LPEA Required Forms

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Renewable Generation Policies and Tariffs

Interconnection Procedures

To protect La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) employees and equipment, and to protect the public, we require that members wishing to interconnect with our system follow these rules and procedures:

  • Contact LPEA before your project begins and obtain an Interconnection/Net Metering Application
  • Submit the application with all required supporting documentation to LPEA. 
  • LPEA will evaluate the application and notify you within ten business days of receipt if the application is complete or more information is needed.
  • LPEA will conduct a preliminary engineering study within 15 days, if warranted, to determine if a generation facility is possible in your location. 
  • LPEA will approve the application and return it to the member, provided all criteria are met, and the location is approved for interconnection.
  • LPEA will design and construct the interconnection and modify existing LPEA infrastructure as needed.
  • Contact LPEA to arrange to pick up of the required LPEA production meter.
  • Once installation is complete, submit to LPEA the certificate of completion, a copy of state electrical inspection, and verification of required inverter settings that meet LPEA’s interconnection standards.  
  • LPEA will inspect the generating facility for compliance with standards within ten business days of the receipt of the certificate of completion. LPEA may schedule an appropriate metering replacement, if necessary. You may not operate the generating facility until a witness test has been performed by LPEA. If the witness test is not satisfactory, LPEA reserves the right to disconnect the facility.
  • LPEA will notify the member in writing within five business days that interconnection of the generating facility is authorized.  

FAQs

How do I apply for solar?

If you are working with a solar installer, the installer will submit the required documents to LPEA. If you are installing the system yourself, you can submit the Interconnection/Net Metering Application to renewables@lpea.cooop.

Remember to always call LPEA before you begin any solar project to ensure your location is eligible.

I have an existing solar system. Can I add additional panels to the current array?

Yes. However, a new Interconnection/Net Metering Application must be submitted, and the addition must meet LPEA’s interconnection requirements. 

How do I find a solar contractor?

LPEA has a list of Qualified Solar Installers. LPEA recommends getting a minimum of 3 solar bids before selecting an installer.

Does having solar at my home mean I am “off the grid” and not connected to LPEA or getting electricity from LPEA?

No. Having solar at your home does not mean you are off the grid. The only way to be off the grid would be to disconnect your electrical service from LPEA and depend 100% on what you generate for your power needs.

What happens at night when the sun is down? Do I still get electricity?

At night, on very stormy days, or if your solar panels are covered with snow, a conventional solar system goes dormant. During these times, you will receive power from LPEA’s grid. When the sun comes back out or the snow melts off the panels, the solar system resumes producing energy. If you do not use all the electricity you produce at any given time, the excess gets sent back onto the grid. This process is called net metering, during which your electric meter spins backwards showing a kWh credit available for you to offset your consumption later.

What happens with my solar PV system if I move? 

Most solar PV systems stay with the home to which they are attached, however, it is possible to relocate a PV system. If relocating the system, a new Interconnection/Net Metering Application and engineering review would need to take place for the new location of the array. It is the installer’s responsibility to contact LPEA at renewables@lpea.coop to coordinate returning the production meter. 

If I have excess in my net meter bank and I sell my house what happens to the net meter bank?

If the net meter account changes ownership, the excess net generation will be paid to the account holder at LPEA’s avoided cost rate of energy, as defined by the LPEA Net Metering Rate Tariff. It is important to leave a forwarding address with LPEA’s Member Services team to ensure you receive this payment.

Does having a solar system help in the sale of my home?

There are many factors that go into listing your home. Contact your realtor for additional information. 

I have solar at my home. Will I be impacted by power outages?

Yes. Your solar array will stop producing energy during the outage and you will not have electricity at your service address. Once power is restored to the grid, your array will automatically reconnect and go back to functioning as usual.  

Shading and PV systems

Can a solar PV system owner qualify for a Renewable Energy Credits (REC) payment if there are trees, buildings, and other obstructions that might shade the solar array?

No. The REC Contract between LPEA and the solar PV owner provides that the solar array is free of shade - stated on the first page “Representations” item “d.” Please refer to the REC contract above.

Can a solar PV system that is shaded be interconnected and net metered to LPEA’s system?

LPEA does not recommend that a solar PV system have any shade to achieve the most efficient production of a solar PV system. LPEA recommends that a solar installer provide the estimated annual production of all systems they propose to install and identify the loss of production if shading is involved. LPEA will interconnect and net meter solar PV systems that are approved by the LPEA Engineering Department.

Net Metered Solar Generators and Taxes

Are REC payments that I receive for my renewable generation system from LPEA taxable and considered income?

We believe so.

As always, please consult a tax expert for your specific tax questions.

LPEA is purchasing the Renewable Energy Credits (REC) or Environmental Attributes when an Optional REC Contract is signed by the solar PV system owner. For this reason, the IRS requires that a Form W-9 be provided to LPEA for issuing a REC Payment to the system owner. At the end of the year, LPEA will issue an IRS 1099-MISC to the system owner for the amount of the REC Payment, as long as the payment exceeds the IRS reporting threshold for the current tax year.

If my system produces excess generation and payment is made to me by LPEA (credit on my electric account or a check sent in the mail) for the wholesale value of the excess generation, is that taxable and considered income?

We believe so.

As always, please consult a tax expert for your specific tax questions.

LPEA is purchasing the excess generation from you. For this reason, we believe that this may be considered income.

How can I tell if my house is a good fit for solar?

The best orientation for a solar system is usually south. The home will need to have little to no shade and a roof slope of 25-30%. While a solar system will produce energy at a wide variety of slopes and orientations, maximizing your output in relation to the size of the system will provide you the best return on your investment. East and west facing roofs are a viable option, but the output is decreased by 12-15% or more over the course of a year. 

How do I calculate the size of solar array I will need?

Net metering is designed to offset your energy consumption. There are many variables that determine your system’s production like slope, orientation, and shading. 

Does a solar system have to go on my roof?

No, a ground mount solar array is a viable option if you have the space and capabilities to interconnect. 

What is net metering and how does it work?

Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy to members, at full retail value, for the electricity they generate to the grid up to 100% of their power usage. Anything over 100% is paid out at LPEA’s avoided cost rate. 

Does LPEA offer net meter aggregation?

No, all interconnections are required to be behind the members billing meter and cannot be allocated to other billing meters.

Do I get credit if I make more electricity than I use on an annual basis? 

Yes, but it is best not to oversize your solar PV system to generate more than you use. LPEA pays retail value for solar generation up to 100% of your consumption. Anything over 100% is paid back at LPEA’s avoided cost rate, which is much lower.

How much solar can be installed at my home?

Please refer to LPEA’s Net Metering Rate Tariff.

Are there any tax credits available for solar installations at the state or federal level?

LPEA recommends consulting a tax accountant before purchasing a solar system as tax incentives may vary over time. A tax accountant will know the latest tax incentives and the eligibility requirements. 

How much does a solar system cost?

System prices vary based on size, placement, equipment used, and technology. Prices for solar systems in LPEA’s service territory generally range between $2.50 and $5.00 per watt before tax credits.

Does LPEA sell solar systems?

No, LPEA does not sell solar systems, however, approval from LPEA is required prior to interconnection to LPEA’s grid. You can find a list of LPEA Qualified Solar Installers on our website. 

Does LPEA offer solar incentives or rebates?

LPEA does not offer rebates for solar installations. For LPEA’s net metering program, the energy LPEA delivers to you, is worth the same amount as the energy you deliver to LPEA. This 1:1 crediting is valued at the retail rate associated with your account.

When I am generating more electricity than I am consuming, why am I still receiving a LPEA bill each month? 

The charges you see on your LPEA bill each month consist of the base charge to cover billing and metering expenses, a Peak Power Charge to cover a portion of the system infrastructure needed to serve you, any charges for programs you might be enrolled in such as Round Up, and taxes. If you use more electricity than you produce, you will also see an energy charge on your monthly bill.

Why am I receiving a monthly bill from LPEA when I have solar?

At night, or on very stormy days, a conventional solar system goes dormant. During those dormant times, you will receive electricity from LPEA’s grid. When the sun comes back out, the system resumes producing energy. Your monthly bill will show your Net Consumption and Net Generation

Why is my solar generation not covering the Peak Power Charge on my LPEA Bill?

Your solar array will not offset the Peak Power Charge. The Peak Power Charge is applied to the single highest hour of usage between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. during a month. 

What happens if I produce more electricity than I use?
If in a monthly billing period you generated more energy than you used, then this excess energy (kWh) will be added to your Net Meter Bank and is available to you throughout the year to offset future electric consumption at retail value. The excess net generation will carry over into a Net Meter Bank monthly until the annual settlement month or until the excess net meter bank is depleted. 

When is LPEA’s annual settlement month for an excess generation?

LPEA’s net metering true-Up of excess generation occurs annually on your April billing statement. LPEA will purchase the excess Net Generation that has been accrued, if any, at LPEA’s avoided cost rate of energy, as defined by the LPEA Net Metering Tariff