Will I be able to connect?
Export congestion occurs when electricity injected into our network causes a component in the network (for example, a line) to operate beyond its rated maximum capacity or give rise to an unacceptably high level of voltage at the point of connection to the network. The purpose of identifying areas of the network that are subject to export congestion is to provide you, at the earliest possible time, with information that may impact your decision to invest in distributed generation.
Congestion levels for the PowerNet managed Networks are included below:
Simply zoom into your desired location and see if it falls into a highlighted area. If not, it’s likely you are not in a congestion area
Presently there are two specific locations on the PowerNet managed network at which PowerNet is aware of export congestion for small-scale generation connected to the LV network or at which PowerNet expects export congestion for small-scale generation to occur within the next 12 months.
It is highly likely that more export congestion will occur as more generation is connected to the network and it is vital that people considering installing new or additional small-scale generation follow the PowerNet processes. Connection of large-scale generation (1MW or above) will always be engineered on a case-by-case basis.
Distributed Generation may be curtailed or interrupted if it poses a safety risk or is in an area of congestion
How much will it cost to connect?
Charges associated with processing applications to connect to generation systems are listed below. Approval will not be processed prior to payment of fees being received in full.
|Generation Capacity||Application Type||Fees (NZD incl. GST)|
|Application||Witness and Commissioning Test|
|> 10kW and ≤ 100kW||Part 2||575.00||138.00|
|> 100kW and ≤ 1000kW||Part 2||1150.00||1380.00|
|> 1000kW||Part 2||5750.00||1380.00|
1 For fast-track applications: 5kVA is the maximum permissible size and phase imbalance for single-phase inverters and multiple single-phase inverters in parallel respectively
PowerNet may need to perform further detailed investigative studies to identify any potential adverse effects the generation may have on the system. A fee will be chargeable for this; we will advise you before we approve the connection if this is required.
How do I get connected?
Fast Track Application
If you meet all of the following criteria you can apply for a fast-track application (Part 1A) which has reduced application fees:
- If you have a single-phase inverter its size is 5kVA or less or if you have multiple single-phase inverters in parallel the phase imbalance is 5kVA or less
- Your total inverter size is 10kW or less
- Your maximum export power is less than the export power threshold for your location
- The inverter(s) AS/NZS 4777.2 compliant.
- The inverter(s) have the volt-var AND volt-watt enabled.
Ask your installer if your set-up can meet these criteria.
If you can’t meet all of the criteria for the fast-track application, but your total inverter size is still 10kW or less you can still apply for a default application (Part 1).
Part 2 Application
If your total inverter size is greater than 10kW you can apply for a Part 2 application.
If you want to connect generation to our network you should:
- Identify if your proposed generation is in an area of congestion and become familiar with our Congestion Policy. If your proposed generation sits in an area of congestion, PowerNet may require you to curtail or temporarily disconnect your generation.
- Ask your installer if you qualify for a fast-track application or the default application.
- Ask your installer for an inverter that is on The Clean Energy Council’s (CEC) Approved Inverter List. This will make your application with us much easier.
- Ask your installer to set up your inverter according to PowerNet’s Settings for Inverter Standard.
- Ask your installer to obtain approval from PowerNet by filling out the Application Form. An application fee applies and must accompany this application
- Have an arrangement with your electricity retailer
- For more information around electricity industry legislation for generating and trading electricity, including Part 6 of the Electricity Industry Participation Code, talk to your installer.
- Ensure your installer has completed a Commissioning Checklist and a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) and return to PowerNet within 10 days of completion
For more information see our Planning Guide for Connecting Generation to PowerNet