Distributed Generation

Distributed Generation (sometimes called ’Embedded Generation’) refers to electricity generation equipment located at a home or business, which is connected to the internal switchboard of the building, and therefore is also connected to the electricity supply network.

Distributed Generation produces electricity for that building and may also be capable of feeding surplus electricity (exporting) into our network. This type of generation can be made up of a number of systems that may range in generation capacity.

PowerNet recognises the benefits of Distributed Generation to our electricity distribution service. In some cases we contract with owners of reliable embedded generators over 10kW directly and in some circumstances there may be a financial benefit to the owner.

PowerNet has a Planning Guide for Connecting a Generator Plant to the PowerNet Network. The guide outlines what you have to do to be connected Distributed Generation to the PowerNet electricity network; as well as documenting the procedure that PowerNet follows to meet the requirements of the Electricity Authority.

Connection of Distributed Generation is regulated by the New Zealand Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010 (The Code), Part 6 – Connection of distributed generation.

Arranging Connection of Distributed Generation

Before your generating equipment can be connected to the electricity network, you must:

  • Obtain approval from PowerNet.
  • Have an arrangement with an electricity trader (eg electricity retailer)
  • Meet the requirements of The Code and any other electricity industry legislation for generating and trading electricity.

PowerNet processes applications for connection of distributed generation as outlined in The Code, Part 6 – Connection of distributed generation.

To apply to connect Distributed Generation please complete the following application form:

Fees apply, processing will only begin once the appropriate fee has been paid. Follow this link for a schedule of Distributed Generation Application Fees

Inverters

For connection of Distributed Generation equipment up to 10kW the approval process is much easier if the grid tie inverter is a make and model PowerNet has already approved. Follow this link for a list of existing Approved Grid Tie Inverters.

Batteries

We suggest that select a battery that is on the Clean Energy Council’s list of approved batteries. The products included on the list have been independently tested to confirm that they meet the necessary electrical safety and quality standards under the Clean Energy Council’s Battery Assurance Program.

After noting the lack of product safety standards in Australia for battery storage systems, the industry came together to develop an agreed minimum standard to work to. The guide and risk matrix can be found here: http://www.batterysafetyguide.com.au/