Australia's distribution networks include some 800,000 kilometres of electricity infrastructure delivering electricity to consumers all over Australia.

Many of these consumers are located within buildings which need heating or cooling or have large roof areas which could utilise commercial-scale solar installations.

Embedded generators have the very real potential to transform the way Australia generates and consumes electricity. In doing so they will also change the way our distribution networks are utilised in the long term.

Embedded Generation Connection Guide

Essential reading for any prospective medium-scale generator proponent, the Clean Energy Council's 'Embedded Generation Connection Guide' aims to provide any embedded generation proponent or developer with a starting point for the connection process as applied by each distributor.

The guide has been developed as a user-friendly manual for those wishing to connect embedded generation to distribution networks. It is designed to apply to generators in the size range 100 kW to 5 MW and aims to provide an accessible and practical introduction to the connection process in Australia. The guide has been produced through consultation with Australia's distribution businesses and takes into account the relevant rules and guidelines.

Download the Embedded Generation Connection Guide (PDF) 

This guide is generally not intended to apply to generators that are less than 100 kW in size and are able to connect to a network via AS 4777-compliant inverters, including domestic and small commercial solar PV systems. For more information on this process, please refer to small-scale grid connection.

Sustainability Victoria's Guide to Connecting a Distributed Generator in Victoria

This guide is aimed at any prospective medium-scale generator proponents in Victoria. It aims to help prepare you for applying and connecting a generator to the electricity distribution network. Outlining how to follow relevant rules and regulations and explaining how to negotiate a connection or a network access arrangement with your distribution network service provider, it should be essential reading if you are looking to develop a project in Victoria.

Download the Guide to Connecting a Distributed Generator in Victoria

Mid-scale inverter energy system integration workshops

During 2013, we conducted a number of workshops to bring together electricity industry stakeholders to discuss and learn about the challenges and issues faced by the ongoing expansion of commercial-scale inverter-connected energy systems across Australian distribution networks.

While the potential for growth in the commercial-scale embedded generation sector in Australia is significant, there remains a range of technical challenges that must be overcome to reveal efficiencies for the connection of these generators. However, as with the proliferation of domestic solar, technical issues that appear significant early on can likely be managed with the appropriate technical, regulatory and policy settings. In order to achieve this it is crucial that the industry works together to understand and address challenges effectively and consistently.

National electricity rule change request

In April 2013, the Clean Energy Council lodged a detailed rule change request to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC). The proposal seeks to refine the connection process for commercial-scale embedded generators with capacities up to 5 MW in the National Electricity Market.

The AEMC is currently looking into the request and working towards a draft. They are expected to release a final decision towards the end of 2014. For details on how to take part in the consultation, please visit the AEMC website.

For more information, contact Tom Butler at tbutler@cleanenergycouncil.org.au