Information About Customer-Owned Renewable Generation Grid Interconnections
FPL works closely with customers and contractors to ensure safe, efficient grid interconnections for renewable generation, such as solar panels. Customers with grid-interconnected renewable generation can participate in FPL’s net-metering program. The goal of net metering is to offset all or part of the customer's energy use at the customer's metered service account. Systems should not be sized so large that energy produced by the renewable generator would be expected to exceed 115 percent of the customer’s annual kWh consumption.
For FPL’s complete guidelines, please see the Interconnection Agreement for the appropriate tier:
- Customer-owned renewable generation shall include a utility-interactive inverter, or other device certified pursuant to FPL’s net-metering agreement, that performs the function of automatically isolating the customer-owned generation equipment from the energy grid in the event of a grid outage. This requirement is necessary to prevent dangerous back feed, which can endanger restoration personnel who may be working to restore the grid.
- Note: A net-metering customer may operate renewable generation during a grid outage if the customer’s system is installed with appropriate equipment (e.g. specialized inverter or battery system).
- A customer may choose to install and operate their renewable generation fully off-grid, however, grid interconnection is required if the customer wishes to participate in net metering.
- If a customer’s system does not utilize a U.L. 1741 listed inverter to feed power to FPL, it must have a manual, visual load break disconnect switch (knife blade or fused type). The disconnect switch should only disengage the renewable source, not all of the customer’s electrical service. It should be mounted separate but adjacent to the meter. It is important that the switch be easily accessible by FPL personnel (it should not be locked in a meter room), and that it is capable of being secured in an open position with a padlock.
- The switch should be nearby and readily accessible from the meter location. A sign noting the location of the disconnect switch should be installed at the meter to enable FPL personnel to easily locate the disconnect switch in the event of an emergency. The disconnect switch should also have a warning sign indicating that both sides of the switch may be energized. Please contact FPL for approval of a remote switch location and the verbiage or the location of the sign prior to the final design.
- The gross power rating or the alternating current (AC) rating for the system is the array direct current (DC) rating multiplied by 0.85. The AC rating determines the tier that the system falls under for agreement purposes. There are three tiers by system size; tier 1 is 10 kW and below, tier 2 is above 10 kW up to 100 kW, and tier 3 is above 100 kW up to 2,000 kW (2 megawatts).
- The customer’s system must adhere to National Electric Code (NEC) Article 690 - Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems. Interconnections with the utility transformer or in the meter can are not permitted.
- Customer generation is limited to 90 percent of the FPL service capacity. FPL will upsize facilities for customer generation at the customer’s expense. FPL will not increase the size of the distribution equipment greater than required for a renewable energy system designed to offset all of the customer's annual energy use.
- To ensure proper phase balancing across distribution feeders and to accommodate higher levels of distributed generation, FPL requires any NEM system 50KW or greater to interconnect at 120/208v or 277/480v wye three phase. If 3phase power is not available the requesting NEM customer can elect to decrease the size of their system or at the property owner’s expense request 3phase wye power. FPL will provide a ball park estimate for utility upgrades required, the customer will be responsible for any necessary upgrades to the property owners electrical entrance.
- The customer on the account must complete an application, interconnect agreement, obtain a building permit, and for Tier 2 and 3, obtain proof of insurance and pay an application fee.
- Once construction is complete, a customer should provide a copy of the approved permit or a screen print from the local authority’s website indicating the permit has been approved and that includes the following:
- Electrical and mechanical inspection signed off / approved by the local inspector
- Description of work - (e.g. solar, solar panels, PV, wind turbine, etc.)
- Address of where the system was installed
- Permit number
- Building department name
- Operation of the renewable generation system, except for testing and inspection, prior to the installation of a new bi-directional meter is strictly prohibited. Operating your renewable system without the bi-directional meter can result in an inaccurate meter reading, causing your electric bill to increase.
Battery systems for personal use (customer-owned installations behind the customer’s meter)
For customers interested in installing battery storage systems for personal use (i.e., behind the customer’s meter), FPL has developed the policy below. The policy ensures we adequately protect the safety of those working on the electrical grid, monitor the impact of energy storage systems on the grid, and evaluate the potential economic impact of the installation of these systems to all customers. This policy is subject to change as the implications of this emerging technology are better understood, and as legislative or regulatory action may dictate.
Battery storage equipment installed behind a customer’s meter must have a certification conducted by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) to the current UL 1741 standard for safety. A placard must be permanently affixed to the meter enclosure stating “Battery storage utilized in this facility.” Battery storage that is not UL 1741 certified must be DC coupled behind a UL 1741 listed device.
Battery storage integrated with customer-owned renewable generation systems
Energy stored by the battery is only for the customer’s use. While it may operate interconnected with the electrical grid, at this time the customer may not export power from the battery to the grid. Battery storage for Tier 3 systems will be reviewed in the fast track study.
Battery for backup support
Battery storage systems installed without a renewable generation system and intended as an emergency backup power source may be charged from the electrical grid. No interconnection agreement is required. However, as with customer-owned backup generators, the customer is responsible for ensuring that power from the battery does not back-feed to the grid to avoid a safety hazard for workers or the public. Customers assume all liability associated with the use of such battery systems.
Battery storage continuously interconnected to the electric utility
Customers are required to notify FPL of battery systems installed without a renewable generation system, and designed to charge from the grid and operate interconnected with the grid. It is anticipated that FPL will develop a standard Utility Interactive Battery Storage application to gather information about such installations. If a customer does not intend to export power to the electrical grid, an interconnection agreement is not required.
If a customer wants to export power to the grid, the customer will be required to complete a Small Generator Interconnection Agreement. Stand-alone battery storage systems are not included in the definition of “renewable energy” pursuant to Rule 25-6.065(2)(d), Florida Administrative Code, and the output from such systems is not net metered.