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Solar & Wind Systems

Supporting alternative energy sources.

Supporting Alternative Energy Sources

Magic Valley Electric Cooperative wants to help members who are interested in generating some of their electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

This website provides Magic Valley Electric Cooperative’s requirements for interconnecting distributed generation systems such as wind and photovoltaic (PV) generation systems. MVEC’s primary concern is that these systems be interconnected safely in accordance with all applicable codes and regulations without adversely affecting MVEC’s electrical utility system.

Interconnection requirements for systems up to 700 kW are covered by the “Distributed Generation Procedures & Guidelines Manual for Members” and are available online or at our Mercedes and Edinburg offices.

Documents & Forms

Smart pricing keeps local businesses competitive while preserving our rural heritage and standard of living.

Interconnection Checklist

Distributed Generation Procedures & Guidelines Manual for Members

Application for Operation of Customer-Owned Generation

Cooperative Agreement for Interconnection & Parallel Operation of Distributed Generation: 50 kW & Under

Cooperative Agreement for Interconnection & Parallel Operation of Distributed Generation: Over 50 kW to 700kW

More About Solar and Wind

Magic Valley Electric Cooperative wants to help members who are interested in generating some of their electricity from renewable
energy sources such as solar and wind.

General Information

  • Overview

    Magic Valley Electric Cooperative recognizes that Members may be interested in purchasing and operating small generating systems to provide electricity to their home or business. However, there are formal rules for interconnections between small customer-owned generators and electric utility providers. This web site provides Magic Valley Electric Cooperative’s requirements for interconnecting distributed generation systems such as wind and photovoltaic (PV) generation systems. MVEC’s primary concern is that these systems be interconnected safely in accordance with all applicable codes and regulations without adversely affecting MVEC’s electrical utility system. Interconnection requirements for systems up to 700 kW are covered by the “Distributed Generation Procedures & Guidelines Manual for Members,” and are available online or at our Mercedes and Edinburg Office locations.

  • Interconnection Requirements

    The Member must meet all the Cooperative’s membership and service requirements in addition to the requirements in the Distributed Generation Procedures & Guidelines Manual for Members.

    It is the Member’s responsibility to ensure that the DG system complies with all applicable city, state, and federal codes, laws and regulations and to obtain all necessary permits.

    The Member shall pay in advance, prior to installation of the DG system, the full cost of the construction of any transmission, substation, distribution, transformation, metering, or other operation and maintenance expense which, at the sole discretion of the Cooperative and/or its power supplier, is required to serve the Member’s DG facility.

    DG systems such as Wind and PV systems must automatically disconnect from MVEC’s system when there is a MVEC power outage. During a power outage a DG system has the ability to back-feed MVEC’s power line creating a hazardous condition. To prevent this from occurring the DG system shall be compliant with IEEE Std. 1547. The Member is required to install a utility interactive grid-tied inverter system that is UL 1741 certified and attach a copy of the Certificate of Compliance from UL, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., to the Interconnection Agreement.

    Installation of a visible load break disconnect switch is required at the Member’s expense. The switch must be lockable and located within three (3) feet from the Cooperative’s meter and be properly labeled as Utility Disconnect Switch. MVEC shall have the right to lock the switch in the open position if it is necessary to maintain safe electrical and/or maintenance conditions that adversely affect the Cooperative system, or if there is a system emergency or other abnormal operating condition warranting disconnection.

    To avoid unnecessary cost and delay, it is recommended that MVEC approval of the final interconnection design be obtained prior to purchasing material or equipment for the project.

  • Distributed Generation Systems – DG Systems

    Small distributed generation systems include wind turbine generators, solar photovoltaic panels and other renewable generators.

    Wind systems utilize a wind turbine, which is installed on top of a tall tower, collects kinetic energy from the wind and converts it to electricity that is compatible with a home’s electrical system.

    A photovoltaic (PV) system uses solar cells to convert light into electricity. A photovoltaic system consists of multiple components, including cells, mechanical and electrical connections and mountings. The electricity generated by a multitude of these cells can be channeled into an inverter for conversion into a usable power source that is compatible with a home’s electrical system.

Interconnection Procedures

MVEC requires that the following procedures be followed for interconnection of DG generating systems:

  • Application for Operation of Customer-Owned Generation

    As part of the application, a plan must be submitted to MVEC that contains the electric design, interconnection requirements, size, operational plan for the wind or PV system and the applicable application fee if required. Approval from MVEC for operation in parallel with the MVEC electric distribution system must be obtained prior to installation and operation to assure that the DG system will not adversely affect the safety, rneteliability or quality of local electric service.

  • Cooperative Agreement for Interconnection and Parallel Operation of Distributed Generation

    After the application has been approved, MVEC will send the Member two original copies of the Cooperative Agreement for Interconnection and Parallel Operation of Distributed Generation for signature. DG facilities under 50 kW in size and of standard manufacture and design are required to submit the Agreement for Interconnection Short Form. All other facilities must submit the Agreement for Interconnection Long Form. Prior to installation the Member must sign and submit the appropriate Interconnection Agreement, provide a copy of liability insurance coverage, and submit payment for facilities charges if required.

  • Inspection of facilities prior to interconnection

    After construction of the DG system is complete and after it has received the final electrical inspection from the local building codes authority, the Member will need to contact MVEC for an interconnection approval inspection. The purpose of MVEC’s inspection will be:

    • To verify that the facility has been constructed as it is represented in the application and in the Interconnection Agreement;
    • To verify that the DG interconnection system isolation device is in compliance with MVEC’s requirements;
    • To install permanent warning signs on the meter enclosure and utility disconnect switch.

    After the interconnection has passed MVEC’s inspection and all requirements have been satisfied, MVEC will provide written authorization for the Member to commence interconnected operations. MVEC will return one of the fully executed Cooperative Agreement for Interconnection and Parallel Operation of Distributed Generation forms to the Member. Operation of the wind or photovoltaic generation system will be subject to compliance with MVEC policies and procedures located in the Distributed Generation Procedures and Guidelines Manual for members.

    The Application for Operation of Customer-Owned Generation form, and Cooperative Agreement for Interconnection and Parallel Operation of Distributed Generation Short Form and Long Form contract are available online at www.magicvalley.coop or at our Mercedes and Edinburg Office locations.

Sales To and Purchases from a DG Installation

  • Facilities classified as 50 kW of connected generation and smaller

    As part of the interconnection process, Member’s must have a special electronic meter installed on their premises. For power produced in excess of on-site requirements, the Member shall be compensated by net metering*. Normally, your electric meter spins forward as it measures how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you buy. The net meter allows you to use the electricity you generate first, reducing what you would normally buy from MVEC. If you generate more electricity than you use, the excess goes through the electric meter and into the grid. The meter shows the net amount, measured as the difference between the electricity you generate to the utility and the electricity you purchase from MVEC.

    The Cooperative shall bill the Member for the excess of energy supplied by the Cooperative over and above the energy supplied by the Member during each billing period according to the Cooperative’s applicable retail rate schedule. When the energy supplied by the Member exceeds the energy supplied by the Cooperative during a billing period, the monthly charge and/or minimum bill of the retail rate schedule shall be billed by the Cooperative in addition to the monthly metering charge, and the excess energy shall be provided at no charge to the Cooperative. The Member may request connection under the greater than 50 kW and less than 700 kW category.

    Installation of the Net Meter will occur prior to or at the time of the Inspection of facilities.

  • Facilities classified as greater than 50 kW and less than 700 kW of connected generation

    Determination of billing shall be accomplished by interconnection through two meters with one measuring all energy supplied by the Cooperative and the other measuring all energy supplied by the Member. The Member shall be compensated for energy supplied by the Member at the Cooperative’s avoided wholesale power cost. The avoided wholesale power cost shall be defined as the average monthly energy and fuel cost per kWh purchased from the Cooperative’s wholesale power supplier during the current billing period.

Additional Information

  • Rates and Charges Customer Charge

    Each billing period the Member shall be obligated to pay the following charges in addition to all charges indicated on the applicable MVEC rate schedule:

    • DG Size (Connected Load) Customer Charge
    • 10 kW and smaller no additional charge
    • >10 kW and ≥ 50 kW $15.00 per meter/month
    • Over 50 kW and under 700 kW $25.00 per meter/month
  • Application Fee

    DG Size (Connected Load) Application Fee Additional Engineering Fee < 10 kW None None 10 kW to 50 kW $50 As Required 50 kW to 700 kW $250 As Required

    > 700 kW Not Covered by this manual

  • Liability Insurance

    Facilities 10 kW and smaller shall not be required to provide additional liability insurance coverage. Facilities larger than 10 kW will be required to provide liability insurance of not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence.

  • Facilities Charge

    As determined at the sole discretion of the Cooperative on a non-discriminatory case-by-case basis to recover any additional operation and maintenance expense caused by the Member’s facility.

Interconnection Contact Information

For questions regarding MVEC Interconnection procedures please contact Abraham Quiroga at 1-866-225-5683, Ext. 7169, or by email at aquiroga@magicvalley.coop.

Please mail Interconnection correspondence to the following address:

Magic Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Attn: Abraham Quiroga
P.O. Box 267
Mercedes, TX 78570

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