Large number of solar panels in a paddock called a solar farm

Large generation & batteries

An embedded generating system (such as solar) is one that is connected to an electricity distribution network rather than 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
  • Thermal
  • Hydro
  • Diesel standby generating systems (that synchronize to the distribution 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 embedded generating system. This page describes the process for high voltage connected embedded generating systems. For LV, refer to our Solar connections & other technologies web pages.

Important information for generators

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.

There may be exceptions if you 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 visit the AEMO Utility Scale Battery Technology web page.

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 (DEPW). A failure to hold such an authorisation is an offence under the Electricity Act 1994 (Qld).

If you're 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 DEPW 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 DEPW on 13 74 68 to discuss licensing requirements and the application process.

Information to help with your application

To start your application, submit a formal connection enquiry to us. Your electrical contractor can complete the enquiry through the Electrical Partners Portal on your behalf.

Alternatively, you or your consultant can create the enquiry through Customer Self Service.

IMPORTANT: When completing the enquiry online, go to the ‘MyConnect’ section, select ‘Enquiry’, and then ‘Embedded Generation (inc. Solar) of more than 30kW’.

After we receive your enquiry, we'll allocate you a dedicated Project Sponsor, who will do the necessary network investigations, as well as scope and estimate your preferred connection options.

To connect a low voltage embedded generating system, please refer to these sections on our Low Voltage Generation web pages:

Further information on the process to connect a High Voltage EG System less than 5 MVA is available in Part A of our latest Embedded Generation Information Pack (PDF 2.4 mb) (PDF 2.7 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 electricity 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 standby systems)
  • Exporting EG systems via renewable energy technology such as solar, wind and biogases

You can use our Enquiry Form in Customer Self Service or use our manual form Major Customer Connection Enquiry Form (MCF003) (PDF 487.4 kb) and follow the instructions to start the connection process if you wish.

Further information on the process to a High Voltage EG system above 5 MVA is available in Part B of our latest Embedded Generation Information Pack (PDF 2.4 mb) (PDF 2.7 mb)

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 5 MVA)
  • generating systems that do benefit from the standing exemption that have elected to use the Chapter 5 connection process.

You can use the Enquiry Form in Customer Self Service or use our manual form Major Customer Connection Enquiry Form (MCF003) (PDF 487.4 kb) and follow the instructions to start the connection process if you wish.

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 for embedded generators

Please refer to our Manuals & fact sheets web page 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 contact our Major Customer Team.