Distributed Energy Resources

NPPD develops process tied to renewable DG installation and operation

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has developed a process to ensure it can appropriately maintain the reliability of its electric system and public safety during installation and operation of renewable distributed generation projects.

NPPD recently noted that interest in building renewable energy resources, specifically solar generation and battery storage, continues to grow in Nebraska, and it wants to make sure customers are aware of steps that need to be taken before beginning construction on such projects.

“NPPD encourages customers interested in adding DG to their home or business, to start by reaching out to their local public power utility to see if the project is viable and to evaluate projected savings,” it said.

With respect to the process it has developed, NPPD said electric consumers, developers and contractors investing in a project are required to utilize this process, which begins with a form called the “Interconnection Application for NPPD Approval to Connect Distributed or Local Generation.”

The form allows end-use customers to submit formal notification to NPPD regarding their proposed project. Under the process, NPPD maintains the right to approve or deny any DG project that affects the electric system, including DG projects developed prior to these procedures.

“NPPD looks forward to actively partnering with all interested in undertaking a renewable DG project in a way that greatly minimizes impacts to our grid and community members,” said NPPD Senior Project Coordinator Tom Pillen. “NPPD also wants end-use customers to make an educated choice about their solar project.”

NPPD is recommending the use of its customer-owned solar calculator to estimate potential savings and compare options when considering a solar project.

In turn, NPPD has also implemented and continues to explore opportunities for several community solar projects in retail communities throughout Nebraska. “These projects avoid the up-front costs of customer-owned solar while still giving customers the chance to participate in renewable energy,” NPPD said.

The DG generation form and related details, as well as the solar calculator, a solar project contractor checklist, educational videos, current incentives and loans, and more, are available here.