Interconnection refers to the process and method for connecting your turbine to the utility grid.
Interconnection of small generators (like wind) is allowed in certain parts of Canada, and you will need to contact your utility to see if it is possible in your area. Note that interconnection is still a relatively new concept for many utilities and inspectors, and you should be prepared to invest time and energy in the process.
For example, in some cases electrical safety inspectors will require that additional equipment (such as a ground fault switch) be installed in order for a small wind turbine installation to be certified, which can end up creating more expenses than anticipated.
Interconnection rules will usually specify the following parameters:
- Interconnection method. Specifies what standard may apply to connect the system, and what types of meters are required.
- Technology and size restrictions. Determines which generation technologies are eligible for net metering, and specifies the maximum allowable rated capacity that can be connected to the system (systems above that threshold must connect in the same way as large generators).
- Maximum total capacity. Defines the maximum power rating of all your aggregated distributed generation sources connected through one interconnection point.
- Power quality. Governs the quality of the electrical signal your generation equipment provides into the grid, in order to maintain the quality standards necessary for maintaining the grid and selling to grid customers.
- Safety. Places stringent safety requirements on your distributed energy generation equipment and your interconnection hardware and software. This sufficiently protects both your equipment and the grid during power spikes, surges, or blackouts suffered on either side of the interconnection point.
The Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association of Canada (EEMAC) Council within Electro-Federation Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and Measurement Canada (an agency of Industry Canada) have committed to a collaborative project called MicroPower Connect.
This project is designed to support the manufacturers of alternative electrical energy (i.e. photovoltaic, wind, fuel cells, and micro turbines) by developing and promoting Canadian interconnection and net metering guidelines for small distributed power generation.
Canadian utilities that formally allow and support grid interconnection are listed by the MicroPower Connect project. In addition, you can call your local utility to find out their latest news.