Planning for a renewable energy system is a multi-step process.
We can help.
We can help you understand the interconnection requirements and give you credible resources and information. With any system, maintaining the safety and reliability of the overall power grid is of the utmost priority. We’ll walk you through a number of safety precautions and what to consider before purchasing equipment.
Your goals for the project may impact several decisions going forward. Understanding your goals helps us ensure we take the best steps to meet them first.
Implementing energy efficiency products or programs before installing a solar system can save you money and reduce the cost and size of the your investment. Check out these energy tips, or give us a call and we can do an energy audit on your home or facility.
Know your electric provider's rate structure and interconnection process. We can help you understand your electric provider's rate structure, interconnection process, and how you may be compensated for excess energy. After all, we're a group of electric co-op utilities!
Analyze your electric load. We will examine your electric use history and fluctuations to help determine the size and type of system you will need to reach your goals.
Research local codes. Your county or community likely has specific codes and regulations you have to follow if you decide to install a system.
Complete additional research. The Iowa Utilities Board has developed an Informational Guide for On-Site Generation (Distributed Generation) to help consumers who are considering the installation of electric generation on their property. The Iowa Energy Center, who's mission includes "providing Iowans with reliable, objective information on energy and efficiency options," created a helpful publication called the Solar PV Energy Guide. Please review it as well as the information and resources they have available at www.iowaenergycenter.org
ICR has partnered with Van Meter Inc., a leading distributor of electrical services and supplies. Van Meter’s breadth of products and services includes automation, commodities, data communications, electrical, energy efficiency and renewable energy, lighting, power transmission and utilities.
They have everything you need for a solar installation in-stock and ready for delivery. With our partnership with Van Meter and their connection to leading manufacturers means you have access to a full-line of high-quality solar modules, inverters, racking systems, hardware and system components – all at a competitive price.
The general requirements for a consumer to install and interconnect wind or solar generation include paying for any interconnection devices that are necessary to protect the safety of utility representatives and to maintain the integrity of the delivery system. The consumer is also expected to carry liability insurance. Individuals must also pay for the necessary metering equipment used to measure kilowatt-hours (kWhs) delivered back to the grid by the consumer.
With the passage of House File 2301 by the Iowa Legislature, consumers installing renewable energy systems must provide notice to their utilities in writing 30 days before the generators are installed.
Safety hazards result if consumers install alternative generating sources, such as solar panels or small wind turbines, without notifying the utility of that installation. Should there be a power outage requiring work on electric lines, linemen may be unaware of the additional connected generation and think the line is dead. Linemen could be injured by power feeding back onto the line from the consumer's alternative energy sources.
When contacted about new alternative generation that will be installed, the utility will advise consumers about devices needed at the interconnection point that will keep power from flowing back onto the grid in maintenance or emergency situations.
The Utility's Responsibilities
Most utilities require a written agreement between the utility and the consumer to ensure proper communication and protections are in place prior to connection of the facility to the grid. Consideration must also be given to established requirements for installation, maintenance, metering, switching and liability insurance.
Federal Tax Credit
A Federal Tax Credit is available for a percentage of the cost of a residential solar PV system. In December 2020, Congress passed an extension of the Investment Tax Credit, which provides a 26% tax credit for systems installed in 2020-2022, and 22% for systems installed in 2023. (Systems installed before December 31, 2019 were eligible for a 30% tax credit.) The tax credit expires starting in 2024 unless Congress renews it. Visit energy.gov for more information and/or consult your tax advisor.
State Tax Credit
Qualifying installations must meet the criteria for the federal residential energy efficient property credit related to solar energy provided in sections 25D(a)(1) or 25D(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code. The credit amount for a residential installation that occurs after January 1, 2016, is equal to an applicable Iowa credit rate (see table below) up to $5,000. Residential installations placed in service after December 31, 2021, are not eligible for the Iowa credit. Visit iowa.gov for more information and/or consult your tax advisor.
Disclaimer: This information provides an overview of tax credits for those interested in residential or business solar photovoltaics, or PV. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance. And it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions, or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements.