Distributed Generation FAQs

Distributed Generation Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I install a wind generator or solar panels on my home?

Yes. The City of Stillwater wants renewable energy in our community. In fact, one of the City’s strategic priorities is to provide reliable utility service that meets the needs of today’s customers as well as to anticipate future ones, which means including renewables like wind and solar.


What is Distributed Generation (DG)?

Distributed Generation refers to an Energy Producing System that is located at or near where the energy will be used, such as solar panels on a house.

In a residential setting, common distributed generation systems include:

  • Solar panels

  • Small wind turbines

Download the Distributed Generation Interconnection at a Glance (PDF) for more information about DG interconnection in Stillwater.


What is Net Energy Metering (NEM)?

Net Energy Metering (NEM) is the rate structure the City uses to bill DG customers. With NEM, the customer’s energy usage is netted out. For example, if you produce more energy than you need, the excess will be put into the grid and you will be credited. When your system is not producing enough energy to match your consumption (like at night), you would purchase your energy from the grid. Read the Net Energy Metering Distributed Generation Tariff for an in-depth look at the City’s NEM with a Fixed Wires Fee rate structure.

Infographic depicting Net Energy Metering


So how does this affect my bill?

Any energy returned to the grid is credited at the wholesale energy rate. DG customers also purchase any energy they receive from the grid at the wholesale rate, while customers without DG pay the retail rate. To help the utility cover fixed costs, DG customers will be charged a $42 monthly service availability fee.


What is required if I decide to install a DG system?

Before you install a DG system you will need to:

  • Follow the National Electrical Code

  • Follow the International Building Code

  • Complete and submit the Residential Permit Packet for Renewable Energy Resources to the City of Stillwater Community Development Department (405.742.8220). The packet includes:

    • Residential (1 & 2 Family) Accessory Permit Application (1 page)

    • Distributed Generation Interconnection Application packet with all attachments and required documents (5 pages)

    • Notarized Distributed Generation Interconnection Agreement (5 pages)

  • Receive approval from Community Development

  • Complete the generating facility installation (including a lockable disconnect for the Utility’s use)

  • Get inspections from the Community Development and Stillwater Electric Utility

  • The Utility will install the appropriate meters

Then you’re all set to start generating energy!


Why are there so many requirements for DG interconnection?

Stillwater Electric Utility has a Platinum Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation and is dedicated to providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. These requirements are in place to address issues of safety, grid integrity, and cost fairness. They ensure we can (1) protect the safety of members and City employees; (2) maintain the integrity of the grid; (3) establish mechanisms to ensure that each member shares appropriately in the costs.


I heard the City is looking at a community solar option. How is that different from DG?

Community solar (also known as a solar farm) is a shared resource that solar production can be purchased from. Portions of community solar farms can also be owned by community members. This option would provide renewable energy options to those who might be unable or unwilling to install an onsite DG system (renters, people who do not have the space for their own system, those who can’t keep up with maintenance requirements, etc.)

Interested in learning more? Watch our Community Solar and RECs workshop.


Content last reviewed 06.10.2021