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Distributed Generation

You Must Contact Our Office Prior to Making Any Connection to Our Electric Distribution System

Failure to do so may result in your account being disconnected immediately.

 

Distributed generation (DG) is generation that is defined as small generation units distributed around an electric utility's distribution system.  DG systems are usually powered by solar, wind, landfill gas, diesel fueled engines, natural gas fueled micro-turbines, etc.

DG refers to an electrical generating facility located on customer's premise and owned by the customer, which may be operated in parallel with the utility.  Operating requirements vary depending upon size of unit (<5kW; 5kW - 25kW; 26kW - 1MW; Over 1MW - 4MW).

 

Types of DG Customers

Customers inquiring about distributed generation generally fall into four basic categories:

  1. Small power production facilities (solar, wind, waste, or geothermal) which are usually classified as "qualifying facilities".
  2. Backup power which can be synchronized with the utility upon restoration from utility outages (closed transition).
  3. Generation for self-service of customer's own load through parallel operation with the utility and peak shaving of demand.
  4. Generation that is for exporting (landfill gas, large wind farms, etc.)

 

Applying for DG

How Does a Member Apply to Install and Operate DG on the Heart of Texas Electric System ?

If you would like to install and operate DG on the Heart of Texas Electric system, we recommend you review the following:

Review the costs of the DG equipment including initial costs and annual operation and maintenance costs including cost of insurance.  Most installations, considering all the costs, will not be competitive with Heart of Texas Electrics rates.  Some cost information is listed below broken down by technologies.

  • Do research on the technologies available and then locate local reputable vendors that sell, install and maintain the DG you choose.  Make sure, prior to purchase, that you have applied with Heart of Texas Electric to interconnect and that you have met all requirements.
  • You can start an application by submitting a letter with appropriate documentation that includes all the information required to complete the Heart of Texas Electric Application for DG Interconnection and Parallel Operation, as well as plans detailed in the "DG Plan".  You may have to provide additional information or Heart of Texas Electric may require the DG Plans to be prepared by a Professional Engineer registered in the State of Texas.
  • Upon receipt of the application (including application fees) and other required documentation, Heart of Texas Electric and its Power Supplier (if requested) will review for approval.
  • Prior to physical interconnection of DG, a Heart of Texas Electric Coop representative will inspect for proper operation and installation.

 

Cost

What Does DG Cost ?

  • Wind Power - 10kW System:  Approximate cost (installed) - $28,000 to $40,000.  Actual cost depends on "tower height & style, distance to interconnect, difficulty of excavation, etc."
  • Solar Power - System large enough to replace most of the load in a residential or small business:  Approximate cost (installed) - $8 per peak watt.  A 2kW system would cost approximately $16,000.  Thus, the cost to generate electricity through solar power is approximately 2 to 3.7 times more that the current rate charged by the average electric utility.
  • Propane or Natural Gas Generator - 12kW Small power system: Approximate cost (system w/transfer switch) - $3,529 MSRP.  Generac is selling its Guardian system at Home Depot.  They are marketed as emergency power systems for power outages.  The main marketing push is for backup, not as an alternative power source.

There are many variables that have an impact on the economic viability of a small wind machine. This model allows the user to input many of these variables including:

  • project costs
  • interest rates
  • electricity generated
  • retail electric rate
  • project life
  • grants and loans
  • O&M costs
  • electricity consumed
  • utility's avoided cost of generation
  • discount rate

Once you open the spreadsheet, click on the "instructions" tab at the bottom for input and term descriptions.

Small Wind Cash Flow Model (Microsoft Excel)

Click below for a copy of the procedures and guidelines.

 

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