Large generation and 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
- 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).
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.
Utility scale battery technology
AEMO is reviewing utility scale battery technology in the NEM. For further information see AEMO Utility Scale Battery Technology 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 Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME). 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 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.
Information to help with your application
How do I apply for connection?
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 the Customer Portal.
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.
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.
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 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 > 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 standby systems)
- Exporting EG systems via renewable energy technology such as solar, wind and biogases
You can use our Enquiry Form in our Customer Portal to start the connection process if you wish.
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 our Embedded Generation Information Pack 2018-19 (PDF 5.0 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 MW)
- 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 our Customer Portal to start the connection process if you wish.
Information regarding participant categories and NEM classifications can be found on AEMO’s website.
To establish or modify a generation connection to our distribution network, we require you to enter into a negotiated contract. This contract sets out the works that both parties will need to perform for the connection.
In addition, depending on your facility type, you may also need to enter into a separate Energex Generator Connection Contract. This governs the ongoing connection of your facility to our distribution network after the completion of the connection works.
Reference documents for embedded generators
Please also refer to our Technical Documents webpage.
Get in touch
Do you have a specific question about connecting a large scale embedded generator? If so, please contact our Major Customer Team.