≈By Matthew Lambert, Energy Use Coordinator
FreeState Electric Cooperative has received applications for new wind and solar projects (or as FreeState calls them Co-Generation projects) to be built on behalf of our members. Some of these projects have been built by installers before the approval process needed through FreeState has been completed. Failure to get approval before building could be a significant problem if your application does not meet our guidelines.
Worst case scenario could result in a member having a system installed that does not meet the FreeState guidelines for interconnection. You could have invested a large sum of money on a renewable project that you are not able to use.
Most home renewable projects rely on a connection to the electric grid to both operate and provide the necessary return on investment. Grid connection is necessary for most home inverters to operate. You will need the grid to obtain power when your co-generation is not producing, and you’ll need to push any excess generation back onto the grid.
Bottom line. FreeState must approve all applications for grid interconnection.
FreeState cautions all members. If you are considering home renewable projects such as wind turbines or solar panels, please check with the cooperative to make sure protocol is followed to get your co-generation system installed. We advise members have an approved co-generation application before you make a significant purchase or let an installer begin construction. Checking with us protects you and your investment.
FreeState has a straightforward process designed to protect our members. Please refer to the following member checklist for step-by-step instructions on our process.
Checklist for Interconnecting a UL 1741 Listed Inverter-Based Small Generating Facility No Larger than 10kW
☐ Member receives Application for Interconnecting an Inverter-Based Small Generating Facility No Larger than 10kW (“Application”) along with Terms and Conditions for Interconnecting an Inverter-Based Small Generating Facility No Larger than 10kW
☐ Member works with vendor to choose a system and complete application
☐ Member returns completed Application, one-line diagram, and $325 application and processing fee to FreeState Electric Cooperative (FEC)
☐ FEC issues a Work Order WO#_____________________
☐ FEC approves or denies Application within 30 days
☐ FEC returns a signed copy of Application to Member along with a Small Generating Facility Certificate of Completion
☐ FEC completes upgrade of service (if required) and invoices Member for upgrade cost
☐ Member/Electrician completes installation of Small Generating Facility
☐ Small Generating Facility is inspected by electrical inspector as required by local code or by a Professional Engineer or electrician licensed in the state of Kansas (See Terms and Conditions for details)
☐ Member returns completed Small Generating Facility Certificate of Completion to FEC
☐ FEC representative inspects Small Generating Facility
☐ FEC installs proper electric meter
☐ FEC approves parallel operation of Small Generating Facility and returns signed Small Generating Facility Certificate of Completion to Member
If you have any questions about this process, please contact us via email or call 1-800-794-1989.