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Customer solar and wind self-generation

While producing electricity with solar panels and small scale-wind turbines is still a more expensive option than purchasing electricity from us, customers are increasingly showing an interest in powering their homes and businesses with self-generating systems.

 

Is self-generation right for you? The PVWatts calculator can help you learn more. Additionally, check out our distributed generation rate update for residential customers in Rate Information to find out more about the rate you'll be a part of if you choose to interconnect with us. 

There is also a very helpful guide to rooftop solar by Louisiana State University, Solar Power for Your Home, A Consumer's Guide.

  • If you choose to install a renewable energy system at your home or at your business, please start here by completing the required forms.
  • All interconnected renewable systems must comply with the design requirements and service standards listed below to protect Westar's distribution system and ensure safe access to electric service for all customers.
  • Renewable energy systems that do not comply with the Westar Energy Facility Connection Standard and Service Standards will not be certified to operate.

Customer self-generation

NOTICE:

Beginning NOVEMBER 1, 2016 a production meter (a meter to record customer generation) will be required for all new interconnection application approvals. This design is becoming an industry standard, is generally accepted as a best practice for customer owned generation installations, and is needed to analyze distribution loads. The information from these meters will better enable us to accommodate higher penetrations of distributed energy resources, by providing important circuit load information. 

Beginning JANUARY 1, 2017 a production meter will be required for ALL physical connections regardless of application date. This includes the interconnections approved without a production meter prior to November 1st. 

For questions regarding this notice, please contact Westar’s interconnection service advisor at 316-299-7426.

There are two options for buying back excess wind and solar generation:
1. Net Metering Rider

Westar Energy offers Net Metering service for customer-owned renewable energy generation installations. Net metering was made possible with the passage of the Easy Connection and Net Metering Act by the Kansas Legislature in 2009 and by utilities and the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) working to implement this Act.

Westar's Net Metering service provides for the electrical energy produced by your renewable generating resource to offset the energy we provide during the billing period. For example, if the excess electricity we supply you exceeds the electricity generated by your renewable generating system during a billing period, you will be billed for that net electricity. If the excess electricity generated by your renewable generating system exceeds the electricity we supply you during a billing period, you will be credited for the excess kilowatt-hours with such credit to be applied during that billing period. Customers who installed renewable systems prior to July 1, 2014, remain on the prior net metering agreement, and such credits carry over to subsequent billing periods, with excess credits expiring at the end of each year. Customers who install a renewable energy system after July 1, 2014, are credited for excess generation at the retail rate within the month, and they are paid Westar's avoided cost for any excess generation at the end of each month.

Overview
  • Westar Energy's Net Metering Rider allows residential customers to install renewable energy systems up to 15 kW DC.
  • Nonresidential (commercial, and including religious institutions) customers are allowed to install renewable energy systems up to 100 kW DC.
  • Public and post-secondary institutions and K-12 schools can install renewable energy systems up to 150 kW DC.
  • Systems shall be appropriately sized for the anticipated electric load. 
  • A processing fee of $100 must accompany your application. This processing fee is non-refundable unless the application is denied under K.S.A. 66-1265 (a).

Net Metering Rider

2. The Parallel Generation Rider

Westar pays you 150 percent of its monthly average energy costs for energy you put back on the grid.

What is "monthly average fuel cost"?

Westar operates its power plants using a variety of fuel sources (nuclear, coal, gas, oil, wind, purchased power, etc.) The monthly average fuel cost is what we spend on fuel, on average, for a particular month to run our mix of power plants.

Any energy (kWh's) fed back into Westar's system from self-generation is power that Westar does not have to produce, and therefore, fuel we don't have to purchase. This is how we determine "avoided cost," and compensate self-generators accordingly.

Parallel Generation Rider

Process

Please follow the process below to interconnect your renewable energy system to Westar Energy's distribution system:

  1. Complete the online application below. Print and mail a physical copy of the Customer Generator Acknowledgement with $100 application fee.
  2. Once we receive your application, we will review it and notify you and/or your installer of approval or any necessary modifications.
  3. You can then proceed with the installation of your system.
  4. Just give us a call when the install is complete, and we'll come out to set a bi-directional meter that will measure the electricity we sell you as well as the excess electricity you sell back to us.

Interconnection Application

If your system will be 25kW or greater and three-phase, please complete and attach this form to your Interconnection Application:

Three-Phase 25kW Supplement

Connecting to Westar Energy's system

The Westar Energy Facility Connection Standard lists the system design requirements for connecting renewable energy systems to the electric grid. Generating systems must also meet our Service Standards. In order to successfully interconnect your system, you must complete the Interconnection application (link above).

Facility Interconnection Requirements
Service Standards 

How to read your buyback meter

  • Your electronic buyback meter has a five-digit LCD register which scrolls through four different tariff rates (register display). The meter continuously scrolls through the different channels, pausing on each channel for a few seconds. The number for each channel can is seen in the upper lefthand corner (channel display).
  • The numbers that appear in the register display on Channel 1 represent the power your home is purchasing.
  • The numbers that appear in the register display on Channel 4 represent the excess power your home has generated.
  • Channels 2 and 3 are used for a few residential customers but primarily for commercial and industrial customers to read demands and Kvars.

Data Requests

If you would like Westar to send out information to help you or an installer size a renewable energy system, we would be happy to help.  Please use the template below and email us. This allows us to make the data sharing process easy while also ensuring the protection of your privacy. 

Please note the following items when submitting a request:

  • This request should come from the primary account holder.
  • Please list your service address. This is the address at which you receive service from Westar Energy. This may be different from your billing address.
  • Data can only be provided for the period during which the requester has been the customer at that service address.

Please note the following additional items when submitting a request for a business:

  • The request should come from an authorized user on the account.
  • If the company has a group bill account number, please list the account number that will be tied to the installation, not the group bill account number. Also list the service address where the installation will go, rather than the billing address for the account, which may be different.

Data Request Template (please complete and email to link below):

Name:

Company Name: (if applicable)

Account Number:

Service Address:

  • I, (insert name), authorize Westar Energy to release to (insert entity name) the following information for the purposes of sizing a renewable energy system:
  • Primary account holder’s name (or Company name if customer is a company)
  • Authorized user’s name (if the requesting customer is a company)
  • Service address
  • Account number
  • Meter number(s)
  • Twelve months of energy usage and bill history.

Submit your Data Request here.

For additional assistance on distributed generation, please email us.

Thank you for supporting Kansas renewable energy!
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