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Distributed generation: generating your own electricity

The term “distributed generation” means electricity that is generated in a manner that is the opposite of “centralized generation” (i.e. power plants). Small generators of electricity are distributed across each electric distribution utility (EDU) service territory.

Ohio’s interconnection rule, Ohio Administrative Code 4901:1-22, applies to all situations where an applicant seeks to physically connect distributed generation to, and operate it in parallel with, the EDU’s distribution system.

4901:1-22 defines “distributed generation” as: a general term for all or part of a system of a distributed electrical generator or static inverter either by itself or in the aggregate of twenty megawatts (MW) or less in size together with all protective, safety, and associated equipment installed at a point of common coupling on the EDU’s distribution system in close proximity to the customer load.

Under this definition, distributed generation is:

  • A variety of technologies that generate electricity
  • Serving a single structure (home or business) or part of a microgrid, but must be connected to the EDU’s distribution system
  • Not off-grid facilities, or facilities solely connected to municipally-owned utilities or rural electric cooperatives
  • Not solely renewables

Distributed Generation Maps

Questions to Consider
The interconnection process in Ohio begins by contacting your local utility. Want to simplify the review of your interconnection application? Please take a few minutes to consider the following:

  1. Is your generating equipment (either by itself or as part of a group of generators) larger than 20 megawatts?
     
  2. Is your generating equipment 25 kW or less with a certified inverter? Ask for the short application form. For everything else, ask for the standard application form.
     
  3. Do you want to use your generating equipment for net metering? Certain restrictions may apply. Under Ohio law, net metering is a customer billing arrangement, not a sale of electricity to the customer’s electric utility or retail electricity supplier. To qualify for net metering, the owner’s generating equipment must be installed primarily for the owner’s own use.