Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

Charles1Charles1 Posts: 2Registered Users
I completed my designs and drawings for a grid-intertie 6.3 kW rooftop solar system and was issued a building permit by the City of Phoenix. I am the homeowner occupying my home and under Arizona Revised Statutes 32-1121 I should be able to do the work myself without needing to be a licensed contractor. I only need to follow fire, building, and electrical code, and pass the inspection. Easy.

However, I want to apply for a non-incentive (no rebate, fewer obligations) interconnection agreement (must apply online through a customer account) with Arizona Public Service (APS) but APS is telling me that I must be a licensed contractor (on their list) in order to submit the Interconnection Application. It seems there are also additional restrictions that force me to purchase the panels and equipment from a licensed contractor (on their list).

Any ideas?

Does anyone know an AZ licensed contractor (K-11 license) who would be willing to let me do the work and then submit the Interconnection Application?

Thanks!

Comments

  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,334Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    Have you read there interconnect PDF?
    http://www.aps.com/library/solar%20renewables/InterconnectReq.pdf

    I see nothing requiring a contractor.

    Here is their checklist:
    http://www.aps.com/library/solar%20renewables/InterconnAppChecklist.pdf
  • Charles1Charles1 Posts: 2Registered Users
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application
    solar_dave wrote: »
    Have you read there interconnect PDF?
    http://www.aps.com/library/solar%20renewables/InterconnectReq.pdf

    I see nothing requiring a contractor.

    Here is their checklist:
    http://www.aps.com/library/solar%20renewables/InterconnAppChecklist.pdf

    Thank you for the reply, solar_dave. Yes, I have these APS documents, and no, they do not mention any requirement for a licensed contractor.

    However, take a look at this document:
    "General Interconnection Process for Residential Power Generating Facilities Not Participating in APS Incentive Programs"
    http://www.aps.com/library/solar%20renewables/ResnonProgramInterconnProcess.pdf

    I am at step 8 where I am directed to launch the online "Non-Incentive Application" via the "My Renewables" tab in my "http://www.aps.com"; account where I am required to pick my 1) Dealer/Supplier, and 2) Installer, from two drop-down menus. In step 9, I am told that the "Customer's Installer/Dealer" will log into "http://www.aps.com"; and "completes and submits the online Interconnection Application," and uploads my AJH-stamped diagrams and site plan.

    I called APS and the person I spoke with, "Isaac," is the person who told me a licensed contractor is required by APS to do the installation.

    What do you think? This has been quite a surprise and will certainly increase the cost of my system if I am over a barrel. Legally, I can certainly complete the system and have the AHJ (City of Phoenix) perform an inspection and give me a "green tag" but can I ever get connected to the APS grid?

    Charles
  • inetdoginetdog Posts: 3,121Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application
    Charles1 wrote: »
    What do you think? This has been quite a surprise and will certainly increase the cost of my system if I am over a barrel. Legally, I can certainly complete the system and have the AHJ (City of Phoenix) perform an inspection and give me a "green tag" but can I ever get connected to the APS grid?

    Will it still be possible to switch over and go for an incentive-program-based connection at this point?
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,334Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application
    inetdog wrote: »
    Will it still be possible to switch over and go for an incentive-program-based connection at this point?

    I agree here, but I would talk to Isaac's supervisor as well.
  • UricashaUricasha Posts: 6Registered Users ✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application
    Charles1 wrote: »
    I completed my designs and drawings for a grid-intertie 6.3 kW rooftop solar system and was issued a building permit by the City of Phoenix. I am the homeowner occupying my home and under Arizona Revised Statutes 32-1121 I should be able to do the work myself without needing to be a licensed contractor. I only need to follow fire, building, and electrical code, and pass the inspection. Easy.

    However, I want to apply for a non-incentive (no rebate, fewer obligations) interconnection agreement (must apply online through a customer account) with Arizona Public Service (APS) but APS is telling me that I must be a licensed contractor (on their list) in order to submit the Interconnection Application. It seems there are also additional restrictions that force me to purchase the panels and equipment from a licensed contractor (on their list).

    Any ideas?

    Does anyone know an AZ licensed contractor (K-11 license) who would be willing to let me do the work and then submit the Interconnection Application?

    Thanks!


    Did you ever get resolution to this problem? I am filling out my APS application and it is asking for my installer. I understand that APS requires a licensed contractor to receive a rebate http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=AZ04F. However, if I choose to not receive a rebate, it still asks for my installer.
    Attachment not found.
  • solarixsolarix Posts: 713Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    APS requires interconnected solar systems to be installed under a permit from your local building department and the permit for solar installs no doubt requires a licensed electrician. There are a few exceptions like Gilbert, AZ that have exempted solar from permitting, however most jurisdictions in Arizona are quite strict concerning solar. The electrical industry in general never envisioned backfeeding power through the grid system, are quite freaked out about it, and go overboard in ensuring safety.
    Send me a private email, I'll try to help you out.
  • UricashaUricasha Posts: 6Registered Users ✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    Solarix, I called the City of Phoenix Planning department last week and they verified that I do not need a licensed electrician to perform a DIY install of the PV solar system and to get the proper permits.

    Here is a reference to the state statute stating so. http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/32/01121.htm&Title=32&DocType=ARS
  • solarixsolarix Posts: 713Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    Here is what it says on the APS application:
    For our mutual protection, APS requires that the PV System be installed by a contractor holding an appropriate
    and active license issued by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. Customer must indicate the name of the
    installing contractor, as well as such contractor's license certification, on its Application in order for the
    Application to be complete. If the contractor holds an active C-11 or K-11 license certification, then such
    contractor will be approved by APS. In the alternative, if the contractor holds an active class C-05 or K-05
    license certification, such contractor may also be approved by APS in its sole discretion if, upon review, APS
    determines that the particular license held by the contractor meets appropriate requirements for photovoltaic
    system installations. Other license certifications may also be approved by APS in its sole discretion on a
    case-by-case basis. Customer will be informed of such determination in the Application process. Other license
    certifications may also be approved by APS in its sole discretion on a case-by-case basis. For your information,
    license certifications for Arizona contractors can be found at http://www.azroc.gov/clsc/AZROCLicenseQuery
    The installer must also provide proof of liability insurance. If the equipment dealer is party to the reservation
    request, the dealer must also provide proof of liability insurance. You should also consult with your insurance
    advisor to determine what issues may be posed by the installation of a solar PV system on your Property. Your
    homeowner’s and liability policies may not have contemplated the addition of this device and changes may need
    to be made to your coverage to address the addition of the System, including coverage of the System itself and
    the consequences of its operation.
    You don't really expect a union shop like APS to make it easy for you do you?
  • UricashaUricasha Posts: 6Registered Users ✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    Thank you for replying solarix.

    My rebuttal to that is that your statement comes from the application for "APS RENEWABLE ENERGY INCENTIVE PROGRAM
    LEASED PHOTOVOLTAIC ELECTRIC SYSTEMS". I would not be asking for APS incentives or leasing my PV system which excludes me from this document.

    If you look at the http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=AZ09R or http://www.aps.com/library/solar%20renewables/InterconnectReq.pdf there is no reference to the requirement of having a K-11 or C-11 licensed contractor for tieing into the grid.

    I was hoping that somebody on this forum did a DIY install and was able to navigate the ridiculous red tape from APS.

    Also, if I did have to get a licensed electrician, how much of the electrical work could I do and what would an electrician charge me? Basic rates and such.
  • solarixsolarix Posts: 713Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    Its says the same thing on the Interconnect Agreement. Doesn't have anything to do with whether you are getting the solar rebate or not.
    Tell you what, I'll be your Licensee and let you do all the work. I want pictures of everything and maybe pay for a trip to check it out before you have the local inspection. The permitting required for solar probably bugs me more than you and I'm all for helping anyone go solar any way possible. Would really like to see the permitting requirements backed off, but that won't happen if there are problems and accidents etc, so let us help you do it "right". Good job on getting the permit, that is the hard part.
  • sogormansogorman Posts: 5Registered Users
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    I was curious if there was any update on this thread? I am looking to do my own 7.5Kwh micro inverter grid tie PV system and email APS about the whole dealer installer issue...
    Good Afternoon.
    I am an APS customer and I am evaluating installing a Photovoltaic System which will interconnect with the APS grid. I have a question regarding APS's interconnect policy.I would like to design and install a PV generation station at my primary residence. Provided a customer is able to provide the necessary documentation for the Interconnection Application, appropriate site, and electrical drawings, are customers able to design, and build a PV grid tie system without going through a 'dealer' or 'installer'?

    Their response was this...
    Yes, if you are able to provide all the interconnection requirements, as a customer, you can install your own system. You will need to register on aps.com as an installer/dealer first. Below are instructions on how to do so:

    Registration
    § On aps.com click on “activate” next to login (top right). On the right, under “are you a solar or renewable partner?”, click “activate here”
    § Choose the customer type; installer/dealer, and fill out the form completely and click on “activate”
    § Then you will be sent to the confirmation registration page
    § It will then log you into your account where you will have to fill out the profile page, once you are done click save.
    § It will take you to your home page where you will not have any information shown because you have not started an application.

    You do not need an ROC number, please make one up. The ‘company’ name will be ‘First name Last name IA Only.
    When you are finished registering, please write back to this email address, provide the username and email address you registered, and we will activate the installer.

    When you start the Customer Application, please log in under your customer login. When ready to apply, disable pop-up blockers in your browser.
    Go to “my rebates and renewables”, and click on “renewable energy applications”. Follow all the steps to complete the application.

    Here is a link to the forms and resources page: http://www.aps.com/en/globalservices/installers/Pages/renewables-forms-and-resources.aspx
    Here is a link to the interconnection page: http://www.aps.com/en/globalservices/installers/Pages/resources-for-green-energy-installers.aspx

    Please refer to “Renewable Energy Program Guide & Application Process Overview (after March 3, 2014)” process guide (also attached) for all that is required to complete the application. You will use your installer login for the rest of the application process.

    To me this looks like APS will allow a non licensed customer to install and interconnect their own system.

    Thoughts?
  • solar_davesolar_dave Posts: 2,334Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    Interesting! Your next hurdle is the permitting it looks like.
  • UricashaUricasha Posts: 6Registered Users ✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    Yes, you can install and interconnect your own system. I just did last year. The only caveat is that you won't get the APS "rebate" if you install it yourself. The City of Phoenix had no problems with me doing all the electrical work. Please let me know if you have any further questions. There is a lot of mis-information out there on what you can and can-not do. Even APS and the City sometimes don't even know what there own requirements are. You have to be more informed than them when you deal with them.
    sogorman wrote: »
    I was curious if there was any update on this thread? I am looking to do my own 7.5Kwh micro inverter grid tie PV system and email APS about the whole dealer installer issue...



    Their response was this...



    To me this looks like APS will allow a non licensed customer to install and interconnect their own system.

    Thoughts?
  • sogormansogorman Posts: 5Registered Users
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    That's fantastic and congrats! I'm working on putting the design on paper and the city is my next step. I'll keep you guys posted on my progress but I'm not in a super hurry, I really don't want to get on the roof until September.... too hot out! If the permitting goes well and APS approves the plans, I'll order all the gear the beginning of August.

    If you don't mind me asking Uricasha, how large of a system did you install and what was your out the door $ per watt?


    Thanks,

    Sean
  • UricashaUricasha Posts: 6Registered Users ✭✭
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    I only put 1.25KW on my roof. https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/systems/253946/graph/days. I ordered almost everything from Wholesale Solar for a total out of pocket (including permit fees) of $4000. I got 55% of this back in taxes so my out of pocket is $1800 or $1.44/watt. Wholesale Solar will also give you an electrical schematic of the system if you want.

    I chose this size system to offset my peak pricing from APS. My payback should by 6-7 years. :)

    I can give you a copy of my permit documents/schematics/invoices if needed. I love helping more people put solar on their roof.
    sogorman wrote: »
    That's fantastic and congrats! I'm working on putting the design on paper and the city is my next step. I'll keep you guys posted on my progress but I'm not in a super hurry, I really don't want to get on the roof until September.... too hot out! If the permitting goes well and APS approves the plans, I'll order all the gear the beginning of August.

    If you don't mind me asking Uricasha, how large of a system did you install and what was your out the door $ per watt?


    Thanks,

    Sean
  • solarnutsolarnut Posts: 1Registered Users
    It would be great if someone could help me or direct me towards someone who can. I'm looking for help with the city of Phoenix permit and APS permit for a ground-mount solar system with no compensation for putting power back to APS. Thanks!
  • jb74jb74 Posts: 1Registered Users
    Uricasha said:
    Re: Need Help with Arizona Public Service Interconnection Agreement Application

    I only put 1.25KW on my roof. https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/systems/253946/graph/days. I ordered almost everything from Wholesale Solar for a total out of pocket (including permit fees) of $4000. I got 55% of this back in taxes so my out of pocket is $1800 or $1.44/watt. Wholesale Solar will also give you an electrical schematic of the system if you want.

    I chose this size system to offset my peak pricing from APS. My payback should by 6-7 years. :)

    I can give you a copy of my permit documents/schematics/invoices if needed. I love helping more people put solar on their roof.
    sogorman wrote: »
    That's fantastic and congrats! I'm working on putting the design on paper and the city is my next step. I'll keep you guys posted on my progress but I'm not in a super hurry, I really don't want to get on the roof until September.... too hot out! If the permitting goes well and APS approves the plans, I'll order all the gear the beginning of August.

    If you don't mind me asking Uricasha, how large of a system did you install and what was your out the door $ per watt?


    Thanks,

    Sean

    I found the self-installer docs on the APS site.  Uricasha, does the offer to share the permit docs/schematics still stand?  I would like to get more info on what that permit process looks like.

    https://www.aps.com/en/globalservices/installers/Pages/resources-for-green-energy-installers.aspx?src=dg

    thanks,
    Jason
  • UricashaUricasha Posts: 6Registered Users ✭✭
    All my stuff exists on Google Drive. Send me your e-mail and I’ll send a link.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 27,910Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    You can click on Uricasha's name and send your email address via private message.

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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