Notify your Cooperative first.
Owners of alternative energy production equipment, no matter how smallâ€•even solar-powered heat pumps, for exampleâ€•are required to provide written notification to their utility of the intent to construct or install such facilities/equipment at least 30 days prior to construction.
Alternate energy production facilities are defined as solar, wind turbine, waste management, resource recovery, refuse-derived fuel, agricultural crops or residues, or wood-burning facilities used to generate electricity. This requirement went into effect on January 1, 2013.
In the written notice the owner must provide information on the type of facility and the anticipated completion date of the construction. The member will also need to have a bidirectional meter installed, which will allow ECI REC to monitor the electricity the equipment may be generating or distributing. This meter is a critical safety measure that allows your Cooperative to ensure alternate energy equipment is not producing feedback when we are working on the distribution lines and equipment—otherwise, feedback could cause electrocution of line personnel.
If you are considering installing alternative energy equipment, ECI REC wants to be a supportive and educational resource for you. Though members are required by law to notify the Cooperative before installing equipment, we also recommend you contact us before purchasing to discuss the best options for your location. Alternate energy equipment can be purchased at many stores, such as Menards, and packaging can often make it seem like you just need to plug it in and go. In reality, any equipment that produces energy that is integrated into the ECI REC distribution system via a breaker or fuse panel can be a safety hazard when the Cooperative is not aware of its existence.
ECI REC has put together a Standard Application and Interconnection Agreement form, which you are required to complete before installing. You can also contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone toll free at 877-850-4343.