The State of Minnesota currently has interconnection process standards in effect to address the interconnection of distributed energy resources (DER) to the distribution grid. Under Minnesota Statute §216B.1611, cooperatives and municipals shall adopt an interconnection process that addresses the same issues as the interconnection process approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The Cooperative Minnesota Distributed Energy Resources Interconnection Process (Interconnection Process or C-MIP) applies to any DER no larger than 10-megawatt (MW) AC interconnecting to and operating in parallel with Red Lake Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s distribution system in Minnesota. This interconnection process document is designed to be member-centric when explaining the steps and details to interconnect DER systems to the distribution grid.

The interconnection process document is broken into five parts: Process Overview, Simplified Process, Fast Track Process, Study Process and Interconnection Agreement. For the majority of DER interconnection, only the Process Overview and the Simplified Process parts will apply. For larger and more complex DER interconnections, the Fast Track Process and the Study Process may apply.

In addition to the interconnection process documents, interconnection agreement(s) are to be executed prior to the DER system being interconnected to the distribution grid. For most DER interconnection, Red Lake Electric Cooperative, Inc.’s Contract for Cogeneration and Small Power Production Facilities (Uniform Contract) will be used. For DER systems that do not fall under the terms of the Uniform Contract, the C-MIP Interconnection Agreement will apply.

The process to interconnect a DER system to the distribution grid starts with the submission of an Interconnection Application. Each track has different information that is requested in the application and the non-refundable interconnection application fees will vary. Both the electric utility and the interconnecting customer have timelines that are enforced to ensure a timely application review, contract execution and interconnection commissioning.

The key to a successful interconnection of a DER system is communication between all parties. Timely submission of the Interconnection Application prior to the purchase and installation of a DER system is strongly recommended. The Cooperative encourages members to ask questions throughout the interconnection process. Interconnecting DER system to the distribution grid is not an effortless process, but it does not need to be a problematic process either.

Red Lake Electric Cooperative (RLEC) recovers the fixed cost to serve a DG qualifying facility sized 40kW AC and under through the DG Grid Access Charge. This charge applies to DG qualifying facilities having a nameplate rating over 3.5 kW for each new interconnection after May 1st, 2022. The fee is calculated based on a methodology that is compliant with Minnesota Statute 216B.164 Subdivision 3(a). The calculation uses a cost of service approach based on the true cost of serving a member, the kWh rate, and the current fixed charge. Because the cost shift is different based on the size of the distributed generation facility, the fee is applied per kW of installed distributed generation that exceeds 3.5 kW. In addition to a 3.5 kW allowance there is also a not-to-exceed or capped dollar amount associated with the fee. DG qualifying facilities that interconnected with RLEC prior to May 1st, 2022 will be grandfathered in and not be subject to the DG Grid Access Fee. Please see the Cogeneration Rate Schedule for more details on the DG Grid Access Fee.

Please use the NOVA PORTAL below to browse interconnection information, status of projects, learn more about installing renewable energy system, and starting the application process.

NOVA Power Portal for members of
Red Lake Electric Cooperative

Browse interconnection information, status of projects, and learn more about installing your own renewable energy system.  Click the link below to open in a new window.