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New Tesla 15.12kW Solar / 4 Powerwall order in Orlando

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
I just got an email letting me know that nearly two months after my install the city inspection has finally been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Someone from Tesla stopped by my house briefly this morning to post the updated documentation with the permit documentation that’s been hanging by my garage for the last two months.

With any luck I’ll pass the inspection and I’ll be able to get PTO from my utility shortly after that. Then I can finally end my extended off grid test (after generating more than 3MWh and saving more than $400 on my utility bill)
 

darhall993

Member
Jan 24, 2019
155
139
Sandy Springs, GA
I just got an email letting me know that nearly two months after my install the city inspection has finally been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Someone from Tesla stopped by my house briefly this morning to post the updated documentation with the permit documentation that’s been hanging by my garage for the last two months.

With any luck I’ll pass the inspection and I’ll be able to get PTO from my utility shortly after that. Then I can finally end my extended off grid test (after generating more than 3MWh and saving more than $400 on my utility bill)
Congrats BrettS! Good luck and keep us posted on the PTO, been a long time coming!
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
Well, the inspector just came (an hour early, even) and it was pretty anticlimactic. He rang my doorbell so I could open the garage for him, since that’s where the powerwalls are, and he walked around and looked at the panels on the roof. I don’t believe that he even opened any of the electrical panels (unless he did it before he rang my doorbell). 5 minutes later he signed off on the install and handed me the documents and told me to have a nice day. Tesla did not come for the inspection.

Now I just need to get the utility to grant me PTO:)
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
Well, looks like I still have a bit of a wait ahead of me. I called the utility to see what their process looks like and she said that she sees the interconnect application that tesla submitted, but they never finalized the application or made the payment, so the process has not been started at all on the utility side. I’m not sure if that was an oversight on Tesla’s part or if they normally wait until after the inspection to finalize the application.

But the utility said that once the payment is submitted and the application is finalized then it’s normally about a 30 day process before they change out the meter and I get PTO.
 

Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
14
USA
Well, looks like I still have a bit of a wait ahead of me. I called the utility to see what their process looks like and she said that she sees the interconnect application that tesla submitted, but they never finalized the application or made the payment, so the process has not been started at all on the utility side. I’m not sure if that was an oversight on Tesla’s part or if they normally wait until after the inspection to finalize the application.

But the utility said that once the payment is submitted and the application is finalized then it’s normally about a 30 day process before they change out the meter and I get PTO.

FYI my system is practically identical but LG panels were installed in 2016 (paid for themselves over a year ago now) and just added PWs recently. Would be curious to know how many kWs of daily production you are averaging in August.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
FYI my system is practically identical but LG panels were installed in 2016 (paid for themselves over a year ago now) and just added PWs recently. Would be curious to know how many kWs of daily production you are averaging in August.

Right now it’s showing that I’ve produced 1127kWh in august, which over 20 days is an average of 56.35kWh per day. Since I don’t have my PTO yet I’m unable to export power to the grid, so there have been some times where I could have produced more power, but I had no where to send it. Once I have my PTO I would expect that number to be slightly higher (although not significantly).

If it wasn’t for the darn clouds in the afternoons I could be doing a lot better. Most of my days in august are looking similar to yesterday:

5D2102D5-BAF2-4242-B5C7-5C432A1A83FB.jpeg


What’s your average production looking like and where are you located?
 
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Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
14
USA
So far in august I’m averaging 86kWh in SoCal. But I‘ve had better August’s in the past where I had 90-95 on average, with multiple days at 110+.

I’d be interested to see if you gain significantly more than you expect with PTO.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
I just got this (heavily redacted) email:

921BC49C-587F-41AD-AA0E-CCA61A52A3B0.jpeg


I called Duke Energy to see what the status is and it looks like they have finally received the payment and completion information from Tesla, so getting my PTO should be entirely in Duke’s hands right now.

Unfortunately, it looks like it won’t be a super quick process. When I called them they said that there are three steps... the first step that just started now is for a project manager to review all of the documentation and make sure that everything looks good, which can take up to 10 business days. Then there will be a field inspection where they send someone out to inspect the installation, which won’t happen until after the project manager finishes and that can also take up to 10 business days, then they will schedule the new meter to be installed, which won’t happen until after the field inspection and that can also take another 10 business days. But she did say that typically the process is completed in about 30 days.

I feel like I’m starting to see light at the end of this tunnel.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
I just got another email from Duke Energy with a subject that said “Incomplete Interconnection Application”. That scared me, but basically all it said was that they have everything they need for my application except a copy of the city’s inspection approval. I dunno if Tesla would normally provide that for them, but I had a copy of the approval that the inspector signed when he was here last week, so I scanned it and emailed it back to them myself. Hopefully that will keep things moving. But it’s encouraging that at least someone seems to be working on my application.
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,206
15,774
Maryland
I just got another email from Duke Energy with a subject that said “Incomplete Interconnection Application”. That scared me, but basically all it said was that they have everything they need for my application except a copy of the city’s inspection approval. I dunno if Tesla would normally provide that for them, but I had a copy of the approval that the inspector signed when he was here last week, so I scanned it and emailed it back to them myself. Hopefully that will keep things moving. But it’s encouraging that at least someone seems to be working on my application.

Is there a practical reason behind all of this interconnect bureaucracy? Or is it just that nobody in government has the incentive to improve things?

There are probably dozens if not hundreds of systems across Florida just like yours. Beyond a county-inspector making sure it's wired correctly, I don't see why things need to be so convoluted.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
Is there a practical reason behind all of this interconnect bureaucracy? Or is it just that nobody in government has the incentive to improve things?

There are probably dozens if not hundreds of systems across Florida just like yours. Beyond a county-inspector making sure it's wired correctly, I don't see why things need to be so convoluted.

I’m not quite sure what “interconnect bureaucracy” you’re referring to. I think all of the utilities require at least some paperwork and verification before they allow you get PTO and feed back to the grid.

If you’re referring to the florida solar ‘tier’ system, then it is definitely a bit of a mess. As has been discussed elsewhere florida has three tiers for solar systems, under 10kW, 10kW-100kW, and over 100kW. Unfortunately more and more residential systems, like mine, are falling into the 10kW-100kW tier 2 category, which does require things like a $1 million insurance requirement and I believe some additional paperwork and site inspections.

But again, as has been discussed elsewhere, I think it’s because the tier definitions aren’t really ideal. A 99kW system could feed a lot more power back into the grid than my little 15kW system, yet we are subject to the same insurance and approval requirements.
 
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sleevemedia

Member
Jul 1, 2020
57
41
Orlando
My install was Monday. I'm about to go through all of this with Orange County. I doubt I'll have the patience, and I've been told our inspections are only running 3-4 weeks.

Duke has 15 days. They'll be reported to the PSC when they fail. It's good to know that they're providing information over the phone that proves they intend to fail and they have a process that will fail every time.

Tesla subbed out the install and the crew was great. I have no Powerwalls and they warned me not to turn on the system, but not due to Duke detection, instead that a standard meter measures production as consumption so if I ran the system, I'd pay retail for my production.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
Duke has 15 days. They'll be reported to the PSC when they fail. It's good to know that they're providing information over the phone that proves they intend to fail and they have a process that will fail every time.

Why do you believe they only have 15 days? It’s also worth noting that if you have a Tier 1 system that the Duke process is much shorter and likely will be done in less than 15 days.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
Local non-SolarCity installer that Tesla subbed to said they are allowed 15 days to approve. Since it's all written down over here: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/readFile.asp?sid=0&tid=5455200&type=1&file=25-6.065.doc, I challenged that the same way you just did. They have 30 days, see 7(c).

I suppose I'll need to bribe them since my fingerwag just got neutralized.

Yeah, looks like they do have 30 days (and it’s worth noting that that’s 30 calendar days and not business days). I’m hoping things will move faster though. The fact that they sent me the email today letting me know that I was missing a document certainly means that someone is looking at my application and working on it. According to that document you linked they had 10 days to notify me of the missing document and they did it in less than one day.

I’ll keep you updated with how the process goes for me.
 

pdx_m3s

Active Member
May 18, 2019
1,356
1,184
Portland, OR
Is there a practical reason behind all of this interconnect bureaucracy? Or is it just that nobody in government has the incentive to improve things?

There are probably dozens if not hundreds of systems across Florida just like yours. Beyond a county-inspector making sure it's wired correctly, I don't see why things need to be so convoluted.

Little incentive to move fast when you have a government guaranteed monopoly. Sort of like ISPs.
 
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wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,300
1,034
Silver Spring, MD
I’m not quite sure what “interconnect bureaucracy” you’re referring to. I think all of the utilities require at least some paperwork and verification before they allow you get PTO and feed back to the grid.
The one potentially interesting difference is - at least for my system - the utility never inspected anything. They reviewed/approved paperwork, updated their systems, and eventually sent me a letter. They seemed to rely on the county inspection as the only on-site check.

Of course, the process is still 20 business days (so about the same as you) - 5 for the net meter and then 15 more to get PTO.

Little incentive to move fast when you have a government guaranteed monopoly. Sort of like ISPs.

Yep - our utility always responded one day before the last possible per state regulations (until the last step, when they took longer for some reason.) Of course, when I first started researching I found that PEPCO had the dubious distinction of being named the slowest utility in the country for solar, back in 2015. They claim to have improved, which only makes me think how awful it must have been then.
 
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BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,128
2,539
Orlando, FL
So just when I thought that PTO was out of Tesla’s hands and in the hands of the utility I got an email this morning asking me to sign a request for a new interconnect agreement. The same document I had signed way back in June just before my install. I called the utility before I signed because I knew that that my existing interconnect agreement was already in progress and I didn’t want to start a new agreement if that was going to cause confusion with the one that was in progress.

She told me that for some reason tesla called this morning and asked them to put my agreement back in draft state and resubmit it for my signature. She said she looked over the two submissions and couldn’t see where they had changed anything about the agreement or any reason for them to want it to be back in draft state or resubmitted. But she told me to go ahead and sign the document and she would get things moving again.

I guess the only good news is that I may have only lost a day, since they had just started working on the agreement yesterday. But I have no idea what happened here:(
 

Freakyguy666

Member
May 14, 2020
60
14
USA
So just when I thought that PTO was out of Tesla’s hands and in the hands of the utility I got an email this morning asking me to sign a request for a new interconnect agreement. The same document I had signed way back in June just before my install. I called the utility before I signed because I knew that that my existing interconnect agreement was already in progress and I didn’t want to start a new agreement if that was going to cause confusion with the one that was in progress.

She told me that for some reason tesla called this morning and asked them to put my agreement back in draft state and resubmit it for my signature. She said she looked over the two submissions and couldn’t see where they had changed anything about the agreement or any reason for them to want it to be back in draft state or resubmitted. But she told me to go ahead and sign the document and she would get things moving again.

I guess the only good news is that I may have only lost a day, since they had just started working on the agreement yesterday. But I have no idea what happened here:(
Man that’s ridiculous.

I placed my powerwall order in July and was 100% complete a month later.
 
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