Green Energy

Green Energy 360 Services

Renewable Energy

Farmers Electric Cooperative is committed to providing reliable electricity at the lowest cost. These days, that means including lean, green power sources in our energy mix. Here’s how to make the most of your green power!

Renewable Green Energy Solar Power
Solar Energy

Renewable Energy Program

When you sign up to purchase renewable energy, you’ll lock in a reliable, affordable five-year rate that makes becoming a green farmer easy. You decide how much renewable energy is right for you: choose one block of power or eight blocks—up to 800 kWh.

Sign Up

 

Invest in Clean, Affordable Power

Renewable energy is all over the news. Yet it’s been around a long time—in fact, Farmers has used hydroelectric power for decades. Today, we’re also adding solar power, with wind power not far behind.

Our hydropower comes from Denison Dam at Lake Texoma, where two generating units provide enough electricity to power about 80,000 homes. Solar power is generated primarily in sunny West Texas and we also have our own solar farm in nearby Commerce, Texas. Through a project with our generating and transmission co-op, or "G&T," Farmers will soon make Texas coastal wind power available. Sea and land breezes on the Gulf Coast reach their peaks in the morning and evening—just when our demand for electricity also peaks.

As more consumers become interested in the environmental benefits of these renewable resources, technology advances are making them easier to use, more efficient, and more affordable. That’s why they’re a good fit for our mission to provide members reliable electricity at the lowest cost.

 

FAQs Renewable Energy Guidelines

What are the requirements for a renewable generations system?

DOWNLOAD: Renewable Energy Guidelines PDF for more details information.

There are a few requirements that Farmers EC has in place in order to maintain safety and reliability for our members and personnel when installing a Distributed Renewable Generation (DRG) system. After the system is installed, a Farmers EC representative will perform an inspection on the system. All the following requirements must be met.

  • The Agreement for Interconnection contract has been completed and signed by the owner of the DRG system.
  • A one-line drawing and system layout diagram has been submitted to Farmers EC.
  • A meter socket has been installed on the output of the DRG system (Refer to the Farmers EC Sample DRG One-Line and Sketch).
  • The DRG meter socket has been wired to have DRG production flow from bottom-up through the meter. (Refer to the Farmers EC Sample DRG One-Line and Sketch.)
  • visible lockable labeled disconnect (VLLD) device that has a visual break has been installed within ten feet of the utility billing meter. If not, a site directory placard indicating the location of the VLLD has been placed on the Member’s equipment beside the Cooperative’s billing meter.
  • The inverter is UL 1741 and IEEE 1547 compliant.
  • Systems more than 15kWdc will require and additional engineering study. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the DRG system does not exceed 110% of your two-year historic maximum demand. Contact Farmers EC before you begin construction and request a usage history report.

What happens to the energy I generate?

The energy that is generated by your DRG system will flow through Farmers EC Distributed Generation (DG) output meter and into your home. Your home will absorb all of the energy it needs from your DRG system and pull the rest from Farmers EC grid (in-flow). If your DRG system produces more energy than your home needs, the excess will flow back into Farmers EC grid (out-flow). This outflow can be seen on the Farmers EC billing meter.

DOWNLOAD: Renewable Energy Guidelines PDF for more details information.

Who can I call to install a DRG system?

Farmers EC does not recommend any particular installer. Contact Farmers EC and ask for a list of solar companies and contractors that you can call. The list you get will show all the solar companies that have done work for our Members. Please keep Farmers EC informed if you decide to move forward with a DRG system as there are certain procedures that must be followed.

DOWNLOAD: Renewable Energy Guidelines PDF for more details information.

Why does my inverter say it has produced a different amount than the Farmers EC meter?

While it is nice having your solar inverters tell you how much they have produced, many of them are not accurate enough for billing standards. This is one of the reasons why we provide a DG output meter to you at no additional cost. Utility grade meters have a less than 0.5% variance in accuracy, whereas some inverters can have as high as a 10% error in metering.

DOWNLOAD: Renewable Energy Guidelines PDF for more details information.

Why does my DRG system produce different amounts each month?

DRG systems rely on many different factors when it comes to system production. For example, if a month was particularly rainy, then there were fewer days of sunshine which means less production from your solar panels. Is there any shade on your panels? Sometimes leafs and other debris can land on your solar panels, reducing total production. Solar irradiance can also be quite different with the changing months. With the approach of the winter solstice, the days become shorter and the nights become longer. These, amongst many other factors, all play a role in your solar production. You can usually expect a bell curve where system performance is best during summer months and least during winter months.

DOWNLOAD: Renewable Energy Guidelines PDF for more details information.

Why is the received energy on my Billing Meter different than my DG Output Meter?

When your DRG system produces energy, it will be used to power your facilities. When your solar system produces more energy than your facility needs, the excess will flow into the grid (out-flow). Since your facility is consuming a portion of the energy generated by your DRG system, your billing meter will only be able to see the excess.

DOWNLOAD: Renewable Energy Guidelines PDF for more details information.

Does Farmers EC buy my power? How will my bill change?

Farmers Electric purchases all power sent to the grid (out-flow) at the current year’s avoided cost rate. You can find the rate of avoided cost on the Public Utility Commision of Texas (PUCT) website which ERCOT publishes each year.

Public Utility Commission of Texas

DOWNLOAD: Renewable Energy Guidelines PDF for more details information.

What are the solar rates and charges?

During each billing period, for power produced in excess of on-site requirements, as metered by the Cooperative billing meter, the Cooperative will purchase such excess production at Avoided Cost. Avoided Cost means the rate in dollars per kilowatt hours ($/kWh) as calculated by ERCOT and published by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) yearly. Follow the link below to see the current year’s avoided cost rate.

Public Utility Commission of Texas

All Solar/DG facilities will be billed a monthly DG facility charge in addition to their current basic Member charge. Refer to the table below to see the DG Facility charge amounts.

DOWNLOAD: Renewable Energy Guidelines PDF for more details information.

How big of a DRG system should I put in?

The size of the solar system should be specific to your own usage needs. You will want to take many things into consideration when choosing the size of your solar system. Contractors can help with the process, but it’s good to know how to size a system yourself.

  • STEP 1: Contact the Cooperative and ask for a 12-month usage history, you can use this to gauge your consumption trends. Look at the usage (kWh) and the demand (kW) values for each month.

  • STEP 2: You can use sites like pvwatts.nrel.gov to model a system. It will give you a monthly estimate on how much a DRG system of any given size will produce based on your geo location and other variables.

  • STEP 3: Compare the monthly kWh data from steps 1 and 2 and customize your system to your needs.

  • STEP 4: If the system is larger than 15 kWdc, verify that the size of the DRG system does not exceed 110% of your maximum historic demand.

DOWNLOAD: Renewable Energy Guidelines PDF for more details information.

What are the 2018 Renewable Energy Updates?

Effective January 1, 2018

  1. Farmers EC will no longer offer the 1:1 monthly net metering rate to new renewable installation accounts. All Members who have installed a system prior to January 1, 2018 will be able to remain on the net metering plan or opt-into the new avoided cost buyback structure.
  2. All new Distributed Renewable Generation (DRG) systems (e.g. solar and wind) will now be administered under an avoided cost buyback structure. Any excess generation (out-flow or overflow) that goes onto the grid will be purchased at the Avoided Cost rate that is calculated yearly by ERCOT and posted publicly by the PUCT. Refer to the link below for the posted avoided cost rates.

    Public Utility Commission of Texas
  3. A new Interconnection Agreement will be in use starting January 1, 2018. The old Agreement will no longer be accepted.
  4. The technical requirements for installation have not changed.
  5. Farmers EC provides a rebate of up to $500 for renewable energy systems that are 50kW or less.

Renewable Generation

Renewable Generation allows for members who utilize alternative power sources to receive benefits such as tax incentives. Download the PDF Renewable Generation and learn more. Then when you are ready download and complete the Interconnection Agreement to install your power solution.