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Building a generation facility and connecting it to the PowerStream distribution or subtransmission system requires attention to safety, adherence to technical standards, all in compliance with regulatory requirements. Connection of a customer owned involves several steps and both parties have distinct responsibilities.
 

This section provides a comprehensive set of references that are intended to familiarize PowerStream customers about the overall process, requirements, and approvals that may apply to connections of embedded generators to the PowerStream distribution or subtransmission system.

 
Frequently Asked Questions:
 
 
 
 

 
What is PowerStream responsible for?
    • PowerStream is responsible for the safety, reliability, efficiency of its distribution and subtransmission system, and ensuring that the new generation connection does not adversely affect the distribution system or existing customers
    • PowerStream is responsible for ensuring that the Distribution System Code and applicable standards are followed
 
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What is the Generator (Customer) responsible for?
  • The Generator (Customer) is responsible for the safety, design, construction, operation, metering, protection and control, and maintenance of their generating facility
  • The Customer must contact all applicable agencies involved and obtain all approvals prior to the connection being permitted
  • The Customer must ensure that all necessary submissions and agreements are completed and all required payments have been made to PowerStream Inc.
  • The Customer should consider using a consultant to assist with the connection requirements, process and approvals
 
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What is the process for connecting a customer owned embedded generator?
The connection process for a customer owned generator is based on the Generator Classification as shown in the table below:
Classification:Generator Rating:

  Micro≤10 kW
  Smalla) ≤ 500 kW connected on distribution system voltage < 15 kV
 b) ≤ 1 MW connected on distribution system voltage ≥ 15 kV
  Mid-sizeda) < 10 MW but > 500 kW connected on distribution system voltage < 15 kV
 b) > 1 MW but < 10 MW connected on distribution system voltage ≥15 kV
  Large≥ 10 MW
 
Small, Mid-Sized and Large Generators - Connection Process Overview Under FIT Program
The following is the connection process overview for generators that are greater than 10kW and operate at voltages below 50kV: 
 
1.Initial Contact
  
 The Customer proposing the installation of a generation facility contacts PowerStream. PowerStream will provide the Customer with an information package and a Form A - Pre-FIT Consultation Application. The Customer will:
  • Review the information provided by PowerStream and develop an installation plan.
2.Initial Consultation
  
 After the Customer has reviewed the information package he develops an installation plan. The Customer will:

  • Complete and submit the Form A - Pre-FIT Consultation Application to PowerStream
  • Contact the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and complete the OPA FIT application. Once the application is completed the project will be issued a Reference Number.
After PowerStream has reviewed the Form A - Pre-FIT Consultation Application and established the generator classification, the project will be discussed with the Customer in a face to face meeting. The aim of this meeting is discuss issues of mutual interest early in the Customer's review of the feasibility of the project.

PowerStream will provide the Customer with a Form B - Connection Impact Assessment Application.
  
3.Connection Impact Assessment
  
 If the Customer decides to proceed with the project, the Customer submits the completed Form B - Connection Impact Assessment Application and a signed Study Agreement Form with a payment for the Connection Impact Assessment.

The cost of the Connection Impact Assessment varies with the size of the generation facility. The amount of the Connection Impact Assessment Fee will be determined at the initial consultation.

The Customer is allocated capacity upon completion of the CIA (excludes Micro) by PowerStream's Stations Design department. The capacity allocation for feeder and stations is maintained in accordance with the capacity allocation process shown in Note 1.

Renewable generation projects up to and including 250 kW on lines less than 15 kV or up to and including 500 kW on lines greater than or equal to 15 kV, are exempted from the capacity allocation process.
  
4.Connection Cost Estimate
  
 After the CIA is complete, the scope of work required to connect new generation can be developed and the cost of connection to PowerStream’s distribution system can be estimated.
  
5.Design and Build
  
 Once agreement of the scope, cost and timing are reached, the Customer is required to sign a Connection Cost Recovery Agreement. After submitting the agreement and payment, detailed design and construction at additions or modification to PowerStream’s distribution system may begin.
  
6.Connect, Operate and Maintain
  
 Once all of the required work and approvals are completed, a Connection Agreement will be signed by PowerStream and the Customer. The Connection Agreement provides an outline of the connection as well as the roles and responsibility of each party.

An Operating Agreement will be developed by PowerStream's Operation's department and signed by both parties.

If the generator is one MW or larger, a Transmission Connection Agreement will be developed by PowerStream's Operations department and signed by both parties.
  
microFIT Generators - Connection Process Overview
The following is the connection process overview for generators that are less or equal to 10kW and operate at voltages below 50kV:
  
1.Application Process
  
 The complete microFIT application process is as follows:
  
 
a)Customer (Generator) proposing the installation of a generation facility with PowerStream must first contact the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and complete their microFIT application.
b)OPA issues the project a 7-digit FIT reference number when the application is processed.
c)Customer submits a Connection Request to PowerStream when the project’s application status is set to “Pending LDC Offer to Connect”. (Connection Request consists of Form C - Micro-Generation Connection Application and Single Line Diagram).
d)PowerStream notifies the OPA when the Connection Request Package is received.
e)PowerStream provides a Service Design (Offer to Connect) to the customer with the necessary design requirements and construction costs to connect the generator.
f)PowerStream informs the OPA when the Connection Request is approved.
g)Customer reviews PowerStream requirements and develops an installation plan following receipt of the Application Approval Notice from the OPA.
h)Customer pays PowerStream fees as per the Service Design.
i)Customer installs the project.
j)Customer makes an appointment with New Connections for the Disconnect/Reconnect.
k)Generation site approval by ESA.
l)PowerStream installs generation meter.
m)Customer completes the Commissioning Verification Form and submits to PowerStream.
n)PowerStream issues a Connection Agreement to the customer.
o)Customer signs and returns the Connection Agreement to PowerStream.
p)PowerStream updates the OPA with the project’s connected status.
q)OPA issues a Contract to the customer.
r)Customer accepts the OPA Contract.
s)OPA informs PowerStream of a new OPA Contract.
t)PowerStream starts payments as per PowerStream billing cycle.
 
2.Connection Type
  
 There are two kinds of microFIT configurations to connect to the electricity system:
  
 a) Stand-Alone Connection
  
 
The generator is directly connected to the grid and is not connected to the Customer's existing electricity supply. This type of connection requires a separate transformer for the generator. The generator pays all connection costs including the cost of the transformer, as illustrated below.
   
  
 b) Parallel Connection
  
 
The generator is connected through the Customer's existing electrical system and existing connection to the distribution system. This connection is configured with the generator meter and the load meter electrically in parallel. The electricity produced is sent directly into the distribution system. The customer continues to use electricity from the distribution system for their consumption. Customers connected in parallel will be paid the microFIT contract price for all the electricity produced by the generator and their electricity bill will be calculated in the same manner as prior to the installation of the generator. Payment for the microFIT generation is separate from the bill for electricity consumed.
 
  
3.Connect, Operate and Maintain 
  
 Once all of the required work and approvals are completed, a Connection Agreement will be signed by PowerStream and the Customer. The Connection Agreement provides an outline of the connection as well as the roles and responsibilities of each party.
  
  
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What external approvals are part of the approval process?

Depending on the size, type, fuel, and location of generation facilities, the connection of the generation facility to the distribution or subtransmission system may require approvals from various regulators that govern the electricity industry in Ontario. Below are some of the relevant organizations you may need to engage for the connection of a customer owned generation facility.
  
a.Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)
  
 The IESO manages the Ontario power grid, provides the hourly energy spot market prices, as well as sets and enforces the Market Rules for participating in the Ontario electricity market.

A System Impact Assessment is conducted by the IESO prior to the Customer connecting a customer owned generation facility that is 10 MW or greater in size.

Embedded generators that are over 20 MW or are participating in the Renewable Energy Supply Contract are required to register with the IESO as a Market Participant and must comply with all Market Rules, including metering requirements.
  
b.Ontario Energy Board (OEB)
  
 The Distribution System Code issued by the OEB sets out the minimum conditions that Distributors must meet in carrying out their obligations to distribute electricity in Ontario, under their licence. The interconnection process and requirements for embedded generation are governed by the Distribution System Code including Appendix F.

The OEB regulates the electricity and gas industry in Ontario. The Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, Section 57, requires that electricity market participants be licensed in order to export power to the distribution grid. More specifically, the Customer (Generator) must obtain a Generator Licence from the OEB when:
  • The Applicant intends to sell power into the IESO-administered market.
  • The Applicant intends to settle for amounts through a distributor's retail settlement system for energy injected into the distributor's distribution system (i.e. sell electricity through the distributor). If so, the Applicant must have a connection agreement and a service agreement for settlement purposes with the distributor.

    Generally, a generator licence is not required for load displacement generator or Net Metering customers.
  
c.Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) 
  
 The Ontario ESA sets and enforces standards for electrical safety through the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Before connecting to the PowerStream distribution system, the customer is required to have the ESA inspect their generation facility and provide an Authorization to Connect to PowerStream.
  
d.Ontario Power Authority (OPA)
  
 In the case the Customer wants to participate in the OPA Standard Offer Program (SOP), the Customer will need to sign a SOP contract with the OPA.
  
e.Other External Approvals
  
 Customers should also be aware that other approvals might be required such as those from the Ontario Ministry of Environment, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, etc.
  
 1.     Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE)

Depending on the size, type, fuel, and location of generation facilities, the MOE may require that the Customer carry out an environmental assessment.

The MOE sets environmental standards for electricity projects in Ontario and ensures that generators, distributors and transmitters follow rules and standards when constructing and operating facilities.

The Guide to Environmental Assessment for Electricity Projects provides the environmental assessment requirements for electricity projects. They apply equally to the public and private sectors.

Projects involving generators less than 1 MW typically do not require environmental screening or environmental assessment. The MOE must be contacted to determine whether an environmental assessment is required.
  

 

2.     Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)

The CEAA controls the federal environmental assessment process and it applies whenever a federal authority has a specified decision-making responsibility for a project.

Depending on the impact of the generation facilities on federal jurisdiction, a federal environmental assessment may be required.

Please contact the CEAA to determine whether a federal environmental assessment is required.
  
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How do I apply for connection of an embedded generator?

Customers interested in connecting a customer owned generator to the PowerStream distribution or subtransmission system should contact PowerStream at 1-877-963-6900, extension 25001 or email to egconnect@PowerStream.ca.

Customers without e-mail access can request the application form or submit the completed form by regular mail or fax to the following address:

Station Designs & Construction - Embedded Generation
PowerStream Inc., 161 Cityview Boulevard, Vaughan, Ontario L4H 0A9
   
Phone:  Vaughan & Vicinity905-417-6900  - extension 25001 
             Barrie & Vicinity705-722-7222  - extension 25001 
             All Other Areas1-877-963-6900  - extension 25001
   
Fax: 905-532-4447  
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