Pre-approval requirement – up to 5 kW single phase, up to 30 kW three phase

CitiPower and Powercor are supportive of solar generation sources that can be interconnected with our network. It is important to us that customers are satisfied with the connection of their solar system to our network and that it performs as expected.

The number of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has increased at a high rate, with a trend toward larger capacity installations. Concentrations of solar PV systems connected to the low voltage network if not managed adequately can lead to power quality issues such as overvoltage and voltage unbalance.

In some instances, parts of the network may not support the connection of solar as we are not able to ensure adequate network operation in order to provide a reliable connection.

When considering the installation of a solar system it is important that it performs as expected. To achieve this CitiPower and Powercor requires that all solar systems undergo pre-approval before the system is either installed or upgraded.

 

CitiPower and Powercor pre-approval requirement

The pre-approval assessment takes into account:

  • The customer’s proposed inverter capacity (kW) regardless of the number of solar panels or wiring of the premises.
  • The total capacity of all embedded generators (including solar PV systems) connected to a transformer, which is generally limited to a proportion of the transformer capacity.
  • The distance between the premises and the transformer. Significant distance could cause voltage fluctuations outside the statutory range.

Requirements for solar inverters

The maximum inverter system capacity (kW) permitted to be connected is determined by the transformer capacity the premises  is connected to.

As a general guide customers can expect the following limits to apply:

General Guide  

Inverter system capacity (kW) per premises, subject to available transformer capacity

Single Phase

Up to 5 kW.

 

For single-phase transformers, the maximum inverter which can be connected is 5kW.

 

Depending on the transformer size and existing inverter connections an inverter smaller than 5kW may be required.

Three Phase

Up to 10 kW per phase. Inverter systems need to be balanced across phases.

 

For single phase connections to three phase transformers, the maximum inverter which can be connected is 5 kW.

 

For three phase transformers, assessment of larger inverter systems can be undertaken; fees may apply.

 

To apply for pre-approval for systems up to 5 kW single phase and up to 30 kW three phase please visit eConnect.

 

 

Note: 

  • The applicant applying for pre-approval can either be the installer, product seller, electrician or the customer.
  • Pre-approval expires after 90 days. For solar PV systems less than 30 kW there is no fee for pre-approval.

Pre-approval assessment results

Approved as applied for

Approved reduced capacity

Further assessment required

The customer can either:

 

A)  Proceed with the connection.

  • REC submits the Application for Small Inverter Connection in eConnect accompanied with the Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES) and Solar Pre-approval request.
  • CitiPower / Powercor contact the Customer's electricity Retailer to obtain a service order to fulfill their request.  
  • Customer’s Retailer submits a service order request to CitiPower / Powercor.
  • CitiPower / Powercor arranges for PV capable (smart) metering to be installed or reconfigured and a compliance check.


Note:
Pre-approval expires after 90 days.

 

OR

 

B)  Applicant decides not to proceed any further.

The customer can either:

 

A)  Connect an inverter with the approved reduced capacity.

  • Applicant submits the forms as described in ‘Approved As Applied For’ column.


Note:
Pre-approval expires after 90 days.

 

OR

 

B)  Request a technical assessment as described in ‘Further Assessment Required’ column.

 

OR

 

C)  Applicant decides not to proceed any further.

The customer can either:

 

A)  Request a Technical Assessment. This may result in a different outcome to the initial assessment.

 

  • Applicant receives the Technical Assessment request form with the pre-approval outcome.
  • Applicant submits the following documentation to the CitiPower / Powercor:
    • Completed Technical Assessment request form
    • A copy of the Solar Pre-Approval Request form.

  • CitiPower / Powercor complete a technical assessment to determine what changes, if any, would be required to the network to connect the requested solar installation.
  •   If network augmentation is required and the customer wishes to proceed, the augmentation charged for the application. 

Note:

 

(1). Larger inverter systems require more detailed assessment and are more likely to require network augmentation and financial contribution from the applicant.

(2). Augmentation costs and lead times vary depending on the level of work involved.

 

OR

B)  Applicant decides not to proceed any further.

 

It is recommended that no commitment be made to install a solar PV system until pre-approval is received from CitiPower and Powercor.