Large scale renewables and generation
An embedded generating system (such as solar) is one that is connected to a distribution network rather than connected to the high-voltage transmission network.
Embedded generating (EG) systems vary in type and size from a typical 1 kW domestic solar photovoltaic (PV) unit to a 50 MW wind farm, and may include, among other things, the following technologies:
- Solar PV cells
- Bagasse (the fibrous material left-over from crushed sugar cane)
- Wind turbines
The process of connecting an embedded generator to the distribution network is regulated by the National Electricity Rules (NER).
We have several connection processes, depending on the size and regulatory classification of your proposed embedded generating system.
Important information for generators
Give feedback on our Draft Connection Standard for HV EG Connections
We are consulting on the STNW1175 Standard for HV EG Connections Version 3 on our Talking Energy website. We are keen to hear your feedback by 7 September 2020.
Generator registration with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)
Under the NER, any person who owns, controls or operates a generating system connected to a distribution network, must register as a generator with AEMO. The exception being where they either have the benefit of AEMO’s standing exemption (which usually applies to generating systems less than 5 MW in size) or have applied individually to AEMO and received a specific exemption.
Utility scale battery technology
AEMO is reviewing utility scale battery technology in the NEM. For further information see AEMO Utility Scale Battery Technology webpage.
Authority for generation capacity over 30 MW
If you intend to operate more than 30 MW of generation capacity and connect it to a distribution or transmission network in Queensland, you must first hold a generation authority or special approval.
This authority is issued by the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy (DNRME). A failure to hold such an authorisation is an offence under the Electricity Act 1994 (Qld).
If you are proposing to operate more than 30 MW of generation capacity at a site and connect it to a network, we strongly suggest that you contact DNRME early in your planning process. This will allow for the application to be made to the Director General, considered and approved before the proposed connection. The process can typically take four months from application.
You can call DNRME on 13 43 87 to discuss licensing requirements and the application process.
How do I apply for connection?
My EG System is inverter-based and up to 30kW
Inverter-based generating systems up to 30kW are generally referred to as mini or micro embedded generating (micro EG) units. To connect a micro EG unit up to 30kW, please refer to the relevant sections on our Business connections webpage, or call 1300 553 924.
My EG System is >30 kW to 5MVA, has the benefit of the standing exemption and I do not plan to register with AEMO
Further information on the process to connect is available in Part A of our Embedded Generation Information Pack (PDF 4.2 mb).
|Major Customer Preliminary Enquiry Form - Embedded Generators>30kW (PDF 875.4 kb)||April 2020|
|Major Customer Embedded Generation Application Form - Embedded Generators 30kW-5MVA asset_summary_503271%||June 2020|
These embedded generating systems can help manage your demand on our network during peak energy use times and assist in the event of emergency outages or supply interruptions.
Typically, such embedded generating systems benefit from AEMO’s standing exemption and are required to follow the connection process under Chapter 5A of the NER.
These EG systems include configuration arrangements > 30 kW to 5MVA, such as:
- Non exporting embedded generator via an IES (including renewable energy sources such as solar)
- Non exporting EG systems via rotating machines (i.e. diesel)
- Exporting EG systems via renewable energy technology such as solar, wind and biogases
You can use the Enquiry Form in the Customer Portal to start the connection process.
My EG System is above 5MVA and is required to be registered with AEMO (or I intend on applying for an exemption)
Further information on the process to connect is available in Part B of our Embedded Generation Information Pack (PDF 4.2 mb).
|Major Customer Preliminary Enquiry Form - Embedded Generators >30 kW (PDF 875.4 kb)||April 2020|
|Embedded Generation Application Form >5 MW (PDF 542.0 kb)||April 2020|
These embedded generating systems can range from an EG system to help manage your demand on our network to large scale commercial renewable energy EG Systems who buy and sell in the NEM.
The connection process under Chapter 5 of the NER applies to:
- all embedded generating systems that will be registered or otherwise do not benefit from the standing exemption (which generally applies to generating systems up to 5MVA)
- generating systems that do benefit from the standing exemption that have elected to use the Chapter 5 connection process.
Information regarding participant categories and NEM classifications can be found on AEMO’s website.
Model connection agreements
Negotiated connection offers
The National Electricity Rules provides that after a Connection Application is made, the parties are to enter into a Connection Contract. Please refer to our Negotiated Ongoing Connection Contract (PDF 856.9 kb) (we call this the Connection Agreement). This governs the ongoing connection of your facility to our distribution system after the completion of the works (rather than rely upon the Deemed Standard Connection Contract (PDF 277.3 kb) that applies by default under legislation).
In addition, where works are required to establish or modify a generation connection to our distribution system, we require you to enter into a Negotiated Connection Establishment Contract (PDF 999.0 kb) (we call this the Construction Contract). This sets out the works that both parties will need to perform for the connection.
Basic Connection Offers
If your Connection Offer Type has been classified as a Basic Connection Offer in accordance with our 2020-2025 Connection Policy (PDF 680.0 kb), our model Standing Offer governs the ongoing connection of your facility to our distribution system.
Reference documents for embedded generators
Please also refer to the Major Customer Connections Manuals and Fact Sheets.
Get in touch
Do you have a specific question about connecting an embedded generator?