Environmental

Renewable Energy Interconnection

The decision to install a solar array or wind generator at your home or business is an important one. There are many factors to consider, such as ideal sizing, siting and expected payback for your investment. Midwest Energy limits the size of residential solar electric systems or wind generators to 25 Kilowatts (kW), and commercial arrays to 200 kW. After reading this page carefully with your solar or wind system installer, if you still have questions about renewable energy, please call us at 1-800-222-3121, and we'll walk you through it.   

Interconnection Requirements

Midwest Energy's Distributed Resource Interconnection Tariff (DRIT) describes the interconnection requirements for generators that connect to Midwest Energy’s distribution system. These generally include connections made on the customer’s side of the meter at farms, homes and small businesses. A complete copy of the DRIT, and Midwest Energy’s complete interconnection requirements can be found in the Renewable Energy Interconnection section at the bottom of the electric rate page. Below are links to the application forms and sample agreements found in the DRIT.

For very large projects (such as commercial wind or solar farms), the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) establishes guidelines for interconnection to the high voltage transmission system. SPP procedures and requirements for transmission interconnections are in the Generation Interconnection Studies section of the SPP tariff.

Renewable Energy Options

Interconnecting customers may choose from Midwest Energy’s Net Metering option or a Parallel Generation arrangement.

With Net Metering, Midwest Energy installs a bi-directional meter free of charge, which measures electricity the customer pulls from the grid, as well as any electricity their renewable energy system adds to the grid. The customer receives the full retail value for all kWh generated and used in the same month. Any excess generation at the end of the billing period reverts to Midwest Energy as a grid contribution. The vast majority of renewable interconnections select the Net Metering option; the Net Metering Rider has complete details. 

With Parallel Generation, the formula for the price paid for energy from renewable energy systems is established by Kansas law and is contained in the Parallel Generation Rider. It has resulted in the following average buy-back rates for Midwest Energy:

  • 2012: 3.823¢ per kWh
  • 2013: 3.864¢ per kWh
  • 2014: 4.064¢ per kWh
  • 2015: 3.616¢ per kWh
  • 2016: 3.309¢ per kWh
  • 2017: 3.357¢ per kWh
  • 2018: 3.670¢ per kWh
  • 2019: 3.856¢ per kWh
  • 2020: 3.391¢ per kWh
  • 2021: 3.273¢ per kWh

NOTE: By the law, the generator must be appropriately sized for the electric load. 

For renewable generators larger than 200 kW, Midwest Energy expects the developer to propose a price. Proposed prices will be compared to expected costs for other conventional and renewable energy sources. Midwest Energy will not enter into contracts that may increase long-term costs above other alternatives. Midwest Energy will continue to use a competitive bidding process for utility scale renewable energy purchases.

Midwest Energy’s Role in Energy Generation

  • Midwest Energy is a buyer of renewable energy from both small scale and utility scale projects.  Midwest Energy has wind energy supply contracts in place for 106 megawatts -- In 2008, we signed agreements to purchase 49 megawatts from the Smoky Hill Wind Farm in Lincoln County, Kan., and in 2016 purchased 57 megawatts from the Kingman Wind Energy Center in Kingman County, Kan.  Midwest Energy also purchases solar energy, including 1 megawatt of output from our customer-owned Community Solar Array in Colby.  Today, more than a quarter of our customer-owner’s energy is sourced from renewable Kansas resources.
  • Midwest Energy began to buy power generated by the 1 megawatt Community Solar Array near Colby in February 2015.  Individual Midwest Energy customers own panels in the array and receive a credit on their montly electric bill for generation each month.  More than 100 Midwest Energy customers, representing residential, commercial, agricultural, oil, school, and government accounts, own panels in the array and receive the benefits of the electricity generated.
  • Midwest Energy is not a renewable energy developer. It has neither the experience nor resources to develop large renewable projects. From time to time, Midwest Energy will issue requests for proposals (RFP) from renewable energy developers.
  • Small projects may not require a developer, but even small projects must comply with interconnection requirements discussed above. The wind turbine or solar panel dealer should be familiar with the procedures. The utility scale renewable energy contracts do not affect the amount of small scale renewable energy allowed to interconnect. 
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