National Electricity Law

The National Electricity Law requires anyone who owns, controls, or operates a generating system in the National Electricity Market (NEM) to register as a generator. Exemptions apply if a generating system has a nameplate rating of less than 5MW when fully connected.

We work with non-registered generators through a negotiated connection service.

Generation systems of 5MW to 30MW capacity may be exempted from registering as a generator subject to AEMO discretion depending on how much power you expect to export over a 12-month period or if all export energy is purchased by a market participant rather than sold into the spot market.

Other rules also apply if you have battery storage facilities associated with your generating system.

Applications from registered generators with a capacity greater than 5MW are subject to a more extensive process managed in cooperation with AEMO.

This type of generating plant cannot be connected to the high voltage distribution system. It must be connected to the 66kV sub-transmission system. This may require upgrades to local networks or modifications to accommodate the new generator while also sustaining reliable, quality supplies to other customers.

Under Chapter 5 of the National Electricity Rules, the connection process for registered generators with a capacity greater than 5MW involves the following steps.

1. Preliminary enquiry 
  • Provide general, high level information and any project specific information that the Distribution Network Service Provider (DNSP) has at hand that may help the connection applicant understand its connection options.
  • The DNSP will respond within 15 business days but may not undertake detailed design or technical analysis of the connection application.
  • The response will provide you with any network constraints prohibiting the connection, any augmentation that may be required to facilitate the connection and what components of work that may be contestable.
  • Included in the response are details about the enquiry application step and the likely fee payable by the applicant for the preparation of a detailed response by the DNSP.