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A DER is any device or system that generates or stores electrical energy interconnected to the utility electrical distribution system. DER technologies can include photovoltaic solar systems, wind turbines, energy storage batteries, diesel generators, etc., and are not limited to renewable technologies.

Cass County Electric Cooperative has adopted rules pertaining to the interconnection of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) to the electrical distribution system. It is required that the process be followed for any interconnection of a DER to the electrical distribution system. CCEC has two Board approved policies that pertain to the interconnection of renewable generation to the CCEC electric distribution system.

Net-billing Policy
Distributed Energy Resource Policy

The following documents have been prepared to explain the process of interconnecting a generation system with Cass County Electric Cooperative. They contain general overview information, including the process that needs to be followed to connect to CCEC's distribution system and the technical requirements that need to be followed.

  • Interconnection process document provides a comprehensive explanation of the interconnection process and requirements across all sizes of interconnections, up to 10 MW.

  • Technical requirement document is designed to provide technical requirements for renewable, storage, and fossil fuel DER systems specific to the Area Electric Power System Operator.

Applications for Interconnection Tracks Based on DER Size: The process and associated documents below are established based on the size (rating) of the DER system and the type of interconnection. These forms can be downloaded electronically, and the data blanks filled in electronically. Click on and fill out the appropriate application and return to:

DER Coordinator
Cass County Electric Cooperative
4100 32nd Ave S
Fargo, ND 58104

Tier I application            Up to 20KW inverter-based systems - extended parallel.

Tier II application           Up to 10 MW standby systems - open/closed transision, limited parallel, no extended parallel.

Tier III application          20 KW to 10 MW systems - extended parallel.

Below are typical flow charts for a more simplified interconnection vs. one requiring additional studies.   

Interconnection process flow chart
Studies option flow chart

If you have any questions regarding the interconnection of a generation system to Cass County Electric's system, please call our engineering and operations department at 701-356-4455 (toll-free at 800-248-3293) or contact us here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Total system size is based on the total aggregate nameplate capacity ratings of all elements of the DER system that will be generating or discharging power. For renewable energy sources such as solar generation, this would be the AC power rating of the inverter or sum of ratings of multiple inverters.

Solar generation may be installed on roof top or ground mount. Contact your local government agency for applicable codes for the DER you want to install.

Cass County Electric Cooperative does not install solar generation systems for members, however, we will work with members and their contractors or agents to assist with the interconnection process.

Anything that impedes sunlight reaching the elements internal to solar panels will hinder generation. A cloudy sky, fog, and rain will significantly reduce solar generation, but may not totally prevent it. Snow or ice directly on the panels will significantly reduce solar generation, and if completely snow or ice covered, likely completely impede generation.

Cass County Electric Cooperative will not publish the cost of solar because we do not sell or market solar generation, and pricing can vary between suppliers. You may call our Engineering Department at 701-356-4455 to discuss what we see as trends; however, contact a solar energy supplier for actual pricing.

The typical life cycle of solar panels, barring damage from impact, is approximately 20 years. However, solar panels will degrade and produce less energy as they reach their expected lifespan.

Yes, Cass County Electric has a Net Billing Policy.

Your DER system must be inspected and approved by a North Dakota licensed electrical inspector and final on-site inspection by Cass County Electric Cooperative, prior to being provided approval to operate. This applies to all systems interconnected to the distribution system, either behind the service meter or grid-connected, and whether completed by a home or business owner or a hired contractor.

No, net billing is allowed for systems up to 40 kW. Systems larger than that would be subject to Minnkota’s self-supply rate for excess energy.

The power produced by a member-owned DER  system will offset power that would otherwise be purchased from Cass County Electric Cooperative. If the system produces more power than the member consumes, CCEC will provide net energy credit for excess kilowatt-hour (kWh) generation. Depending on the rate schedule elected by the member in the Net Billing  Agreement, CCEC will either purchase the excess kWh generation or credit the account.

Members with DER  systems still have charges on their bill that offset the net energy credit, such as the cost of basic service, energy usage, yard lights, taxes and fees.

It is the responsibility of the member and contractor to determine the optimal solar system nameplate capacity to fit the member’s needs.

Yes. Cass County Electric Cooperative does not require the applicant to contract with a supplier to install the system. However, the applicant is still required to follow the interconnection process starting with the application and approval and must have the completed system pass inspection by a State of North Dakota qualified electrical inspector and final inspection and witness test by CCEC.

No. Cass County Electric Cooperative supports members interconnecting renewable resources to the grid and will credit excess power delivered to the grid with the strategy that each member pays their own way.

Cass County Electric Cooperative will install a bi-directional meter that will measure and record the energy you consume and the excess you export to the grid on two separate registers. Once a month, we will read these registers remotely and use those readings to calculate your bill.

Yes, it is required by policy to install a production meter.

If the existing meter seal must be cut to access service wiring or remove the meter as part of the installation, the electrician or project manager must call Cass County Electric Cooperative at 701-356-4400 prior to cutting the seal to avoid being assessed a fee.

No. However, there are still technical requirements that must be applied and adhered to for interconnecting an emergency generator to building wiring.

Cass County Electric Cooperative does not recommend contractors for you to use. We can provide a list of contractors who have supplied systems within CCEC territory, however, it is up to the applicant to vet suppliers.