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Members who are interested in installing their own solar or wind system for interconnection should contact North Star Electric Cooperative before beginning any project. There are many factors to consider when installing a distributed energy resource (DER), and we encourage members to contact us when weighing options to help them make an informed choice and to select a reputable provider. In addition to the co-op verifying that your residence has the proper metering configuration, there are rules concerning proper equipment, safety, liability, and energy reimbursement. Please contact us at 218-634-2202 or 888-634-2202 before you start your project.

We are utilizing NOVA Power Portal for the interconnection process of DER systems. All DER applications must be submitted online and approved before construction can begin. Members who are interested in owning their own DER system can access the co-op’s NOVA Power Portal for interconnection information, status of projects, and to learn more about installing your own renewable energy system. Click the logo below to open in a new window.

Notice To Distributed Generation (DG) Facilities

In compliance with North Star Electric Cooperative’s adopted rules relating to cogeneration and small power production, North Star Electric Cooperative is obligated to interconnect with and purchase electricity from cogenerators and small power producers, whom satisfy the conditions as a qualifying facility. North Star Electric Cooperative is obligated to provide information free of charge to all interested members upon request regarding rates and interconnection requirements. All interconnections require an application and approval to become a qualifying facility. Any dispute over interconnections, sales, and purchases is subject to resolution by the North Star Electric Board of Directors. Interested members should contact: North Star Electric Cooperative, PO Box 719, Baudette, MN 56623 or call (218) 634-2202.

DG Cost Recovery Fee
As of July 1, 2015, Minnesota Statute 216B.164 allows electric cooperatives and municipal utilities to charge a fee to recover the fixed costs to serve a distributed generation qualifying facility. The recovery of fixed costs through a fee or other charges to recover the cooperative’s cost of providing service is part of the rate structure of the cooperative that may change over time. The fee is calculated using a cost of service approach and is based upon the cost of serving the member, the kWh rate, and the current system delivery or fixed charge. Because the cost shift is different based on the size of the distributed generation facility, the fee is applied per kW on installed distributed generation that exceeds 3.5 kW. In addition to a 3.5 kW allowance, there is also a capped dollar amount associated with the fee. The DG Cost Recovery Fee and the cap are based on previous year data. Fee and cap will be recalculated annually. (Will be listed on electric bill as “Grid Access Charge”). Members considering a DG system should contact the North Star Electric Cooperative for help in calculating what their monthly DG Cost Recovery Fee would be based on the size of their system’s capacity.
Stay solar smart!

As the demand for solar energy skyrockets, the solar industry is seeing steeper competition. This can lead to an increase in deceptive solar advertisements and scams. While the industry has many reputable providers, the media has been bombarded with ads that promote “low-cost” or “no-upfront-cost” programs. Increasingly, these ads tend to make false claims about special government or utility programs.

Why do solar scams exist?

  • Simply put: to generate leads and get your contact information. When you enter your details to “see if you qualify,” a sales representative can contact you directly, day or night, and sell your information to other marketing firms.

What kind of claims are being made?

  • Some companies offer “no-cost options” due to a “special government program.” Remember, legitimate financing does exist—but rarely from the government. Other companies overestimate future utility rate increases to exaggerate your return on investment.

What should you look out for?

  • Be wary of ads that sound too good to be true. Additionally, look for phrases like “limited time,” “special program,” or “no-cost.” And if you’re visited by a pushy door-to-door salesperson, don’t sign an agreement you don’t fully understand.

Always do your research before signing a contract. Ask for bids from competing installers. Take the time to ask questions so you fully understand each proposal. Please reach out to North Star with your questions. We’re here to help!