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.

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.

How do I apply?

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

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

Further information on the process to connect is available in Part A of our Embedded Generation Information Pack (PDF 1.3 mb).

Reference DocumentsPublished
Major Customer Preliminary Enquiry Form - Embedded Generators >30 kW (PDF 315.7 kb)September 2017
Major Customer Embedded Generation Application Form >30 kW to 5 MW (PDF 311.2 kb)September 2017

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

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.

Further information on the process to connect is available in Part B of our Embedded Generation Information Pack (PDF 1.3 mb).

Reference DocumentsPublished
Major Customer Preliminary Enquiry Form - Embedded Generators >30 kW (PDF 315.7 kb)September 2017
Embedded Generation Application Form >5 MW (PDF 618.4 kb)October 2016

Important information

Anyone who intends to operate more than 30 MW of generation capacity and connect it to a distribution or transmission network in Queensland, must first hold a generation authority or special approval. This authority is issued by the Department of Energy and Water Supply (DEWS).

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 DEWS 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 contact DEWS via email to discuss licensing requirements and the application process.

Reference documents for embedded generators

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

Documents Published
Embedded Generation Information Pack (PDF File, 1.3 MB) 29 Sep 2017
Large Scale Embedded Generation 5 MW and above Standard (PDF File, 999.0 KB) 1 Oct 2014
*STNW1165 - Standard for Connection of Embedded Generators (PDF File, 0 Bytes) 18 Aug 2016
STNW1174 Standard for Connection of EG Systems 30kW to 1500kW to a Distributor's LV Network (PDF File, 790.1 KB) 4 Sep 2017
Embedded Generation Register of Completed Projects (PDF File, 920.3 KB) 29 Jun 2016

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 226.5 kb) that applies by default under legislation).

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 8438.

Footnote

*The joint Ergon Energy and Energex connection standard for HV connected generating systems >30 kW to 5 MW is being drafted and will be released for comment in coming months. Until the joint standard is released, the STNW1165 - Standard for Connection of Embedded Generators remains current for embedded generating systems connected to the HV distribution network.

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