If you’re thinking of putting solar on the roof of your home or business, getting a solar pre-approval will help to save you time and money.
We are responsible for supplying electricity to your home or business, that includes managing any exports that come from private, embedded generation at your location. We need to ensure that new generation exports do not cause voltage issues for neighbours and that new solar customers get the most from their investment. By balancing the amount of power flowing from large-scale generators as well as private solar PV systems, we can keep the electricity supplies reliable for all our customers.
Check out our podcast to learn more about why feeding solar back into the network requires careful balance and how we’re using 38 billion data points to unlock more solar for Victoria.
In some areas the ability of the network to absorb the solar PV exports may be limited. It doesn’t stop anyone from installing a solar PV system but it can affect the amount of exports available.
We encourage you to check with us early in the decision-making process to make sure you can do everything you want to make the investment stack up.
The best way to make sure that you can maximise your investment and ensure that power quality in your area is maintained make sure that you or your installer gets a pre-approval before the system is either installed or upgraded.
CitiPower and Powercor Pre-approval Process
To apply for pre-approval for systems up to 200kW please visit eConnect. It is important to note that the solar 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.
- The distance between the premises and the transformer. Significant distance could cause voltage fluctuations outside the statutory range.
- The impact of additional export on power quality for all customers connected to the transformer.
- The applicant applying for pre-approval can either be the installer, product seller, electrician or the customer.
The pre-approval expires after 90 days.
Requirements for Solar Inverters
We require the use of “smart inverters” that have power quality response mode settings (i.e. ‘Volt-Watt’ and ‘Volt-Var’ applied), for new solar installations. Smart inverters ensure that your solar system can efficiently manage power quality fluctuations which sometime occur when there is lots of export during the day. If these settings don’t occur, your system can trip off and stop generating electricity for your home or business. This is more likely to occur during the Spring and Autumn seasons when there are still sunny days, but less electricity consumption.
This change will also support the increase in uptake of solar by helping to maximise the amount of solar by feeder.
Most inverters on the market currently are classified as smart, but make sure that your installer enables the settings correctly so that your system is generating and exporting properly. You can check the approved list at the Clean Energy Council’s website here.
To apply for pre-approval for systems up to 200kW please visit eConnect.
We recommend that no commitment in made around the installation and exportation of any embedded generation occur until pre-approval is received from CitiPower and Powercor.