Interconnection

Network Resource

An electrical generator that can provide support to the system in terms of real or reactive power supply, spinning reserve, or other services that the system operator requires to keep the system operating in a safe and reliable manner. Generally wind projects can only qualify as an energy resource because of their non-dispatchable nature, i.e. they can only supply energy to the system when the wind is blowing and not when the system requires it.

Net Metering and Net Billing

The concept of net metering programs is to allow utility customers to generate their own electricity from renewable resources, such as small wind turbines and solar electric systems. The customers send excess electricity back to the utility when their wind system, for example, produces more power than they need. Customers can then get power from the utility when their wind system doesn’t produce enough power. In effect, net metering allows the interconnected customer to use the electrical grid as a storage battery. This helps customers get higher (retail) value for more of their self-generated electricity. In practice, net metering and net billing vary from state to state based on rules for such arrangements defined by the state. For information about your particular state visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy: www.dsireusa.org.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of connecting my wind system to the utility grid?

The advantages of utility interconnection include having standard utility AC power when you need it, not just when the wind blows; eliminating the need for storing excess electricity in batteries, which can be expensive; and you only pay for the net electricity used. One disadvantage of net metering and net billing may be the cost of the interconnection, which can vary considerably from utility to utility. There are efforts to get standards in place for interconnection guidelines.

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