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Member-owned Generation: The importance of interconnection agreements

April 2, 2018

            Electric cooperatives are responsible for maintaining a safe, reliable electric grid to power the communities they serve. As an increasing number of consumers install grid-connected distributed generation systems, like solar panels or small wind turbines, electric co-ops are prepared to assist members while still maintaining the safety of the grid.

            Grid-connected generation systems allow you to power your home or business with renewable energy, but the system must be connected to the grid to keep power flowing when the sun does not shine, or the wind does not blow. In most cases, these systems must be interconnected to feed excess power back into the electric grid.

            Co-op members who are interested in distributed generation systems for their home or business should contact North Georgia Electric Membership first. We want to help you choose a system that includes the safety and power quality components necessary to keep you, our line crews and members of the community safe. If a storm hits and a power outage occurs, for example, distributed generation systems must be able to properly disconnect from the electric grid to ensure lineworkers are not injured or electrocuted while restoring power.            

            An interconnection agreement must be reviewed and signed before your distributed generation system is connected to the electric grid. The agreement is intended to ensure safe, reliable and quality electric service for all.

            In addition to safety concerns, members who are interested in distributed generation systems may be eligible to participate in a renewable energy program offered through the Tennessee Valley Authority. Qualified systems installed under these programs may sell generated power back to TVA. For more information about TVA’s renewable energy programs, visit  https://www.energyright.com/Valley-Renewable-Energy.   

            The way we generate and use electricity is evolving. Let’s work together to ensure a safe, reliable electric system. NGEMC is here to help. If you have questions about grid-connected generation systems, please contact us at ePower@ngemc.com or call 706.259.3394, Ext.1508.

 

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