Interconnect with Your Cooperative
Today's changing energy landscape is bringing more attention to renewable energy resources, including wind. Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative supports generation that is safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible. When you are considering the installation of a wind generator on your property, key issues are safety, reliability and integrity of the power grid and fairness in terms of cost to other member-owners.
Whenever generation is connected to the electric grid, the safety of cooperative employees, member-owners and the general public must be given top priority. In addition, the member-owner must meet certain requirements to allow your cooperative to maintain the reliability of the power grid and to ensure any associated costs are not imposed on.
Installation and Interconnection
The general requirements for a member-owner to install and interconnect wind generation include paying for any interconnection devices that are necessary to protect the safety of the cooperative representatives and to maintain the integrity of the delivery system. The member-owner is also expected to carry liability insurance.
Individuals must also pay for the necessary metering equipment used to measure kilowatt-hours (kWhs) delivered back to the grid by the member-owner.
Notify Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
With the passage of House File 2301 by the Iowa Legislature, member-owners installing renewable energy systems must provide notice to their cooperative utilities in writing 30 days before the generators are installed.
Safety hazards result if member-owners install alternative generating sources, such as solar panels or small wind turbines, without notifying Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative of that installation. Should there be a power outage requiring work on cooperative electric lines, linemen may be unaware of the additional connected generation and think the line is dead. Linemen could easily be injured by power feeding back onto the line from the member-owner's alternative energy sources.
When contacted about new alternative generation that will be installed, the cooperative will advise member-owners about devices needed at the interconnection point that will keep power from flowing back onto the grid.
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative's Responsibilities
Safe, Reliable, and Affordable Power
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative is your partner in providing you with safe, reliable electric service. We have requirements in place to address issues of safety, grid integrity and cost fairness. Those requirements (1) protect the safety of member-owners and cooperative employees (2) maintain the integrity and reliability of the grid and (3) ensure cost fairness.
Adherence to all State and Federal Regulations
Cooperatives must adhere to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations when working with a member-owner to connect wind generators to the grid. An operating agreement between the cooperative and the member-owner typically is developed to ensure proper communication and protections are in place prior to connection of the facility to the grid. Consideration must also be given to established requirements for installation, maintenance, metering, switching and liability insurance.
Is a wind turbine worthwhile to build?
Installing your own wind turbine is an individual decision for each member-owner. Your cooperative's role in this process is to help educate you regarding the cooperative's expectations. The cooperative, together with the member-owner, is also responsible for completing an interconnection and purchase power agreement. First and foremost, we must protect the safety of our member-owners and employees, maintain the integrity and reliability of the grid and ensure cost fairness.
We will help you obtain information you deem relevant to your decision-making process. However, the decision is one you must make on your own or with the assistance of consultants.