Max grid connection in NSW is at least 10kW


#1

Hi,

Just want to address one common misunderstanding that I see a lot on this site - in NSW 5kW is NOT the maximum which can be attached to the grid on single phase.

It is in fact quite trivial to obtain approval for 10kW on a single phase (30kW on 3-phase).

I know this as I just helped a mate set up exactly that. 13.2kW of Jinko Black PV, & 2 x Zeversolar Zeverlution 5,000s, all feeding a single phase 100A service. No limiting device required.

And all this for less than $8k from Captain Green who did a great job!

If you want to verify, check out page https://www.ausgrid.com.au/Connections/Apply-for-a-connection/Application-forms-and-guides

The guide for NECF05 specifically states:

We are currently improving our forms for connecting micro embedded generation. While this is progressing, please submit the NECF05 form for systems up to 10 kilowatts per phase or compliant systems under 30 kilowatts. Please refer to NS194A for more information on eligible systems.

And in the reference document NS194A. This states specifically:

Ausgrid will approve the low voltage connection of an IES to a premises connection point provided that the total rated inverter nameplate rating is no greater than 10kVA (@230v). This requirement is also applicable if there is an existing multiphase supply to the premises.

Cheers!


How much rooftop solar power can you install? – a state by state guide
#2

Not sure that this applies throughout all of NSW. Endeavor, as an example allows 5kW single phase or 30kW 3 phase from what I can see as per :-

Qualifying customers can apply to connect a small scale renewable energy generation system to our network by submitting an appropriate application form:

  1. If you are applying for the connection of a new or upgraded micro solar generator with a total output capacity of no greater than 5kW single phase (230v) or 30kW three phase (400v) to a premise with an existing supply of electricity from our network you may use our on-line application, by clicking here.

We allow connection of up 8kW total panels to a 5kW inverter or up to 40kW total panels to a 30kW inverter.

2.If you are applying for the connection of any other generation system other than the type described above, apply using this form:

Application for Connection of a Generator

The terms and conditions applying to connection of a micro embedded generator to our network are set out in our model standing offer for a micro embedded generator basic connection service.

All applications resulting in the connection of an upgraded or new generation will result in a basic offer fee being charged via your Level 2 ASP upon connection.

The link in 2 is to SMALL AND MEDIUM EMBEDDED GENERATOR CONNECTION SERVICE, which is from 30kW to 5MW.

I’ve got 8.375kw (6.75kW worth of micro inverters) but on 3-phase, in an Endeavour area.


#3

It’s definitely do-able on Ausgrid (as noted above, I’ve done it), and it also looks do-able on Endeavor – in your last reference (Terms & Conditions link), in Definitions, we see that:

“Micro Embedded Generator Basic Connection” means an existing connection
between Endeavour Energy’s Distribution System and the Customer’s premises at
the Site at low voltage, where … (b) an approved Micro Embedded Generator up to 10kW single phase or 30kW three phase installed at the Site is to be connected to Endeavour Energy’s Distribution System;

So, whilst you can’t use the online form to apply (as 10kW is more than the 5kW cutoff) – it appears that you simply fill in the two-pager (“2. If you are applying … using this form: Application for Connection of a Generator”) and you’re done…


#4

@#$% typical, I read (skimmed) through a fair bit of that article but no sign of any values before I gave up. Oh well glad you’ve taken on being my personal proof reader :slight_smile:


#5

Oh, and to round off the NSW discussion, Essential Energy also allows for larger than 5kW (urban) and less-than-or-equal to 30 kW (presumably 10kW single phase or per-phase) with “no augmentation to the LV network” on a Basic Connection Offer Contract – though “Will require technical enquiries and/or Contestable Works review before approval”. Basically, this means filling in an extra form & hoping that you’ve got reasonably standard network conditions at your location.

This is the same contract as for a smaller PV system.

Should be pretty standard for 90% of connection applications.

Check out Connecting to the Network Information Pack - page 4, item 4.

Amusingly, and only if you really really wanted, all three distributors allow for significantly larger systems as well… however this might cost you a little more… :joy:

Hope that helps!


#6

If you’re interested, check out The Beast.

We calculate breakeven to be around 3 years on AGL’s 20c FIT: AGL Solar Savers.


#7

To be clear, the maximum system size (determined by the size of your inverter) is determined by each distributor and varies between them. The size limit imposed on single phase vs 3 phase also varies. For example, In the Endeavour Energy area where I am located, the limitations imposed by Endeavour are 5kw for single phase and 10kw per phase for three phase. Under CEC rules, you can oversize your panels by 133% relative to your generating capacity, so you can go up to 13.3kw of panels per phase on 3 phase power or 6.65kw panels on a 5 kw inverter, for example.

However, notwithstanding any limitations imposed by the distributors, the FIT is determined and paid by retailers. Most Impose a 10kw maximum limit regardless of the distributors rules, and some limit system size to 5kw to be eligible for a FIT. In NSW, the only retailer that allows you to go over 10kw and will pay a FIT, is Diamond Energy. So if the ability to receive a FIT is important to you, you have to consider the limitations imposed by retailers as well.


#8

Not so much. The maximum size per phase (before there is significantly more paperwork and cost – so, let’s say, the realistic max for residential) for all three distributors in NSW is 10kW per phase, regardless of it being a single or three-phase installation, for the vast majority of their coverage areas. This also applies to Endeavor (see my second posting above).

There are exceptions (lower limits) in certain areas determined by the network topology & local capability, but these areas are relatively small and very much the exceptions.

My condolences. What area is that?

Hmmmm… that’s unusual. I haven’t seen any current rules which have this imbalance between per-phase feed-in for single and three phase. And it does seem to directly contradict the very Endeavor Energy document I quoted above. Please point me to the documentation which supports your assertion.

Yes - or, as we did for The Beast, 13.2kW of panels on two 5kW inverters on a single phase.

That’s an interesting point. 10kW maximum system limit, or 10kW per phase?

The Beast gets 20c/kwH FIT from AGL for a 10kW system (not Solar Bonus Scheme as only installed a few months ago), and I haven’t been able to find any such documented limitation in AGL’s Ts&Cs.

Can you provide a link to Endeavour documentation supporting your assertion regarding this limit?

Thanks!


#9

How many of you have a 3 phase connection?
It would be cheaper for me to move to an industrial park than to get 3 phase at my home. Where you are could you rent rooftop and install a 30KW array with no load to offset your home’s electric bill?
The safe answer is to ask your utility and get all the forms approved before you go forward.
My building department required a letter from my utility with max nameplate inverter numbers before they would look at the rest of my permit application.
Here they will not approve more than what you have been using.
If you generate more than you use they will give you credit for next year. They will eventually buy your credit but at a very reduced rate. The lowest price they paid for energy that year. A rate that is so low that it is a big mistake to overbuild your system.


#11

Hah! AGL have just updated their Ts&Cs to limit their offer to solar PV systems no larger than 10kW. Mind the asterisk & exemption at the bottom https://www.agl.com.au/campaigns/solarsavers

So, this is a damn good point – make sure your system is no larger than (or limit your system to) the maximum PV size limit imposed by your retailer(s), or you’ll end up getting no FIT at all!


#12

In rural and regional NSW it can be different. I’m on 3-phase but am limited to 9kW max export by Essential Energy. With an 11kW system / 10kW inverter it’s not really a big deal. My local transformer is nearly half a k away and has about 45kW of solar PV connected to it.


#13

Not true. I suspect there are many others;

Check https://compare.energylocals.com.au/residential