Wind and solar have been the fastest growing renewable energy source over the past decade. With continually evolving technology, many are wondering if wind and solar power could be used as power in their own homes.
Before choosing a renewable energy source for your home or business, it is important to understand the process and requirements of interconnection with our electrical power grid. This includes our Net Billing procedure (see the "How You're Billed" section below). The energy experts here at North Western Electric Cooperative are ready to assist you through the entire process. We do not sell renewable systems but as your electric service provider, we need to be involved in the process from the very beginning.
Regardless of what energy source you choose, you should consider reducing your energy consumption first by making your home or business more energy efficient. Reducing your energy consumption will significantly lower your utility bills and reduce the size of the home-based renewable energy system you need. Energy efficiency upgrades, such as adding insulation or changing out light bulbs LEDs, often have a much faster payback than installing solar equipment. If you would like help with this, contact our office to set up a FREE home energy tele-audit or complete the form available here.
Interconnection Steps (Connecting your power source to the grid)
- Your privacy is important to us so we will not release any information regarding your account to a contractor without your permission.
- Buckeye Power, Inc. is our wholesale power provider and they establish the rules and regulations for interconnection into the system.
- The NWEC member-owner must contact us and review the cooperative's distributed generation (DG) policies prior to starting any installation in order to avoid costly mistakes. Contact us by calling 419-636-5051, 1-800-647-6932, or by e-mail.
- The required agreements are listed at the bottom of this page. During your conversation with our energy experts, you will be instructed on which agreements will be needed for your specific project.
- All NWEC required agreements must be executed in advance of any equipment installation.
- NWEC will explain the Ohio kWh tax responsibilities, commercial liability insurance requirements based on the size of the system and NWEC's net billing rates.
- The contractor or member-owner provides us with the system specifications and a copy of the purchase agreement, along with the required application fee.
- Your DG equipment must be supplied under an equipment purchase or lease agreement (not an agreement to purchase electricity from the vendor).
- NWEC will review the application and additional materials to determine if a system study will be required.
- The member-owner and the contractor will be notified of approval/rejection of the project. If approved, the installation of the equipment can begin.
- Once the project is completed, NWEC will perform a final inspection of the installation. All main disconnects must be installed and accessible to NWEC.
- Proof of insurance, listing NWEC as a loss payee, must be provided before interconnection is allowed.
- Upon satisfactory inspection, NWEC will install a bi-directional meter and convert the member-owner's account to a net billing account with the appropriate facility charge.
How You're Billed
Most member-owners with solar or wind systems still purchase energy from North Western Electric Cooperative each month. But if you generate more electricity than you consume, we'll buy it from you at wholesale generation rates. This is done by installing a meter that records how much energy you generate onto the grid. This will be monitored and credited to your monthly bill.