Customers wishing to install a renewable energy generation system, such as solar or wind, must have an approved City Building Permit prior to starting construction, and pass an inspection by the City Building Division after construction is completed.
A customer wishing to operate a renewable generation system as a net metering system must execute an interconnection agreement with the city, have the system pass an interconnection test witnessed by the city, and have final approval from the city prior to paralleling the generation system with the grid.
A grid refers to the city-owned electric utility system. A net metering system (NMS) is a system designed to generate electricity from renewable sources and to operate in parallel with the grid. In parallel means that the customer’s premises wiring is connected to the NMS and the grid at the same time.
Billing & Credits
If during a monthly billing period, the energy supplied by the grid to the customer is more than the energy fed back into the grid by the NMS, the customer will be billed for the difference at the rate normally charged for the type of customer and amount of energy used. If, on the other hand, the energy supplied is less than the energy fed back, the customer will be credited for the difference at a rate equal to the city’s average cost for wholesale electrical energy. This cost is calculated by the city each February for the summer months (May - October), and each August for the winter months (November - April).
Excess energy credits can be carried forward to subsequent billing periods indefinitely. Customers can’t receive monetary compensation for credits, transfer credits to another customer or premises, or use credits to offset other charges, such as the monthly customer charge.
Renewable Energy Credits
Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which are any benefits assigned by any governmental authority for renewable generation, are owned by the customer.
NMS Electrical Ratings
NMS capacity must not exceed the customer’s highest monthly demand. Additional requirements may apply if capacity exceeds 10 kilowatts for a single-phase NMS or 100 kilowatts for a 3-phase NMS.
NMS voltage, frequency, capacity and phasing must be compatible with the grid supply to the premises.
Metering & Disconnect Equipment
A disconnect switch, accessible to city personnel at all times, must be installed as shown in Figures 1 and 2 of the Boulder City Net Metering Policy (PDF). It must be an appropriately rated load-break switch that can, from outside its enclosure, be checked for open / closed status, be operated, and be padlocked in the open position.
The city will replace the standard electric revenue meter with a net meter without charge if the existing meter equipment and location meet current codes. The customer may request a REC meter, which the city will install at the customer’s expense.
A net meter is designed to measure energy flow either to or from the grid. A REC meter is a separate meter which measures the energy output of the NMS, and may be required to claim RECs.
The disconnect switch, and REC meter if installed, must be located within 10 feet of the net meter. All equipment must be tagged as shown in Figures 2 and 3.
Conditions of Installation
The NMS must meet all applicable safety and power quality standards established by the National Electrical Code (especially Articles 685, 690, and 705), Underwriters Laboratories (especially Standard1741), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (especially Standard 1547). The City must witness the commissioning tests required by these standards. A complete, signed test report must be submitted to the City before it provides final authorization for operation of the NMS in parallel with the grid.
The City Building Division may require a special inspection at customer expense if the NMS was not installed by a Nevada licensed C-2 or C-2g electrical contractor.
Contact the City Building Division for structural, setback, zoning, and other requirements pertaining to the building permit.
Conditions of Operation
The operation of the NMS must not reduce the quality of power on the grid or to other electric utility customers. No abnormal voltages, currents, frequencies, or interruptions are permitted.
The NMS must be adjusted so that if it automatically disconnects from the grid due to grid frequency or voltage deviating from the normal range specified in IEEE 1547, the NMS will not attempt to automatically reconnect until grid frequency and voltage are within the normal ranges for at least 60 seconds.
The NMS must never energize a de-energized portion of the grid. If any of the NMS’s protective devices which inhibit parallel operation with the grid operate, the customer will not attempt to restore parallel operation with the grid until authorized to do so by the City. If the city determines that the NMS malfunctioned, the customer must arrange for the problem to be corrected by a certified person and inspected by the city before parallel operation with the grid can be restored.
The customer will insure that periodic maintenance, inspections, and testing are performed in accordance with manufacturer instructions and the standards listed above. At a minimum, the customer will conduct the periodic interconnection tests described in IEEE Standard 1547 at least once every 2 years, and will notify the city so that it may witness the tests. The customer will maintain records of maintenance, inspections and testing, and make these records available to the city for inspection.
The city may disconnect the NMS or customer service for failure to comply with an installation or operating requirement, or to protect personnel, property, grid reliability, or power quality.
The customer must maintain adequate insurance, and is solely responsible for, and agrees to indemnify the city and its employees against any loss arising from the design, construction, operation, or maintenance of the NMS. The city does not warrant or assume liability for NMS safety, compliance with standards, reliability, durability, or performance arising from its employees conducting or failing to conduct reviews, inspections, testing, witnessing of testing, or approving NMS documents, equipment, installation, or site.
The customer is fully responsible for protecting the NMS. An NMS which is not properly protected may be damaged by switching operations or disturbances on the grid. The city is not responsible for damage to the NMS except if it negligently fails to correct a malfunction on the grid after being notified by the customer.