Renewable Electric Generation

Did you know that you can install renewable electric generation projects at your home and business that can meet some or all of your own energy needs?

It’s true, you can reduce your energy costs and even add energy to Flathead Electric’s electric distribution system through Net-Metering.

What is Net Metering?

solar panelsNet-metering is a special installation that allows any surplus energy generated by the member’s system to go back on the utility electric system and allows the member to receive “credit” for the electricity put back on the system at retail rates. The member’s meter measures the electricity the member uses from the utility system, less the electricity the member’s system puts back.

Net metering allows homeowners to receive the full value for the electricity that their renewable energy system produces. The term, net metering, refers to the method of accounting for the electricity production of a renewable energy system. Net metering allows homeowners with such systems to use any excess electricity they produce to offset their electric bill. As the homeowner’s system produces electricity, the kilowatts are first used for any electric appliances in the home. If more electricity is produced from the system than is needed by the homeowner, the extra kilowatts are fed into the utility grid.

Net Metering System:

  • Uses renewable resources as fuel; solar, wind, hydropower, biomass or another alternative generation system pre-approved by the utility.
  • Has a generating capacity of less than 50 kilowatts.
  • Is located on the member-generator’s premises.
  • Operates in parallel with the FEC distribution system.
  • Is intended primarily to offset part or all of the customer-generator’s requirements for electricity at the specific site where the generation is installed.

Under Net Metering:

  • Windmill Power GeneratorsThe member’s meter measures the electricity the member uses from the utility system less the electricity the customer’s system puts back.
  • The excess electricity produced is fed into the utility grid and credit is given to the member at the retail rate.
  • At the end of the month, if the member has generated more electricity than they used, the utility credits (banks) the net kilowatt-hours produced at the retail power rate.
  • If the member uses more electricity than they generate, they pay the difference.
  • Net metering allows homeowners who are not home when their systems are producing electricity to still receive the full value of that electricity without having to install a battery storage system.
  • The power grid acts as the customer’s battery backup, which saves the customer the added expense of purchasing and maintaining a battery system.

Download Flathead Electric Cooperative’s Net Metering Procedure, agreement and application:

Net Metering Under 50kW (PDF)

What is Interconnection Generation?

Interconnection generation refers to member-owned generation facilities, small power producers, and co-generators with a nameplate capacity of 50kW or higher and less than 20,000 kW.

Due to the larger sized generation facilities and the complexity of interconnection to Flathead Electric Cooperative’s distribution grid and potential impacts to Bonneville Power Administration, Flathead Electric requires a more detailed application process.

Depending on the size of your generator, you may be required to draft a power purchase agreement, provide verification of ownership of site, and/or apply with Bonneville Power Administration for Transmission Operator agreement.

Download Flathead Electric Cooperative’s Interconnection Generation Procedure (Appendix B contains the application):

Interconnection Agreement 50kW or higher (PDF)

For additional information or to discuss a potential interconnection generation, contact Ashley Keltner at 406-751-4478 or email.

Additional information on renewable energy: