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Connecting Distributed Generation

to The Lines Company network

Distributed Generation (DG) is any equipment used to generate electricity that is connected to the distribution network. This includes fixed generation such as solar panels, wind turbines and hydro generation that may be connected to supply homes and businesses.

Connecting to Distributed Generation (DG)

It is important to apply to The Lines Company before you connect DG

It is vital that The Lines Company is aware of all connected generation sources to maintain the quality of supply to our customers, and to ensure the safety of our staff working on the electricity system during faults and planned maintenance.

About DG

DG is split into two categories;

  • Less than 10kW — these are generally installed into homes and small businesses.
  • Over 10kW — these are usually larger more complex systems used by industrial customers or large businesses.

As the number of DG systems connected to the network increases, the energy they generate may impact the impact the operations and management of the network.

To manage this, we have created a congestion management policy, outlined later in this document. All distributed generation must comply with this policy.

VIEW THE DISTRIBUTED GENERATION POLICY

 

What you need to know

There are four things you need to know before you connect DG to the network

  • You must apply before you connect
  • You must only connect approved DG equipment
  • You must follow the approval process and TLC policies outlined in this document
  • There is a fee to apply to connect DG which is:
    — $200 if the system small — e.g. a typical residential solar system less than 10kW
    — Assessed and advised by TLC if the system is large (more than 10kW)
I want to connect a small system (less than 10kW)
I want to connect a large system (more than 10kW)

Application process to connect a small system (less than 10kW)

The application process to connect a small system depends on whether the inverter is already approved by TLC.

If your inverter is on TLC’s approved list, follow the Short Process outlined below.

If you have already purchased your inverter and it is not the approved list of inverters then check if it has a declaration of conformity to AS/NZS4777.2.

If it does have a declaration of conformity to AS/NZS477.2 then follow the Short Process outlined below. If it does not, then TLC will need to do a technical assessment on the inverter. Follow the Full Process outlined below

Process outlined below. If it does not, then TLC will need to do a technical assessment on the inverter. Follow the Full Process outlined below.

Short process

  1. Fill out the application form with generator details and pay the application fee.
  2. TLC will confirm receipt of application within 2 business days
  3. TLC will approve or decline the application within 10 business days.

Full process

  1. Fill out the application form with generator details and pay the application fee.
  2. TLC will confirm receipt of application within 5 business days
  3. TLC will approve or decline the application within 30 business days
  4. TLC will advise if additional processes such as pre and post installation inspections are required, and if so additional fees may apply.

Application process to connect a large system (more than 10kW)

TLC will need to do a network system study to review whether the generation can be connected without impacting its network assets.

The application process for large systems has three steps which are outlined below.

A fee may apply to do the system study and provide engineering resources (if required) to support the installation. The fee will be advised by TLC during the application process.

Initial Application Process

  1. Fill out the application form and pay the $200 initial application fee.
  2. TLC will confirm receipt of application within 5 business days.
  3. TLC will provide relevant network information (as required in The Code) within 30 business days.

Refer to the Electricity Industry Participation Code, Schedule 6.1 Part 2 Clause 12

Final Application Process

  1. If you wish to proceed, you must make a final application within 12 months, using TLC’s Final Application Form.
  2. TLC will notify you within the timeframe specified in Clause 19 stating that the application is approved (subject to conditions specified), or declined.Timeframes from receipt of final applications are:
    • 45 business days if <1MW
    • 60 business days if 1 to 5MW
    • 80 business days if >5MW
  3. Within 30 business days of receiving approval from TLC: Notify TLC in writing if you wish to proceed;

OR

If you do not accept all the conditions outlined by TLC’s approval, advise TLC that you wish to dispute.

 

Connection Process

  1. Connection
    Connect your generator. (Connection must be via an approved TLC contractor).
  2. Contract
    TLC and the Customer must attempt to negotiate a Connection Contract within 30 days, or longer by mutual agreement.
  3. Testing and inspection
    Customer must give notice to TLC of testing. TLC may observe. The observation to be paid by the customer.