Let's Talk About Renewable Energy
Ohio electric cooperatives take a balanced approach to renewable energy. While we continue to support and utilize affordable coal-fired generation for our base load generation, Buckeye Power and its member cooperatives have made significant investments in renewable energy on behalf of Ohio co-op families. We also recognize that many members are interested in operating their own renewable power generating systems.
If you are interested exploring this option, contact us! We can help answer any questions you have and prevent any surprises after you make the investment.
Operating Your Own Generation
The Energy Cooperative (TEC) recognizes that Members may be interested in purchasing and operating small renewable powered generating systems to provide electricity to their home or business. However, there are formal rules for interconnections between small customer-owned generators and electric utility providers.
The Energy Cooperative's primary concern is that these systems be interconnected safely in accordance with all applicable codes and regulations, without adversely affecting TEC’s electrical utility system.
Interconnection requirements for systems up to 25 kW are covered by the Technical Requirements for PURPA Interconnections are available online or by calling 1-800-255-6815.For small RG systems, the member will be credited for the power that is generated back to the grid by a “net metering” process. The meter on the facility is changed to an electronic meter that records the power the member draws off the grid and the amount of power the member generates back on to the grid. The two readings are used to determine the billing.
The Cooperative shall bill the Member for the excess of energy supplied by the Cooperative over and above the energy supplied by the Member during each billing period according to the Cooperative’s applicable retail rate schedule. When the energy supplied by the Member exceeds the energy supplied by the Cooperative during a billing period, the monthly charge and/or minimum bill of the retail rate schedule shall be billed by the Cooperative. If the energy place on to the grid is greater than the amount drawn from the grid, the excess energy shall be credited at an avoided cost rate.
- The Member must meet all the Cooperative’s membership and service requirements in addition to the requirements in the Technical Requirements for PURPA Interconnections.
- It is the Member’s responsibility to ensure that the RG system complies with all applicable city, state, and federal codes, laws, and regulations, and to obtain all necessary permits.
- The Member shall pay in advance, prior to installation of the RG system, the full cost of the construction of any utility facilities, or other operation and maintenance expense which, at the sole discretion of the Cooperation and/or its power supplier, is required to serve the Member’s facility.
- RG systems such as Wind and PV systems must automatically disconnect from TEC’s system when there is a TEC power outage. During a power outage, a RG system has the ability to back-feed TEC’s power line, creating a hazardous condition. To prevent this from occurring, the RG system shall be complaint with IEEE Std. 1547.
- Installation of a visible break disconnect switch is required at the Member’s expense. The switch must be lockable and located within three (3) feet from the Cooperative’s meter, and be properly labeled as “Utility Disconnect Switch”. TEC shall have the right to lock the switch in the open position if it is necessary to maintain safe electrical and/or maintenance conditions that adversely affect the cooperative system, or if there is a system emergency or other abnormal operating condition warranting disconnection.
- To avoid unnecessary cost and delay, it is recommended that TEC’s approval of the final interconnection design be obtained prior to purchasing material or equipment for the project.
The Energy Cooperative has specific requirements for interconnection of Renewable Generation generating systems.
As part of the application, a plan must be submitted by TEC that contains the electric design, interconnection requirements, capacity of the system and operating characteristics. This is to review the interconnection requirements.Generators that are interconnected with the electric grid can possibly energize TEC electric equipment during an outage. To prevent this from occurring, the RG system shall be complaint with IEEE Std. 1547. The Member is required to install a utility interactive grid-tied inverter system that is UL 1741 certified and IEEE Std 1547 compliant. Attach a copy of the Certificate of Compliance from UL, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc and a statement of compliance with IEEE Std 157 from the manufacturer, to the application.Approval from TEC for parallel operation with TEC electric distribution system must be obtained prior to operation to assure that the RG system will not adversely affect the safety, reliability, or quality of local electric service.
*Facilities less than 25 kW of capacity shall not be required to provide additional liability insurance coverage.
Cooperative Agreement for Interconnection and Parallel Operation of Distributed Generation*
After the application has been approved, the Member will send the Member two original copies of the Agreement for Electric Service for Net Metering and Interconnection and Parallel Operation Agreement for up to 25 kW QFs for signature, and submit payment for facilities charges if required.
After construction of the RG system is complete, and after it has received the final electrical inspection from the local building codes authority, the Member will need to contact TEC for an interconnection approval inspection. The purpose of TEC’s inspection will be:
- To verify that the facility has been constructed as it is represented in the application and in the Interconnection Agreement.
- To verify the RG system isolation device is in compliance with TEC’s requirements.
- To install permanent warning signs on the meter enclosure and utility disconnect switch.
- Installation of the Net Meter.
After the interconnection has passed TEC’s inspection and all requirements have been satisfied, TEC will provide written authorization for the Member to commence interconnected operations. TEC will return one of the fully executed Agreement for Electric Service for Net Metering and Interconnection and Parallel Operation Agreement for up to 25 kW QFs forms to the Member. Operation of the wind or photovoltaic generation system will be subject to compliance with TEC policies and procedures located in the Technical Requirements for PURPA Interconnections.
*The “Application for Interconnection” form, Agreement for Electric Service for Net Metering and Interconnection and Parallel Operation Agreement for up to 25 kW QFs contracts are also available at our Energy Cooperative Office locations.
Interest in renewable energy is growing, but installing solar panels at home can be time-consuming and expensive.
So let your cooperative do all of the work for you!
OurSolar is a community solar program from The Energy Cooperative that allows members to purchase subscriptions to solar panels at the solar array in Utica.
As determined at the sole discretion of the Cooperative on a non-discriminatory case-by-case basis to recover any additional operation and maintenance expense caused by the interconnection of the RG facility.
What is Net Metering?
For small renewable generation systems, the member is credited for the power that is generated back to the grid by a “net metering” process.