The applicable costs are only those identified in the Cluster Study or Restudy Report. Affected systems Network Upgrades are not captured in those studies and reports, so they are not included.
Per Section 5.1.1 and 184.108.40.206 of the LGIP and FERC Order 2023 paragraph 865, up until the execution of the Transitional Agreement, you have the opportunity to withdraw with no withdrawal penalty. Consistent with the definition of Withdrawal Penalty and how it is used in Section 220.127.116.11 of Idaho Power’s compliance filing, a withdrawal penalty will be assessed for any project that withdraws, is deemed withdrawn, or otherwise does not reach commercial operation at any point after commencement of the Transitional Cluster Study.
If you do not wish to proceed with the Project(s) in the Transitional Cluster Study, you can request the Project(s) be withdrawn without penalty before the commencement of the Transitional Cluster Study. If a withdrawal is requested before this time, any remaining deposits would be refunded. Please note for projects that have not entered any studies, the deposit in lieu of site control and application deposit are eligible to be refunded if the projects are withdrawn prior to entering a transitional cluster study agreement.
In Order 2023, FERC defined the withdrawal penalty for projects participating in the transitional study process as 9x the study costs. FERC states in paragraph 860 of the order that, “The withdrawal penalty plays an important role in deterring speculative interconnection requests in both the standard cluster study and the transition process. We disagree with commenters that call for a lower penalty to apply during the transition process, given that the risk of withdrawals is heightened during the transition process.”
The withdrawal penalty of 9x the study cost—inclusive of all studies performed during both the serial and transitional processes—is the withdrawal penalty for projects that choose to proceed in the transitional study process; therefore, the withdrawal penalty calculations in section 3.7 do not apply to these projects.
Study Costs & Deposits
Actual study costs are determined by the time spent to complete the cluster study. The study costs will be allocated to those in the cluster area pursuant to the ratio provided in LGIP section 13.3 of Idaho Power’s LGIP compliance filing.
While the funding for the LGIA itself allows for the different options, in Order 2023, FERC specified that the only funding options for the Transitional Study process are irrevocable letter of credit or cash.
No. Those costs are currently attributable to other projects. For ERIS projects only the estimated cost at the Point of Interconnection is required, and for NRIS the estimated cost at the POI and assigned Network Upgrades would be required.
The deposit is due at the same time as the executed TCSA/TFSA and demonstration of exclusive site control. That due date is 60 Calendar Days after the FERC-approved effective date, which, if FERC approves the January 1, 2024 date, would make all information required to move forward into the transition due by March 1, 2024. Please note that Idaho Power is expecting to receive a significant number of Letter of Credits (LOC) for the transition process and receiving LOC approval can take time. If you intend to fund with an LOC, we recommend beginning the process early and allowing at least two weeks to finalize. If the LOC is not approved prior to the deadline, the associated interconnection request will not be eligible to move forward in the transitional study process and will be withdrawn without penalty.
Projects that enter the transitional cluster study are not subject to the commercial readiness deposits required under 7.5.1 and 8.1(3) because the transitional cluster study is a combined system impact and facilities study, so those sections do not apply. Per the final paragraph of Idaho Power’s compliance filing section 18.104.22.168, following receipt of the final transitional cluster study report, the interconnection customer shall proceed pursuant to section 11. Therefore, the deposit required in 11.3 is applicable to projects in the transitional study process.
Per Section 22.214.171.124 and Section 126.96.36.199, if the Interconnection Customer withdraws, or otherwise does not reach Commercial Operation, Transmission Provider shall refund the remaining deposit after the final invoice for study costs and Withdrawal Penalty is settled.
Existing Agreements & Studies
Depending on its status as of November 1, 2023, the project is eligible to either proceed in the Transitional Cluster Study, Transitional Serial Facilities Study, or withdraw with no penalty prior to 60 Calendar Days following the FERC-approved effective date of Idaho Power’s compliance filing. Therefore, nothing is due to us until that time.
Per Section 5.1.1 of Idaho Power’s Attachment M compliance filing, if a final Facilities Study Report for a project at the Facilities Study stage cannot be completed prior to January 1, 2024, the project is eligible only to move forward into the Transitional Serial Interconnection Facilities Study or withdraw without penalty prior to the start of the transitional study process. The existing serial process is not available to these projects, and Idaho Power will not continue to use Interconnection Customer funds to work on a report that will not be completed.
Due to the transition of Idaho Power’s existing queue to a cluster process, the results of any serial System Impact Study completed following November 1, 2023, would not be accurate or representative of the project and will therefore not be completed. To move forward, this project will need to meet the requirements outlined in Section 188.8.131.52 of Idaho Power’s compliance filing with FERC Order 2023 to be included in the Transitional Cluster Study, or it can be withdrawn without penalty prior to the start of the Transitional Cluster Study.
A Limited Operations Study may be requested at the time the Draft Transitional Serial Study Report is issued, i.e., 150 Calendar Days after the Commission Approved Effective Date.
The definition of Site Control is included in Section 1 of Idaho Power’s compliance filing.
Per FERC Order 2023 paragraph 604, site control demonstration applies only to the land needed for the Generating Facility and does not apply to interconnection facilities or gen-ties. The gen-tie site control will need to be obtained after LGIA execution during construction.
While the Order and Idaho Power’s compliance filing include language regarding regulatory limitations, such regulatory limitations would not be available to Interconnection Customers until the initial cluster study that would commence following completion of the transitional study process. FERC has stated that the transitional study process requires 100% site control for proposed generating facilities to ‘provide further assurance that such interconnection customers are ready to proceed to construction’ (Order 2023 paragraph 870).
Idaho Power has posted the site control business practice to the Idaho Power OASIS site.
For future cluster studies not including the transitional study process, the 90% threshold is measured by the interconnection customer demonstrating exclusive site control for 90% of the minimum acreage requirements to site the size and fuel type of the generating facility that it is requesting to interconnect to Idaho Power’s transmission or distribution system. For the avoidance of doubt, the 90% threshold is not a measure of interconnection customer’s progress through a negotiation process for site control.
Idaho Power is operating under the assumption that the compliance filing will be approved by FERC and effective January 1, 2024. Further guidance will be shared in the event that does not occur.
Per Section 3.4.1 of Idaho Power’s filed LGIP, the Initial Cluster Request Window is proposed to open on March 1, 2025. Please see the compliance filing for the anticipated study timelines associated with the cluster study process following completion of the transition.
Idaho Power does not currently have any proposed processes that include a resource solicitation cluster.
Idaho Power submitted its compliance filing with FERC Order 2023 on October 2, 2023, and posted to OASIS and to the Generation Interconnection website notice of the compliance filing on October 2, 2023, to meet the requirement to provide notice to all interconnection customers simultaneously and in the same manner. Per Idaho Power’s standards of conduct, we are unable to notify individual interconnection customers of the filing outside of the public postings to avoid actual or perceived preferential treatment.
Idaho Power cannot speak to the benefits of entering into the transitional cluster study as opposed to waiting to enter the initial cluster in 2025; the pros and cons of each are unique to each project and are up to the interconnection customer to define for themselves.
The cluster study process required under FERC Order 2023 applies to FERC-jurisdictional projects that are processed under Attachment M of Idaho Power’s Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT). Idaho Power’s OATT is not under state jurisdiction; therefore, Idaho Power does not need approval from the IPUC and/or OPUC to implement this FERC order for FERC-jurisdictional projects.
If you do identify documents in the checklist that have previously been submitted, when returning the cluster package, please be sure to indicate what documents have already been submitted.
Please visit Idaho Power’s OASIS; there you can view our Generation Interconnection Queue and sort by the active projects’ size, fuel type, and Point of Interconnection.
Submit a request to the Generator Interconnection team to initiate a NDA request to be granted access to this program. Please be aware to provide consistent, accurate data free from conversion discrepancies, Idaho Power provides the Base Case Data in PowerWorld format; it will not be offered in other formats (including .raw).
As per Section 4.4.1 of the LGIP of FERC Order 2023, prior to the execution of the Transitional Cluster Study Agreement, a decrease of up to 60% of electrical output (MW) of the proposed project, through either a decrease in plant size or a decrease in Interconnection Service level will be allowed. As per Section 4.4.2, prior to the execution of the Transitional Facilities Study Agreement, a decrease of up to 15% of electrical output of the proposed project through either a decrease in plant size or a decrease in Interconnection Service level will be allowed. As per Section 4.4.1, for any increase in electrical output, these will be considered as a new application and thus can be submitted during the next Cluster Study Window.