Types of Connections

Your microFIT project can either be "directly connected" to the electricity distribution system or “indirectly connected.”

An indirect connection is where your project is connected to an existing building that is connected to the distribution system. See indirect connection in parallel and in-series.

A direct connection is where your project is connected to the grid separately from any other building.

The different connection configurations and their advantages and disadvantages are outlined below:

Please note that if you are planning to install a battery back-up system, it must be located "downstream" of the microFIT project generation meter. Battery back-up systems are not permitted for projects that are directly connected or indirectly connected in-series.

Indirectly connected in parallel

This figure shows the connection configuration of a indirectly connected project using a parallel configuration. The meter connected to the microFIT project is connected “in front of” the load customer’s meter (a home in this case). Electricity produced from the microFIT project does not flow directly into the home.



Advantage: the connection to the grid does not rely on the load customer’s connection to the grid. In other words, if the load customer is disconnected, your project will remain connected to the grid.

Disadvantage: typically more costly to install compared to the indirectly connected in series configuration. It also requires the load customer to be temporarily disconnected while the connection of the microFIT project takes place.

 

Directly connected

This figure shows the connection configuration of a directly connected project using a separate connection to the distribution grid. The meter connected to the microFIT project is completely separate from the load customer meter. Electricity produced from this microFIT project will flow directly to the distribution grid. This type of connection might be chosen if the project is located at a significant distance from the existing load customer (e.g., the house) and is closer to the main distribution system.

Advantage: the connection to the grid does not rely on the load customer’s connection to the grid. In other words, if the load customer is disconnected, your project will remain connected to the grid.

Disadvantage: typically more costly to install compared to the in parallel connection configuration. This type of connection requires a separate transformer for the microFIT project and can take longer for your LDC to complete.

 

Indirectly connected in-series

This figure shows the connection configuration of an indirectly connected project using an in-series configuration. The meter connected to the microFIT project is connected behind the load customer’s meter (a home in this case).

Advantages: typically costs less to install compared to the indirectly connected in parallel configuration, and might not require home to be physically disconnected from the grid to connect the system.

Disadvantages: the connection to the grid relies on the load customer’s connection to the grid.  If the load customer is disconnected, the project would also be disconnected from the grid. It also may not be permitted by all LDCs, and result in more complicated electricity bill settlement calculations.