Large generation and batteries

An embedded generating (EG) system (such as solar) is one that is connected to a distribution network rather than connected to the high voltage transmission network.

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
  • Thermal
  • Hydro
  • Diesel standby generating systems (that synchronize to our network for momentary or extended periods)
  • Large grid-connected utility scale battery technology.

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 EG system. This webpage describes the process for high voltage connected EG systems. For LV, refer to our Low Voltage Generation webpages.

Important information for generators

On 18 December 2020 a new version of AS/NZS 4777.2 was released. AS/NZS 4777.2:2020 came into effect 12 months from the release, on 18 December 2021. For more information about this change, please see our FAQs document (PDF 743.9 kb).

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.

For information on the AEMO generation registration requirements and participant categories in the National Electricity Market (NEM), please see AEMO’s website and relevant guidelines.

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 Energy and Public Works (EPW). 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 EPW 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 EPW on 13 74 68 to discuss licensing requirements and the application process.

How do I apply for connection?

My EG system is low voltage

To connect a low voltage EG system, please refer to the relevant sections on our Low Voltage Generation webpages.

My EG System is less than 5 MVA for a high voltage connection point and has the benefit of the standing exemption (and I do not plan to register with AEMO)

Further information on the process to connect a high voltage EG System less than 5 MVA is available in Part A of our Embedded Generation Information Pack (PDF 2.5 mb).

These EG 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 EG 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 up to 5 MVA, 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.

If your EG system is for a high voltage connection point, you can use our Enquiry Form (PDF 487.4 kb) to start the connection process.

My EG system is above 5 MVA and is required to be registered with AEMO (or I intend on applying for an exemption)

Further information on the process to connect a high voltage EG system above 5 MVA is available in Part B of our Embedded Generation Information Pack (PDF 2.5 mb).

These 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 EG systems that will be registered or otherwise do not benefit from the standing exemption (which generally applies to generating systems up to 5 MVA)
  • Generating systems that do benefit from the standing exemption that have elected to use the Chapter 5 connection process.

If your EG system is for a high voltage connection point, you can use our Enquiry Form (PDF 487.4 kb) to start the connection process.

Information regarding participant categories and NEM classifications can be found on AEMO’s website.

Connection contracts

The National Electricity Rules provides that after a Connection Application is made, the parties are to enter into a Negotiated Ongoing Connection Contract (we call this the Connection Agreement). This governs the ongoing connection of your facility to our distribution network after the completion of the works (rather than rely upon the Deemed Standard Connection Contract that applies by default under legislation).

In addition, where works are required to establish or modify a generation connection to our distribution network, we require you to enter into a Negotiated Connection Establishment Contract (we call this the Construction Contract). This sets out the works that both parties will need to perform for the connection.

Reference documents

Please refer to our Manuals, Forms and Fact Sheets webpage for further reference documents relating to our major connections, including embedded generators.

Get in touch

Do you have a specific question about connecting a large scale embedded generator?

If so, please see how to contact us on our Major Customer Team webpage.