Community Wind Handbook/Research Interconnecting behind Your Meter

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WIND ENERGY STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT & OUTREACHCommunity Wind Handbook

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Community Wind Handbook


Research Interconnecting Behind Your Meter

The first step to understanding interconnection is to contact your local utility. Most utilities and other electricity providers require that you enter into a formal agreement before you are allowed to interconnect your wind turbine with the utility grid, so it is important to involve them early in the process.

Small wind turbines, like this grid-connected Bergey 10 kW Excel, can provide supplemental power for farms and ranches. Excess power is fed back into the utility grid. Photo by Warren Gretz, NREL 09633

In states that have retail competition for electricity service (e.g., your utility operates the local wires, but you have a choice of electricity provider), you may have to sign a separate agreement with each company. Usually these agreements are written by the utility or the electricity provider. In the case of private (investor-owned) utilities, the terms and conditions in these agreements must be reviewed and approved by state regulatory authorities.[1]

Interconnection requirements vary from state to state. Most state interconnection procedures have created several levels of review and documentation based on system size, with simplified processes for smaller inverter-based systems.

Be sure to discuss interconnection costs with your utility. These can include related application and connection fees and engineering, and technical charges. It is also important to ask what equipment is necessary for the interconnection, what costs are associated with it, and who is responsible for paying those costs.[2]

Now you can provide the utility with an estimated timeline for your project and begin forming a schedule for the future interconnection of your turbine.

References

  1.  "U.S. Department of Energy. Small Wind Guidebook: Can I Connect My System to the Utility Grid?"
  2.  "American Planning Association. Planning for Wind Energy"