Member Generated Power
More than 300 OPALCO members are generating renewable energy tied to the OPALCO electric grid. You can produce renewable energy at your home or business using solar, wind, micro-hydro or other small-scale renewable resources.
Begin by viewing the New Member Generator Checklist for step-by-step instructions. Then:
- Download the entire Interconnect Packet. This packet includes all of the policies, forms, and incentive details you need to get started.
- Choose either a Net Metering or Buy/Sell Interconnect contract to receive credit or payment for surplus energy generated. Read the Member Services Policy 14: Interconnection of Member Generators included in the Interconnect Packet.
- Pay special attention to requirements. For example, projects must meet OPALCO Interconnect Standards. Presently, 200 kilowatts is the maximum size for a system.
- Click the following to fill out the Interconnection Application and Agreement for Interconnection online:
OPALCO doesn’t recommend specific installers, but we do have a list of local installers to help you get started.
Rainshadow Solar – (360) 376-5336
Streamside Renewables – (360) 472-1946
Whidbey Sun & Wind – (360) 678-7131
Applications for the WA State Renewable Energy incentive pool have reached the Washington state-defined cap. The program is administered by the Washington State University Energy Program
NOTE: Incentive payouts will be decreased proportionally among production incentive applications beginning in 2014. For more information, see the Washington State Renewable Energy System Cost Recovery Incentive.
Local IncentivesMember-Owned Renewable Energy (M.O.R.E.). The M.O.R.E. incentive pool is funded by voluntary member donations to provide a production credit to local renewable member generators. The incentive amount is $0.035/kWh for systems online connected July 1, 2014 through January 2016. Currently new members can not sign up to participate in the M.O.R.E. program, but anyone can still donate to benefit existing participants. See MORE Policy 1 for full program details.
OPALCO has been notified by Washington State University, on behalf of the State of WA, that they will no longer be processing any new applications that were received after 3/28/2018 for certification for the Renewable Energy System Incentive Program. Information about the program is displayed below, and we hope future programs will emerge from the legislature. Contact your local State congress representatives, and learn about the legislative committees to influence new renewable incentive legislation.
WA State Renewable Energy System Incentive Program. The state production base incentive rates range from $0.02/kWh to $.21/kWh, and the incentive rate is higher for modules and inverters manufactured in the State of Washington.
The program is administered by the Washington State University (WSU) Energy Program. They have a $125 application fee, and require details about the system, along with a signed interconnect agreement with OPALCO. A Frequently Asked Questions document can be found on their website. New systems can be certified online through the WSU website, and questions about the program can be directed to email@example.com, or by calling (360) 956-2200.
The WA State Incentives are calculated by WSU based off production meter reads provided by OPALCO annually. Incentives are paid based on certification information provided by WSU.
Incentives through this program are not guaranteed by OPALCO. New systems may not be certified if the certification is likely to result in exceeding the State-defined available funding amount of $250,000, or 1.5% of OPALCO’s taxable power sales in calendar year 2014. Please contact WSU with questions.
NOTE: This incentive is capped by the State at $5,000 per year for each Member Generator and $250,000 per year in total incentive payouts for OPALCO.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Total applications for state incentives exceeded the $100,000 state-defined cap for OPALCO payouts beginning 6/30/14, and continuing into the current fiscal year. All member production incentive payments are now being decreased proportionally. The amount of the decreases are projected below. These are estimates only, and may vary based on the size and timing of pending installations, actual production levels, and the number of applications for incentives received from member generators:
- 6/30/14 payout factor – 92% (actual)
Example: A $0.15 payout rate was reduced to $0.138 in 2014
- 6/30/15 payout factor – 58% (actual)
Example: A $0.15 payout rate was reduced to $0.087 in 2015
- 6/30/16 payout factor – 55% (actual)
Example: A $0.15 payout rate was reduced to $0.084 in 2016
- 6/30/17 payout factor – 54% (actual)
Example: A $0.15 payout rate was reduced to $0.081 in 2017
- 6/30/18 payout factor – 55% (actual)
WSU applied the FY2016 factor to FY2018 payouts per the legislated requirement. Payouts for FY2019 and FY2020 will have the same 55% factor applied.
Federal Tax Credits
- Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit allows a taxpayer to claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States that is used as a residence by the taxpayer. This also includes battery storage systems attached to solar systems!
- For more information and details see www.dsireusa.org or www.energystar.gov/taxcredits. Extended through 2019.
Member Owned Renewable Energy Participation
Useful Links for Renewables
- American Solar Energy Society
- Northwest Community Solar Guide
- US DOE Renewable Energy
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- DIY Build It Solar
- Small Wind Certification Council
Renewables Technology Watch
- Tidal Research
- Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology
- An incredibly informative video about photovoltaics from IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers)