Connecting Renewable Energy Resources To Palmetto Electric’s System
Palmetto Electric allows members to connect renewable energy systems (i.e. – solar photovoltaic, wind-powered, biomass-fueled, or micro-hydro generating system) located and used at the member’s primary legal residence or business where a part or all of the electrical requirements of the member can be supplied from the member’s generating system.
Summary of Palmetto Electric’s Standard for Net Metering
In response to the Energy PolicyAct of 2005, Palmetto Electric considered and adopted Net Metering & Interconnection Standards which allow members to connect to its grid. The retail members that own and operate a renewable energy system and meet the provisions of Palmetto Electric’s Net Metering Rider for Residential & Commercial Rates are eligible to receive service from this rider.
Contact Palmetto Electric to learn about specific requirements for net metering and/or to receive a copy of the Application forms. Download the Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources less than 2 MVA with Cooperative’s Electric System (CES).
What is Net Metering?
In its simplest form, net metering employs a standard electrical meter to record the flow of energy back and forth between a customer-generator and the utility’s power grid. Net metering is usually created as an incentive for homeowners and small businesses to invest in renewable power systems.
Eligible electric generating facilities
- solar photovoltaic
- micro-hydro generating system
What other eligibility requirements are there for net metering?
The renewable energy generator must:
- Be located on the customer’s premises
- Be owned and operated by the customer
- Connect in parallel with Palmetto Electric’s electric distribution system
- Have the primary purpose of supplying all or part of the customer’s own electricity requirements
- Get an electrical inspection from the local governing body
Maximum Size of Eligible Generators
The rated capacity of the member’s generating system shall not exceed the lesser of (a) the member’s estimated maximum annual kilowatt demand or (b) 20 kilowatts for a residential system or 100 kilowatts for a nonresidential system.
Will Palmetto Electric pay you if you put excess power on the grid?
No. If you generate more power than you consume during a billing period, you will receive credits on your bill which will carry forward to future billing cycles. Excess energy not used in the current billing month to reduce billed kilowatt-hour usage shall be accumulated and used to reduce usage in future months; however, any accumulated excess energy not used to reduce billed kilowatt-hour usage shall be reset to zero each June 1. Excess energy delivered prior to June 1 will only be used to reduce usage provided by the Cooperative prior to June 1.
Under net metering, Palmetto Electric will never write you a check for power you generate onto the grid.
Is a special meter required for net metering?
Palmetto Electric provides a standard kilowatt-hour metering system capable of measuring the flow of electricity in two directions. Any additional meter, meters, or distribution upgrades needed to monitor the flow in each direction shall be installed at the Customer’s expense.
Is there any limit to the number of customers to whom Palmetto Electric must provide net metering?
Net metering is available to eligible customer-generators in Palmetto Electric’s service territory, upon request, and on a first-come, first-served basis.
Application and Approval Process
Customers must submit the Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources less than 2 MVA with Cooperative’s Electric System (CES) Application with application fee and sign the Interconnection Agreement prior to connecting their generator to Palmetto Electric’s system. Applications should be submitted as either a Residential Rate Schedule I or Commercial Rate Schedule II or LPS I application, as described below. Palmetto Electric may reject an Application for violations of any code, standard, or regulation related to reliability or safety; however, Palmetto Electric will work with the Customer to resolve those issues to the extent practicable. Customers may contact Palmetto Electric to check on status of an Application or with questions prior to submitting an Application. Palmetto Electric contact information can be found on the Application form. Under the Standard, Palmetto Electric will provide their customers with contact information for inquiries regarding the Palmetto Electric’s net metering program and application process. Electronic and phone contact information will be provided on all net metering application forms and on the utility’s website or in customer bill inserts if no website is available.
The Interconnection Agreement must be signed by the customer receiving service (the account holder at that location).
Are there application fees for net metering?
Residential Service Members – $100
Non-Residential Service Members – $250
Net Metering Rider
The Net Metering Rider is available with the Cooperative’s standard Residential Rate Schedule I and Commercial Rate Schedule II or LPS I. To qualify for the rider the customer must first qualify for and be served on one of the above rate schedules. The monthly bill shall be determined by the appropriate rate schedule and as follows:
For electric service under the Cooperative’s Residential Rate Schedule I and the Cooperative’s Commercial Rate Schedule II or LPS I:
- The facilities charge shall be determined and billed as set forth in the applicable rate schedule as described in the Availability section above.
- Energy charges (or credits) shall be based on the rates in the applicable rate schedules as described in the Availability section above. For purposes of calculating monthly energy in kilowatt-hours, member’s usage shall be reduced by the total of (a) any excess energy delivered to the Cooperative in the current month plus (b) any accumulated excess energy balance remaining from prior months. Excess energy delivered to the Cooperative shall be defined as energy produced by the member’s renewable energy generating facility that exceeds the energy delivered by the Cooperative during a given time period.
- Total energy in kilowatt-hours billed to members shall never be less than zero. For any billing month during which excess energy exceeds the member’s usage in total, producing a net credit, the respective energy charges for the month shall be zero. Credits shall not offset the facilities charge or other ancillary/service charges for the applicable rate schedule.
- Excess energy not used in the current billing month to reduce billed kilowatt-hour usage shall be accumulated and used to reduce usage in future months; however, any accumulated excess energy not used to reduce billed kilowatt-hour usage shall be reset to zero each June 1. Excess energy delivered prior to June 1 will only be used to reduce usage provided by the Cooperative prior to June 1.
- There will be no compensation paid to the retail member for excess energy granted to the Cooperative.
- For each nameplate kW of installed solar photovoltaic generating capacity, there is a $5.00 per month distribution service charge. However, for the term of the rider, this charge to consumer will be waived by the Cooperative and paid by the wholesale power supplier.
- For each nameplate kW of installed, wind-powered, biomass-fueled, or micro-hydro generation, the monthly distribution service charge will be determined on a case by case basis. However, for the term of the rider, this charge to consumer will be waived by the Cooperative and paid by the wholesale power supplier.
The monthly minimum charge shall be the basic facilities charge plus the demand charge, if any, as stated in the applicable rate.
Is Palmetto Electric required to inspect a system before they begin operation?
Palmetto Electric will require an inspection and witness test of the system before it begins operation. The system may not be operated until the commissioning is successfully completed, except Palmetto Electric permits the customer to perform operational testing (which is not to exceed two hours).
All renewable energy systems must obtain an electrical inspection from the local governing body.
Other Terms and Conditions for Interconnection/Net Metering
- To qualify for this rider, the retail member must first qualify for and be served on one of the rate schedules as described in the Availability section. The member must also meet all other qualifications as outlined in the Availability section.
- All provisions of the applicable residential or commercial rate schedules described will apply to service supplied under this rider.
- The retail member must execute an Interconnection Agreement prior to receiving service under this rider. The agreement shall include a description of the conditions related to interconnection of the member generation with the Cooperative’s electrical system.
- Renewable energy generators will retain ownership of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) until a market for RECs is fully developed as reasonably determined by the Cooperative. After a market for RECs is fully developed, then, annually, any RECs associated with net excess generation shall be granted to the Cooperative when the net excess generation balance is set to zero.
The Customer shall maintain general liability insurance coverage (through a standard homeowner’s, commercial, or other policy) as outlined in the Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources Less Than 2 MVA for both Residential Rate Schedule I and Commercial Rate Schedule II or LPS I generating facilities. Palmetto Electric will ask the Customer to provide proof of such insurance at the time the application is made for net metering.
Agreements shall be written for a period of not less than one (1) year and shall be renewed for successive one (1) year periods. After the initial period, either party may terminate service under the Net Metering Rider by giving a sixty (60) day notice in writing.
Transferring Ownership of a Net Metered Generation Facility
A Customer’s generating facility is transferable to other persons or service locations only after notification to Palmetto Electric has been made and verification that the installation is in compliance with this tariff and the new Customer has executed an Interconnection Agreement with Palmetto Electric.