For more information on customer-owned generation, home and commercial energy inspections, rebates, and other energy efficiency topics, please connect with our Energy Services Advisor.
Energy Services Advisor
3205 Cedar Street
Muscatine, IA 52761
Installing Solar Panels or Wind Turbines: What you should know about Customer-Owned Renewable Energy Systems
Thinking about installing solar panels or wind turbines at your residence? We highly recommend making your first call/email to MPW to talk through your plans with our Energy Services Advisor. The Advisor can walk you through some of the important information you’ll need to know up-front before hiring a contractor/product supplier to ensure you have all the necessary information to connect your new installations to our systems BEFORE getting started. Call Paul Burback at 563-262-3423 or email him to get started today.
Installing a solar or wind energy system at your home or business can help you add a renewable source of energy, support the environment and even save you money over time. But because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, your system will need to work in tandem with community power from MPW.
Some customers like the idea of renewable energy and MPW allows interconnection of renewable energy systems with our utility infrastructure. It’s important that potential issues, such as high or low voltage which may damage your or your neighbor’s personal property or utility infrastructure, are minimized. Working in conjunction with your utility provider creates a win-win with renewable energy installations.
MPW customers wanting the ability to generate their own electricity may do so with a signed Interconnection Agreement for Small Renewable Generation. With our Interconnection and Net Metering program, your energy needs will first be supplied from the energy your system generates; and when your energy needs are greater than that produced by your system, you’ll seamlessly be provided energy from MPW. Approved customer-owned renewable energy systems (solar panels, wind turbines) located within MPW’s electric service territory qualify for interconnection and net metering.
What Is Net Metering and How Does It Work?
We install a meter that tracks energy in kilowatt hours (“kWh”) delivered by the Utility to the customer, and any excess energy in kWh produced by the customer’s renewable system received by the Utility.
If a customer produces more kWh than they use, the excess kWh will be credited to the account. For Residential and Commercial I customers, the credit will be carried forward for use the next month. An annual “true-up” will occur in February and we’ll provide the customer an Energy Credit for any banked kWh. The Energy Credit rate is equivalent to the previous three year rolling average of MPW’s purchased power cost (what it costs to produce or purchase power on the open energy market). The customer’s banked credits will then reset to zero. For Commercial II customers and above, the “true-up” will occur monthly.
Things to Consider Before Investing in Customer-Owned Renewable Energy Systems
Renewable energy systems typically provide electricity during sunny and/or windy conditions. Depending on weather conditions and your energy needs from things like lighting, air conditioning, appliances, and motors, it’s likely that additional electricity from MPW will be needed to meet your energy needs. Don’t worry, we’ll be there to back you up.
It’s also important to understand your home or business’ energy needs. We can provide that information to you, as well as offer suggestions to improve your energy efficiency. Using less energy may mean that a smaller renewable system is needed to meet your needs, saving you money.
Interconnection programs vary from utility to utility. Renewable energy companies may not be fully aware of our requirements. Before signing any contracts or installing a renewable energy system, contact MPW to discuss sizing, the Interconnection Agreement, and any restrictions.
Be aware of companies promising quick rates of return, generous tax credits, or other benefits if you purchase renewable systems with them. Be sure to independently verify and research these types of claims before signing on with a contractor.
Get help from a qualified energy services advisor at MPW
MPW allows interconnection of qualified solar panels or wind turbines with our utility infrastructure. It’s important to contact us before installing solar panels, wind turbines, or other renewable energy sources to your home or property so we can help guide your project in meeting our interconnection requirements. Our interconnection requirements ensure the safety of both your property and MPW’s infrastructure. Systems up to 50kWAC, or up to three times your historical or projected demand, up to a maximum 1MWAC are eligible for our Net Metering program. Excess production will be credited at the Energy Credit rate. Call 563-262-3423 for more information.