Generating Your Own Power with Solar
What is net metering?
Net Metering is the billing arrangement through which members with solar panels are compensated for the excess energy they export to the grid. The term “net” comes from the fact that you only pay for the net difference between the energy imported from the grid and exported back to the grid. Excess exported energy is credited as kWh credits into a kWh bank to offset future energy needs. These kWh credits never expire and stay in your kWh bank until you use them. Stranded credits are paid out at the avoided cost (wholesale) rate.
If you are considering self-generation with solar, please contact Craighead Electric at 800-794-5012 or email email@example.com.
What must I do to get a net metering facility approved by Craighead Electric?
Before Craighead Electric approves a net metering facility, the following conditions must be met:
- A Preliminary Interconnection Site Review Request must be submitted to the Cooperative before any work can begin along with a $100.00 site review fee (effective 6-26-2020) for Level 1(25 kw or less). This fee is for the site review, it does not cover any interconnection costs related to the installation of the distributed generation system (download form below).
- For systems over 25 kw (Level 2 thru 4) site review fee will be $100 plus $10.00 per kw of nameplate rating up to a maximum of $2000.00 plus interconnection study costs, if needed.
- The generating capacity of Net-Metering Facilities may not exceed one thousand kilowatts (1,000 kW) for non-residential use unless otherwise allowed by the Commission.
- The net metering facility must be interconnected to a metered service billed under rate schedule 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, or 20 of Craighead Electric’s metered rates.
- The Craighead Electric account must be in the name of the owner of the net metering facility.
- The net metering facility must be intended primarily to offset some or all of the net metering customer’s requirements for electricity.
How is billing handled with a net metering facility?
- If the electricity generated by the net metering facility is fed back to the cooperative and exceeds the electricity supplied by the cooperative during the billing period the member will receive a kWh credit for the accumulated net excess kWh from month-to-month. The kWh credit will be maintained in Craighead Electric’s billing system. The monthly availability charge, taxes, and minimum bill (non-residential), still applies even if no electricity is purchased from Craighead Electric.
- At the request of the member, monthly excess kWh credits may be transferred to additional accounts in a rank order provided by the member.
- additional accounts must be in the name of the member who owns the net metering facility.
- The member must provide the rank order of additional accounts at least 30 days prior to the first requested transfer, and the member can only make changes to the rank order one time in the calendar year. (See Net Metering Account Transfer Request form in Downloads below.)
- If the additional accounts are not in the same billing cycle as the net-metered account, those accounts will be moved to a common billing cycle. The additional accounts do not have to be the same class of service.
- Excess kWh credits will be applied to the additional accounts up to the amount needed to net zero the kWh usage on each account in the rank order provided.
- Credited kWh will not be divided proportionately across the additional accounts, and the additional accounts cannot carry forward credit kWh from month to month.
- If the member has multiple net metering facilities, each net meter facility must have its own rank order list of additional accounts.
- An account only can be assigned to one rank order list.
What are the net metering installation requirements?
- The net metering system is required to meet all local and national electrical codes, including National Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the National Electrical Safety Code and Underwriters Laboratory. Craighead Electric assumes no liability or responsibility for the installation or operation of the net metering system because the cooperative does not inspect the equipment, wiring or installation beyond the interconnection to the meter. Member must submit a design drawing and product literature to the Craighead Electric engineering department for Craighead Electric’s approval prior to the installation. The department may be reached at 800-794-5012.
- A Preliminary Interconnection Site Review Request must be submitted to the Cooperative before any work can begin along with a site review fee- see above. (download form below.)
- The member must complete and submit a copy of the standard interconnection agreement and ownership affirmation (see Downloads below) at least 30 days prior to the planned interconnection.
- The interconnection agreement must be signed by the member and Craighead Electric. Once the equipment is installed, Craighead Electric will schedule a site visit for Craighead Electric personnel to inspect and commission the installation. The net metering equipment must remain disconnected from the electric meter until the system is commissioned by Craighead Electric. Craighead Electric will verify two things at the time of the site visit – that the net metering equipment disconnects from the electric meter during a power outage and that the electric meter runs backward when the net metering equipment is feeding back to the cooperative.
- Interconnection must be made behind the initial means of disconnection. That is, NO LINE SIDE TAPS before the main breaker. A single switch must simultaneously disconnect the load and the DER.
- No insulation piercing taps. Taps must be breaker (preferred) or terminal type.
Can I build a solar array or wind farm and sell power to Craighead Electric?
- A DER power plant, regardless of size, can be connected to Craighead Electric’s distribution system if certified as a qualifying facility by Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation.
- Power will be purchased by AECC through a wholesale power contract.
Certification is a lengthy and costly process, and the member should carefully evaluate the economics of the facility before choosing this option over net metering.
Please, e-mail site review request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A limited amount of distributed energy resource (DER) hosting capacity is available in each area. DER hosting is made available to members on a first-come-first-serve basis. That is, once an area has reached its limit, no further Net Meters can be installed there. Click for a detailed map view of the green areas that are currently considered saturated.