Wind/Solar Energy Programs
Net Metering / Parallel Generation
The Board of Trustees adopted a net metering and parallel service rider for the cooperative at their Jan 18th meeting. These riders will be available to members operating their own renewable generation resource, such as a small wind turbine. Members must enter into an interconnection agreement with the cooperative to qualify for the rider.
Net metering, as the name implies, is a metering process designed primarily to allow a member to offset some or all of their electrical requirements with their own generation. If any time during the day, the wind turbine produces more power than the member is currently using, these kWh (Kilowatt hours) would be put back on the grid. The meter will measure the kWh the member “uses” and the kWh the member “gave back”. The kWh difference between the “used” and “gave back” (net) is what will be used for billing purposes at the end of each month. The net kWh cannot be less than zero. If a member supplies more than he uses during the month (net is less than zero), he is not compensated for the excess kWh.
Members desiring to be compensated for generation in excess of what they supply might gain more advantage by interconnecting under the cooperative’s parallel generation riders. Under parallel generation, the purchase rate for excess energy from a renewable resource is 150 percent of the cooperative’s monthly system average cost of energy, as required by Kansas state law. In either case, the member must pay the standard monthly customer charge required of other members.
Investment Calculator for Renewable Energy Systems
Many co-op members in Kansas are interested in installing small renewable energy systems – particularly wind turbines – at their homes, businesses, or farms. But they’re looking for reliable answers to two questions: How much money can I save on future electric bills? Will the savings justify my initial investment?
In response, Kansas Electric Cooperatives (KEC) has posted a tool (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet) on their web site to help with these critical calculations. Dubbed the Small Wind Cash Flow Model, the tool enables consumers to input variables such as construction cost, grants, debt financing, operation and maintenance expenses, generation, consumption, retail electric rates, avoided cost, and project life.
Once the numbers are entered, a prospective wind turbine owner can determine annual cash flows and the net present value from the investment under either a net billing or net metering arrangement.
The Small Wind Cash Flow Model can be accessed through KEC’s web-site at www.kec.org/smallwindcashflow.aspx.