrate liability insurance coverage maintained with an insurer authorized to do business in South Carolina. The required coverage shall be a standard homeowner's insurance policy with liability coverage in the amount of at least $100,000 per occurrence.

Non-residential customers are required to demonstrate liability insurance coverage maintained with an insurer authorized to do business in South Carolina. The required coverage shall be comprehensive general liability insurance with coverage in the amount of at least $300,000 per occurrence.

Purchased Power or Interconnection Agreement

If the project intends to sell its production to Duke Energy Carolinas on Rate Schedule PP(SC) Purchased Power, Duke Energy will prepare a Purchased Power Agreement based on the Application to Interconnect and mail to the customer for signature.

If the project intends to "net meter" using the Duke Energy Carolinas Rider NM(SC) Net Metering, an Interconnection Agreement will be required. The Interconnection Agreement may be downloaded from the website, signed by the customer, and submitted with the initial interconnection request application. Duke Energy will sign and return a copy of the Interconnection Agreement to the customer.

Inspection

After the project is installed it must be inspected by the local electrical inspector and by Duke Energy Carolinas before final interconnection acceptance can be granted. Please send a copy of the local electrical inspection approval document to Duke Energy Carolinas when the installation of the project is complete and has been inspected by the local electrical inspection authority.

Please mail the interconnection request package to: Duke Energy Carolinas, P.O. Box 1010, 400 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28201, Attention: Mail Code ST13A. If you have questions regarding the interconnection process or rate options, please contact us via email at customerownedgeneration@duke-energy.com, by calling 1-866-233-2290 or by fax at 980-373-5244.

Important Deadlines: If your goal is to complete a new solar photovoltaic, wind, or micro-hydro generation project by December 31, 2014, you must submit a complete interconnection request to Duke Energy no later than November 3, 2014. Project construction and any local/municipal inspections should be completed in time to permit Duke’s field inspection to be completed before December 5, 2014.