AYDEN — With an eye on controlling future electric costs, the Ayden Board of Commissioners unanimously approved ElectriCities recommend interconnection standards at its Nov. 9 meeting.

ElectriCities Vice President of Operations Kathy Mooring said there are federal, state and local standards that outline how generation and energy resources can be interconnected to an electric system.

The state has established interconnection standards for small generators, she said. ElectriCities has gone one step further and developed its own set of standards similar to the state’s.

Establishing these standards allows for uniformity across electric utilities and provides a comprehensive resource to help implement distributed generation and energy resources, Mooring said.

Distributed energy resources are a combination of distributed generators. They can include traditional sources, such as batteries, and renewable fuel sources, such as solar or wind energy. These devices are typically placed on meters and allow for energy to be used during peak hours of operation.

Having these distributed energy resources can help customers save money on utilities since alternative sources of energy are used during peak hours, Mooring said.

Customers also could receive compensation for stored energy, Mooring said.

Customers would have the option to install distributed energy resources and would do so at their own cost, she said.

“The marketplace and industry is changing,” said Ayden Mayor Steve Tripp. “What you’re seeing is what can we do to beat the peak. The newest thing is the battery power and how to use the battery storage to beat the peak.

“It’s good to have something in place now instead of when something happens,” Tripp said. “We have to understand the marketplace and how we adapt to the marketplace. This will be the future.”

But approval of the standards is just one step in the process, officials said.

“It’s a long ways off of being settled,” said Town Manager Matthew Livingston.

“ It looks like batteries are going to be a thing of the future to help offset electrical cost,” Livingston said.

Contact Donna Marie Williams at dwilliams@ncweeklies.com.