Distributed generation, or DG, are small-scale renewable energy systems to produce electricity on your property. If you have not already purchased a system and are interested in installing a solar system on your own property, please visit www.IowaChoiceRenewables.com.
The Cooperative's Responsibilities
A written agreement between the cooperative and the member-consumer is developed to ensure proper communication and protections are in place prior to connection of the facility to the grid. Consideration must also be given to established requirements for installation, maintenance, metering, switching and liability insurance.
The Member-Consumer's Responsibilities
The general requirements for a member-consumer to install and interconnect wind or solar generation include paying for any interconnection devices that are necessary to protect the safety of the cooperative representatives and to maintain the integrity of the delivery system. The member-consumer is also expected to carry liability insurance. Individuals must also pay for the necessary metering equipment used to measure kilowatt-hours (kWhs) delivered back to the grid by the member-consumer.
With the passage of House File 2301 by the Iowa Legislature, member-owners installing renewable energy systems must provide notice to their cooperative utilities in writing 30 days before the generators are installed.
Safety hazards result if member-owners install alternative generating sources, such as solar panels or small wind turbines, without notifying the cooperative of that installation. Should there be a power outage requiring work on cooperative electric lines, linemen may be unaware of the additional connected generation and think the line is dead. Linemen could be injured by power feeding back onto the line from the member-owner's alternative energy sources.
When contacted about new alternative generation that will be installed, the cooperative will advise member-owners about devices needed at the interconnection point that will keep power from flowing back onto the grid in maintenance or emergency situations.