Interconnecting your DER with Connexus Energy’s distribution system

State of Minnesota Interconnection Process

Connexus Energy has adopted rules developed by the State of Minnesota pertaining to the interconnection of Distributed Energy Resource (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.

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

The process and associated documents are established based on the size (rating) of the DER system and type of interconnection. The Overview Process document provides a comprehensive explanation of the interconnection process and requirements across all sizes of interconnections, up to 10 MW in size.

Interconnection process and associated documents are set up into process tracks based on DER size, as listed below in Table 1. An explanation of interconnection process specific to each track is listed along with the track. Click on the link to access the process document.


Table 1: Table of Interconnection Tracks Based on DER Size:

Process Track DER Capacity Size Process Overview Document
Simplified Up to 20 kW Simplified Process
Fast Track Over 20 kW up to 4 MW (4,000 kW) Fast Track Process
Study Up to 10 MW Study Process

Given the very wide range of DER size covered by the Fast Track process, the process to follow and documents to use for net metering applications of systems less than 40kW is referenced below in Table 2 – Net Metering Interconnections.

Net metering is interconnection of DER where the utility will compensate the interconnected customer for any excess generation produced above what is used by the customer. The utility will purchase the excess energy at rates in accordance with current tariffs. More information about net metering can be found MN PUC website.




Energy Storage Interconnection

The Energy Storage Application must be completed and submitted for all energy storage DER interconnections in addition to the Simplified or Standard Interconnection Applications, whichever is applicable to the DER size.

Interconnection Technical Requirements

The Cooperative Minnesota Technical Interconnection and Interoperability Requirements (TIIR) specifies technical requirements applicable to the full range of sizes and types of DER facilities to be interconnected. The Connexus Technical Specification Manual (TSM) is to be used in conjunction with the TIIR and identifies technical requirements and guidelines specific to Connexus Energy..

Rate Schedules

Rates applicable to all DER interconnections and programs may be found here. The following are rates applicable to net metering applications with DER less than 40 kW capacity:

Please contact Connexus Energy DER Interconnection Coordinator for rate schedules applicable to DER sizes of 40 kW and larger.

Submitting an Interconnection Application

Interconnection applications including all attachments and supporting documentation may be submitted via hard copy or email.

If by email, send to DER.InterconnectionCoordinator@connexusenergy.com

If by hard copy, send to Connexus Energy, C/O DER Interconnection Coordinator, 14601 Ramsey Blvd NW, Ramsey, MN 55303

All interconnection application fees are to be paid by check and sent via US mail to the above address.
Connexus Energy does not currently have an on-line system for preparing and submitting interconnection applications, however we anticipate having an on-line system in place in the near future.

Contact Information

Submit all interconnection applications and any subsequent documentation via email to: DER.InterconnectionCoordinator@connexusenergy.com

If you have any specific questions you need assistance with, please contact by email, call, or text: DER.InterconnectionCoordinator@connexusenergy.com
763.691.8981

If the existing meter seal must be cut for access service wiring or removal of the meter as part of the installation, the electrician or project manager must call 763.323.2650 for notification prior to cutting the seal.

If you need to have power disconnected to accommodate installation, please call our scheduling department at 763.323.4215 in advance to schedule a crew for the disconnect.


Frequently Asked Questions

How is the system size determined?

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. See page 19 "Nameplate Rating" in Overview Process for detail.

Can I construct it on the ground or only roof top?

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.

Does Connexus install solar?

Connexus Energy does not install solar generation systems for members, however will work with members and their contractors or agents to assist with the interconnection process.

Do panels work with snow on them?

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 buy 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.

How much does solar cost?

Connexus Energy will not publish cost of solar because we do not sell or market solar generation and pricing can vary between suppliers. You may call one of our Member Service Specialists to discuss what we see as trends, however contact a solar energy supplier for actual pricing.

How long do panels last?

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.

Will you buy back my excess electricity?

Connexus Energy will buy back excess energy generated by renewable energy systems that is not consumed for systems less than 40 kW in size. See Connexus Energy rates for available rates. This does not include energy storage that is discharged by an energy storage system.

Do you have contractors you recommend?

Connexus Energy does not recommend contractors for you to use. We can provide a list of contractors who have supplied systems within Connexus territory however it is up to the applicant to vet suppliers.

Can we pay the application fee with a credit card?

Currently Connexus Energy does not have a system in place to be accepting credit card payments for interconnection application fees. We will be setting up an on-line application system in the near future.

Do I need to have it inspected?

Your DER system must be inspected and approved by a Minnesota licensed electrical inspector and final on-site inspection by Connexus Energy, prior to being provided approval to operate. This applies for 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.

Am I limited in system size by how much electricity I use?

Not if the system is net metering sized less than 40 kW. The system size must be less than 40 kW nameplate, and must produce less than 40 kW of AC power.

What is net metering?

Installing and operating an electric generation facility for the purpose of offsetting energy use through the use of renewable energy, such as solar and wind. The utility’s electric service meter will monitor power both consumed and delivered by the generation facility, and the owner is compensated by either offset of purchased energy or paid for excess energy generated.

What are the federal tax credits?

The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 26% tax credit for residential and commercial solar systems in 2020, a 22% tax credit in 2021 and a 10% tax credit for commercial and utility scale solar in 2022 with 0% for residential installations.

Will I still have an electrical bill?

You will always have a bill. Your bill will show power consumed and also excess power delivered to the distribution system if you generated more than you used.

Can I install it myself?

Yes. Connexus Energy 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 Minnesota qualified electrical inspector, and final inspection and witness test by Connexus Energy.

Do you rebate/incentivize solar?

No. Connexus Energy 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.

Why is there a grid access fee?

The grid access fee is a means of all members pay equal share of use of the grid and avoid cross subsidization of fixed costs.

How do you read what excess electricity my system produces?

Connexus Energy 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.

Do I need a production meter?

Connexus Energy does not require a production meter. A production meter may certainly be installed, however since it is not required by Connexus Energy, it must be provided by the applicant or applicant’s contractor.

Can my contractor or electrician cut the meter seal and remove the Connexus Energy meter if needed to complete wiring and installation of my solar or storage system?

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 Connexus Energy at 763.323.2650 prior to cutting the seal to avoid being assessed a fee.

I am installing a generator at my home to serve as an emergency power source. Do I need to go through the interconnection process?

No. However, there are still technical requirements that must be applied and adhered to for interconnecting an emergency generator to building wiring. Please see the following for requirements: Emergency Generator - Open Transition Switch Requirements

Do you have information/websites to learn about solar?