Power electronic devices are finding increasing applications in the control, instrumentation, and switching in electric power distribution systems. Applications include solid state transformers and solid state fault interruption devices. Some of these devices may be connected directly to the distribution primaries (typically in the 15 kV class). This paper addresses the concerns related to the direct galvanic (ohmic) connection of solid state components directly to the distribution primaries. The focus of the paper is on the basic impulse insulation level (also known as the lightning impulse withstand level). The application of the International Electrotechnical Commission standard 60071 is discussed. Some results of impulse testing of distribution system components, based on applications in the Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Engineering Research Center (FREEDM), are reported.