Utility Rules, Rates and Contracts for Customer Solar and Wind - Detroit Lakes

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Utility Rules, Rates and Contracts for Customer Solar and Wind - Detroit Lakes

Date: January 4, 2018
  • 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Location: Detroit Lakes Public Utility Electric Dept., 1743 North Tower Road, Detroit Lakes, MN
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Regional Meeting

Municipal utilities can govern customer generation interconnections ONLY IF they officially adopt appropriate regulatory rules, rates and contract forms pursuant to state laws related to distributed generation (DG). Without the right procedures in place, municipal utilities are subject to DG regulatory interference by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC). As customers are increasingly interconnecting to the grid statewide, it is extremely important that each municipal utility adopt these regulatory tools and understand how they affect customer and utility rights and obligations. 

MMUA, along with Star Energy, has developed a set of model rules with a contract template specifically for use by municipal utilities to affirm local control while following state law as required. At any one of four regional half-day training sessions hosted by MMUA, municipal utilities can receive the tools and knowledge they need to serve customers seeking to interconnect solar, wind and other generation.

Since 1983, state DG law has allowed for municipal utility governing bodies to implement its provisions in place of the MPUC upon local adoption of rules “consistent with” MPUC-promulgated rules. Many utilities have not adopted rules because customers have not shown an interest in wind or solar — yet. However, solar panel prices have fallen substantially in recent years AND federal tax subsidies that make them more affordable were renewed in 2016. Is your utility ready?

Even though a 2017 state law change eliminated a MPUC customer dispute resolution process for municipals and cooperatives, a municipal utility without its own rules in place still could be subject to control by the MPUC. 

And utilities that have not yet adopted state law compliant rules or have an incomplete understanding of their utility’s role could find themselves discussing interconnection issues with customers or installers who have a better understanding than they do of a customer’s rights and the utility’s obligations. Every municipal electric utility should avoid this situation by attending one of these regional training sessions and bringing home its valuable materials.

Who should attend?

This event focuses on utility policy and state regulatory compliance and is intended for management and/or upper level operations personnel of ALL Minnesota municipal electric utilities and appropriate municipal power agency personnel.

Advanced registration is required.

About the Speaker

Kristi Robinson, Senior Electrical Engineer with Star Energy Services, will lead the discussion. Kristi started her career in 2002 as a Distribution System Engineer at Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric. In late 2015, Kristi made the change to Star Energy Services. Her primary areas of responsibility include system planning, renewable policy and regulation, metering, integration of utility technologies, cost of service studies and operation management of Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative.

Kristi conducted similar training in summer/fall this year for all of the state’s cooperatives. After MMUA staff participated in one of those sessions, it was clear she should be the expert to take municipals through the process as well. MMUA’s Bill Black will accompany Kristi during each session, but she will lead them.


This convenient, one-day event will be presented at four different locations in Minnesota. Locations are:

November 21, 2017 Owatonna
December 14, 2017 — Grand Rapids
January 4, 2018 — Detroit Lakes
January 18, 2018 — Marshall

To register for a different date/location, link above.

Registration Fee

$125 per person for members; $175 per person for non-members. Attendees must be from a municipal electric utility or power agency. Registration fee includes workshop tuition, materials, refreshments and lunch.


MMUA will issue a refund on an advanced registration, less $25 per person processing fee, provided MMUA is notified by 4:30 pm on/before December 22, 2017.


By registering for this event I/we, the registered attendee(s), authorize Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to photograph me at this event and use such photographs in MMUA marketing materials (both electronic and print). I understand that I will not be paid for giving this consent.


Contact Rita Kelly at 763.746.0707 or email rkelly@mmua.org.

printable brochure for this regional workshop is also available.


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