In May 2017, we raised the technical assessment thresholds for connection applications for solar photovoltaic (PV) and other micro embedded generating (EG) units.
We’ve now aligned the maximum total inverter capacities (kVA limits) for our Basic Connection Services to match the technical assessment thresholds (see table below).
This means many more connection applications will be eligible for a Basic Connection Service, and a quicker application process.
For applications for inverter capacity between the old and new kVA limits, e.g. >3.5 and up to 5 kVA export on a single phase on the main grid, you no longer need to sign and return a negotiated connection contract. Instead, you’ll receive an email, typically within three business days, confirming that a connection contract (the Model Standing Offer) has formed and you can arrange for the micro EG unit to be installed.
The Electrical Partners Portal will be updated in the New Year to allow expediting of all offers up to the current kVA limits.
kVA limits for our Basic Connection Services
Network type Number of phases Maximum total inverter capacity(kVA) Maximum permitted export (kVA)
Main grid Single phase 10 5
2-phase 20 10
3-phase 30 15
SWER Single phase 10 2
Split phase 20 2
Note: The maximum total inverter capacity and export capability must be spread evenly across all available phases.
For more information see Schedule 1 (pages 14-16) of the current Model Standing Offer for Basic Connection Services (Micro EG Units).
Clarification on 44c FiT rule changes
The Amendment Bill for the 44c Feed-in Tariff (FiT) is on hold due to the State election. Importantly, the Amendment Bill has not been withdrawn, so we are processing applications as we have been in line with the tabled Bill.
- Applications for array upgrades on 44c FiT-eligible PV systems that create a total array capacity greater than the total inverter capacity will forfeit the 44c FiT for that premises, effective once the Bill is passed.
- A battery system being added to a 44c FiT-eligible PV system must only be able to discharge into the premises at night or during a grid outage.
Fees apply to applications >30 kW
Connection applications for inverter capacities greater than 30 kW must undergo a technical assessment.
These assessments are done to provide you with the required specifications such as voltage rise and harmonics if your system will be exporting, and to ensure the installation complies with our technical standards and there will be no adverse impact on our network.
Fees apply and are based on the type of pre-connection services required, which is determined by the scale, network-related location, export settings and complexity of the proposed connection. The fees are quoted once an application is received.
For more complex projects that may require network augmentation to support the proposed generating system, additional assessments may be required and incur further costs.
For more about our pre-connection and connection services for embedded generating systems, see reference items 40, 42–44, 46– 48, 51– 52 and 55, as examples, in the Microsoft Excel version of the Australian Energy Regulator-approved Alternative Control Services price list.
Clarifying change to regional Feed-in Tariff limit
In Solar Industry Update No.34, we advised that the inverter capacity limit under the regional Feed-in Tariff (FiT) payable by relevant retailers had increased from 5 kW to 30 kW. Some installers mistakenly interpreted this to mean the regional FiT is now only available for inverters between 5 kW and 30 kW.
To clarify, the regional FiT is available for total inverter capacities up to 30 kW for qualifying customers.
Clarifying 'Single Stage'
When submitting a Form A (EWR) for Embedded Generation (Including Solar) 30 kVA or less in our Electrical Partners Portal, there is a requirement in the Metering and Load Details section to define the Vmax setting as either ‘Single-stage’ or ‘Two-stage’.
Since the full implementation of AS/NZS 4777.2:2015 on 10 October 2016, a ‘Two-stage’ setting is required on all new inverters and should always be selected on the Form A.
The only case where ‘Single-Stage’ should be selected is when the application is to ‘Replace current inverter (no increase in capacity)’ under warranty and that inverter only has a single-stage Vmax setting.
Applying for Tesla Powerwall 2
The Tesla Powerwall 2 has been re-rated to 5 kVA and you can now apply to add this combined inverter/battery to an inverter rated up to 5 kVA on a single-phase premises, so that the 10 kVA maximum installed capacity is not exceeded. Note, only the inverter on the PV system can be set to export, and only if that has been approved by us.
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About Solar Industry Update
This newsletter will keep you informed about what's happening in the solar industry and any changes to compliance, rulings and legislation.