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.
Consultation underway for connection standards
Ergon Energy and Energex are developing joint standards for the connection to our networks of embedded generating systems >30 kW to 5 MW. One of these standards is for systems being connected to low voltage networks (up to 1,500 kW) and the second is for systems being connected to high voltage networks (up to 5 MW).
We have several connection processes, depending on the relevant rule applying to the classification, size of your proposed system and whether it is intended to allow the export of electricity back into our distribution network (exporting) or not (non-exporting). Read more below.
Generator registration with the 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 the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), except where they meet the exemption criteria.
We understand that the determination of automatic exemption can be complicated. For simplicity reasons, we have used the 5 MW benchmark as this is the most common differentiator (based on AEMO’s standing exemption for certain small generating units under 5 MW).
Generation up to 30 kVA
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).
Non-exporting embedded generating systems 30 kVA and above
Non-exporting embedded generating systems are those which we don't permit to export their excess electricity to our distribution network.
A non-exporting embedded generation system can include connection via an Inverter Energy System (IES) installation with a renewable energy source, such as solar panels, or via a rotating machine installation, such as diesel generators.
It can assist in the event of emergency outages, supply interruptions or, to help manage your demand on our network during peak energy use times.
Exporting embedded generating systems are designed to export their excess electricity to our distribution network.
These generating systems vary as to the source of their generation. Common types include solar, landfill generation, diesel generation used for back up supply and bagasse (the fibrous material left over from crushed sugar cane).
Exporting 30 kVA - 5,000 kW
This process aligns with Chapter 5 of the National Electricity Rules (NER) and applies to all embedded generator proponents whose generating systems benefit from the standing exemption from registration with AEMO (which generally applies to generating systems up to 5,000 kW).
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.
To establish or modify a generation connection to our distribution system, we require you to enter into a Negotiated Connection Establishment Contract (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 (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 that applies by default under legislation).
The relevant template contracts model agreements for an exporting generation connection are: