What you need to know - Distributed Generation 100kW or less
If you are interested in applying for interconnection with Macon Electric Cooperative’s electrical system, you should first contact the Cooperative with your membership account information and make sure you have fully reviewed this information and our Additional Resources related to the interconnection of a parallel distributed generation unit (i.e. hydrogen fuel cell; or generating system powered the by sun, wind or biomass) to the Cooperative’s system. It is important that you understand this information before proceeding with the project. (*Any consumer who connects in parallel phase and synchronization with any retail electric supplier without written approval can be immediately and without notice disconnected from electric service.)
Missouri’s Net Metering Rules and Regulations are based on legislation that took effect January 1, 2008. The “Net-Metering and Easy Connect Act” states that the distributed generation is intended to primarily offset part or all of the customer-generator’s own electrical energy requirements. Full retail price is credited to the member for all energy put on the grid up to the amount purchased that month from the Cooperative. For example, all kilowatt hours put onto the grid by the consumer will be subtracted from the total amount purchased that month from the Cooperative. The member will pay only the “net” difference as calculated by using the applicable standard rate. Avoided cost is paid for all energy put on the grid in excess of that month’s purchase. This amount above what is purchased can remain as a credit on the member’s bill for up to a maximum of one year. That month’s credit will expire if not used within one year, or at upon disconnect of service. All standard service availability fees still apply. Therefore, members who are interconnected will continue to receive at least a minimum bill (for the service availability charge) and will not receive a check back from Macon Electric Cooperative for excess generation.
Avoided cost is calculated monthly by Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (AECI), the Cooperative’s power supplier. This cost is the actual cost of generating a kWh of electricity that month using all the sources of generation used that month by AECI.
For example, in 2014, this cost of generation averaged about $.03/kWh/month.
It is no longer a requirement for the member-generator to purchase liability insurance for the distributed generation unit. In fact, the law states that the manufacturer of any electric generation unit may be held liable for any damage to property or person caused by a defect in the generation unit.
The Cooperative still strongly suggests that a member-generator considers liability insurance. If there was a malfunction, the member-generator would likely be named in a lawsuit as a channel to get to the manufacturer. The law clearly states that the retail electric supplier shall have no liability absent of clear and convincing evidence of their fault.
As a protection for the Missouri customer-generator, any seller, installer, and/or manufacturer who misrepresents any electric generation unit’s safety or performance standards may be investigated by the state Attorney General upon report.
All of the electricity generated by the distributed generation unit will first be used at the member-generator’s site. Any excess electrical power will go back on the grid and be recorded with the use of a special metering system at the member-generator’s location. The cost to upgrade the metering will be paid by the member-generator. An estimated cost of the special electric metering system is available upon request.
Steps To Take If You Are Interested In Distributed Generation
1) Talk to the Marketing Department at Macon Electric Cooperative. They will provide information to help you make an informed decision.
2) Make sure you are involved with a reputable dealer and installer. Make sure they understand all codes as well as the requirements of all applicable state statutes, rules and/or regulations. These requirements are intended to, among other things, maintain safety and system reliability.
Some of the requirements include but are not limited to the following:
- UL 1741, IEEE 929-2000, IEEE 1547
- The hardware and its installation must comply with all applicable National Electric Safety Code (NESC), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) requirements.
- The requirements also include a visible, lockable safety disconnect of the distributed generation unit accessible to the Cooperative at the metering point or other location as agreed to between the member and Macon Electric Cooperative.
3) Check with your insurance agent about liability insurance on the member-generator distributed generation unit. This is not required but highly recommended.
4) Acquire an Application and Agreement for Interconnection and Net Metering of systems with capacity of 100kW or less (.pdf) and fill out sections A, B, C, D, F and G. This is outlined in the agreement. This will require you to give the Cooperative:
- Your personal information.
- The member-generator’s system information including but not limited to system type, manufacturer, system plans and specifications, county/city permit numbers, IEEE 1547 compatible inverter details, disconnect location, and a site specific power flow diagram.
- Installer information as well as the identity and qualifications of the qualified person or agency who will certify the installation.
- Pre-Construction Certification by a professional and licensed electrician or engineer.
If the rated output of the system is less than or equal to 10kW, the Cooperative has 30 days from receipt of the application to approve or deny the application. If more than 10 kW, the time frame is 90 days. If denied, the member will be provided with a reason(s) for denial.
5) Schedule installation of the system. The Cooperative will schedule the necessary metering upgrades to take place in conjunction with the completion of the distributed generation unit installation.
6) When the system is installed in compliance with the plans and specifications as described in the application, the member-generator needs to complete section H of the application and forward the completed application to the Cooperative for review and completion of section I.
7) The Cooperative will complete section I, and with the arrangements made for payment of any applicable fees and/or aid to construction costs, the Cooperative will, within 30 days, return the member's completed copy of the Application of Agreement for Interconnection and Net Metering and finalize the interconnection process with an active service to the Cooperative's electrical system.
For a member who is assuming ownership or operational control of an existing member-generator system, an Application and Agreement for Interconnection and Net Metering of systems with capacity of 100kW or less (.pdf) needs to be acquired with completed sections A,B,C,D,F,G, and H. The Cooperative has 30 days to approve or reject the new agreement.
Note: This is a general overview of the process for interconnecting for net metering.
The member-generator is requested, at least once every year, to conduct a test to confirm that the net metering unit automatically ceases to energize the output (interconnection equipment output voltage goes to zero) within 2 seconds of being disconnected from the retail electric power supplier’s system. The member-generator should maintain a record of these tests and, upon request, shall provide a copy of the test results to Macon Electric Cooperative.
(*SENATE BILL NO. 54 386.890 Net Metering and Easy Connect Act).