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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 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.

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

Connection Standard for HV connected generating systems released

We've released the joint standard with Energex that will apply to all embedded generating systems connected at either low voltage (LV) or high voltage (HV), where the connection point with us is to the HV distribution network.

Refer to STNW1175 Connection Standard for HV Connected Generating Systems (PDF 1.1 mb) which is effective from 13 August 2018.

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 Natural Resources Mines and Energ (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 30 kVA

Inverter-based generating systems up to 30 kVA are generally referred to as mini or micro embedded generating (micro EG) units. To connect a micro EG unit up to 30 kVA, please refer to the relevant sections on our Business connections webpage, or call 1300 553 924 (Mon to Fri, 8am - 5pm).

My EG System is >30 kW to 5 MW, 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 1.8 mb).

Reference DocumentsPublished
Major Customer Preliminary Enquiry Form - Embedded Generators >30 kW (PDF 313.7 kb) September 2017
Major Customer Embedded Generation Application Form >30 kW to 5 MW (PDF 296.0 kb) September 2017

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 5 MW, 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

My EG System is above 5 MW 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 1.8 mb).

Reference DocumentsPublished
Major Customer Preliminary Enquiry Form - Embedded Generators >30 kW (PDF 313.7 kb)September 2017
Embedded Generation Application Form >5 MW (PDF 354.7 kb)October 2016

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 MW)
  • 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

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 refer to this as the Construction Contract). This sets out the works that both parties will need to perform for the connection.

In addition, due to the nature of your facility, we expect that you will also enter into a separate Negotiated Ongoing Connection Contract (PDF 856.9 kb) (we refer to this as 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 308.7 kb) that applies by default under legislation).

Reference documents for embedded generators

Please also refer to the Major Customer Connections Manuals and Fact Sheets.

Annual Reports
Documents Published
Embedded Generation Information Pack 2018-19 (PDF File, 1.8 MB) 12 Oct 2018
Major Customer Enquiry Form - EG > 30 kW (PDF File, 313.7 KB) 5 Oct 2018
Embedded Generation Application Form greater than 5MW (PDF File, 354.7 KB) 31 Oct 2016
Export Embedded Generation App Form 30kW to 5MW (PDF File, 571.3 KB) 11 Aug 2016
Embedded Generation Register of Completed Projects (PDF File, 749.6 KB) 24 Oct 2018
STNW1174 Standard for Connection of EG Systems 30kW to 1500kW to a Distributor's LV Network (PDF File, 649.4 KB) 21 Sep 2018
STNW1175 Standard for Connection of Embedded Generating Systems to a Distributor's HV Network (PDF File, 1.1 MB) 3 Sep 2018
Standards Alert StdsA421 - Ratings Parameters and Assumptions for Large Renewable Connections (PDF File, 583.8 KB) 4 Oct 2018

Get in touch

Do you have a specific question about connecting an embedded generator?

If so, please contact our Major Customer Connections Group at majorconnections@ergon.com.au, or speak to our representative on (07) 3664 8505.

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