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Permission to Operate: Timeline Update from CALSSA

May 23, 2023


TO: All CALSSA Member Companies


RE: Timelines for application processing


Many members have informed us recently of the unprecedented delays they are

experiencing with interconnection applications. This is due to the high volume of

applications that were submitted at the end of the NEM-2 eligibility period. All

contractors appear to be suffering from equally slow service. CALSSA is pushing the

utilities to do better, but we also need to communicate to customers that a major backlog

is slowing down everything.


PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E each received more than a year’s worth of applications in the

runup to the April 14 NEM-2 deadline. PG&E received 49,000 applications in March

alone, more than four times the normal volume. SCE received 142,000 applications in the

first four months of 2023, compared with 114,000 applications for all of 2022. SDG&E

received 60,000 applications in a four month period, which was up from 39,000 in 2022.


We knew the surge in applications was going to slow things down, but it is frustrating

that seemingly simple steps in the process are taking a long time. Doing the initial review

of an application for a small residential system is mostly automated, as is issuing the

“permission to operate” communication after we have submitted the final inspection

report. Even these steps are taking as much as 50 days. Some contractors have thousands

of applications that have not moved forward. Applications for larger and more complex

systems are stalled behind the large volume of applications for small systems.


CALSSA is in regular communication with the utility interconnection directors to make

sure they understand our perspective and to help them operate efficiently. We will

continue to push the utilities to work faster, both now and after the current backlog is

resolved. However, we also need to exercise patience in this situation and help customers

understand that the current delays do not reflect any mismanagement on the part of

contractors.


Respectfully,

Brad Heavner

Policy Director

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