Steps for interconnecting an alternative energy system:
1. Contact the Cooperative’s engineering staff to inquire about installing an alternative energy system (AES) at your location. They will inform you of the maximum size in kW (kW = 1000 watts) you are permitted to install based upon your annual energy (kWh) usage. They will also provide you with an estimate of annual savings determined by an estimated annual kWh production. (You may use the sizing estimator calculator HERE.)
The staff should be able to estimate fees for interconnecting your AES. (Minor modifications: transformer change, disconnect/reconnect trips, meter installation and application process fee.)
- There is no fee for the initial inquiry.
- Staff will inform you if a more involved engineering study is required in order to connect an AES at your location. The study will determine if alterations or additions are required to the co-op's electrical distribution system in order to accommodate your interconnection.
- Fees will be charged for studies and any resulting alterations or additions to the co-op's electrical distribution system.
The co-op will not talk to AES vendors without a paid application fee.
2. Contact several solar providers to obtain AES proposals.
Information in their proposal you should compare:
- Size of system: should not exceed the size that the co-op stated
- Price: compare installed prices on a per watt basis
- Estimated annual kWh production: multiply this number by the co-op's kWh rate to obtain your annual savings = as of July 2021 the co-op rate is .10104 per kWh.
- Warranty, references, BBB rating, consumer complaints, explanation of rebates, grants and tax incentives, financing charges, and how each of these affects your purchase price.
We recommend that you evaluate proposals from several AES vendors. The co-op also recommends not to sign a contract with an AES until you have made comparisons and have been informed by the co-op as to the estimated interconnection costs. It is also recommended you evaluate the impact that federal tax credits and renewable energy credit income will have on your tax liability.
3. Submit an application with the cooperative for interconnection of the AES. You will be required to pay an application fee per the schedule of fees and shall submit plans for the AES along with the application and fee. Plans shall include property site plans showing the location of system, drawings detailing electrical circuitry, equipment description with manufacturers catalog sheets, installed cost of system, size of system and projected annual kWh production. The co-op may require for plans to be certified and stamped by a PA licensed professional engineer.
4. The co-op will review the plans, require changes if necessary and grant approval. If modifications to the co-op's electrical distribution system are not required, a basic connection fee will be invoiced to the member. The co-op will determine if minor modifications or additions to its electrical distribution system are required in order to accommodate the proposed AES interconnection and will issue an invoice to the AES owner.
If an engineering study is required, the AES owner is required to pay for the study. An estimated cost of the study will be invoiced to the AES owner. Balance of the study cost will be invoiced or credited if the system is not connected, otherwise the balance will be assigned to the work order cost. The AES owner will sign an agreement obligating them to pay for the study and any alterations or additions to the co-op's electrical distribution system.
All fees shall be paid prior to interconnection.
5. Interconnection shall be done when all fees are paid, an electrical inspection of the system wiring is received and approval is given by the co-op engineering staff.