There are a number of requirements you must be aware of before installing a solar system. We’ve compiled the information below to assist you before you begin installation.
To install a solar power or battery storage system at a customer’s premises in Ausgrid’s network, installers must have the appropriate Clean Energy Council installer accreditation
and hold a NSW electrical licence for any work on the customer’s electrical installation.
The inverter you are installing as part of a solar or battery storage system will need to meet the following criteria:
- be of a type approved by the Clean Energy Council
- be compliant with AS/NZS 4777.2; and
- be configured in accordance with Ausgrid’s requirements for inverters which are set out in NS194 Secondary System Requirements for Embedded Generators. This includes configuring inverter settings to the AS4777.2-2020 regional setting “Australia A”
Before you purchase any inverter, please confirm that it meets Ausgrid’s requirements as stated in NS194. If an inverter is installed that does not meet our requirements, you may be required (at your cost) to replace it with an inverter that is compliant. If you wish to install an inverter which does not meet the above criteria, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AEMO’s Distributed Energy Resource Register
Solar and battery installers will need to enter installation and DER equipment information directly into AEMO’s Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Register within 20 days of DER installation/activation. You can find out more about your obligations as an installer on our Distributed Energy Resources Register
Multi-tenanted installations or embedded networks
It is important prior to completing a connection application form that you have identified if your premises (NMI) is a part of a multi-tenanted installation or an embedded network.
Both multi-tenanted installations and embedded networks consist of multiple tenancies that share a common connection point to Ausgrid’s network. Alterations to the electrical installation of individual tenancies (for example, the addition of solar) can impact the upstream shared/common elements of the installation.
Common examples of multi-tenanted installations or embedded networks are units, retirement villages, apartment blocks, shopping centres and small industrial units or any installation that has multiple metered installations connected to the distribution network via a single point of connection.
Understanding solar exports
To support the increasing uptake of solar, regulating bodies and inverter manufacturers have implemented mandatory technical standards to ensure the safety and longevity of solar systems.
AS4777.2-2020 – ‘Inverter Requirements’ (mandated by the National Electricity Rules) specifies the electrical safety and performance of inverters which includes features that automatically reduce inverter export in certain conditions to maintain the safety and stability of the grid.
These standard features may impact solar exports in areas where the network has a high uptake of solar causing an oversupply of electricity from the solar panels which impacts the voltage on the local grid. When this occurs, inverters are designed to alter the power they are exporting to the grid so that grid voltage levels can remain within safe limits.
Maximum export capacity
For solar and other embedded generation connections, Ausgrid will approve a maximum export capacity for the connection. This will remain as the ongoing maximum approved export capacity; however, the actual export from your inverter at any given time will vary due to real time local conditions (such as weather and demand for electricity) and self consumption of the solar power by the premises. See 'Support for an existing solar system
It is your responsibility to certify that the work on the embedded generation installation has been done safely and in accordance with the relevant standards. This is done by completing a Certificate of Compliance for Electrical Work (CCEW). A completed CCEW should be submitted to Ausgrid at email@example.com
within 7 days. The CCEW must also be submitted to Fair Trading and a copy provided to the customer within seven days of completing any safety and compliance test.
Installation audit and defect notices
Ausgrid may carry out audit inspections of solar and battery installations connected to our network.
|Please note: Due to the large number of solar and battery systems being installed, it can take several months for our installation inspectors to visit the premises after the installation has been connected.
If any system is found to be unsafe, we will disconnect it immediately. The installation inspector will leave a notification of disconnection and details of the safety defect at the premises. For more information, see Electrical Installation Defects.
Common installations issues to watch out for:
- Private Installation Voltage Rise Compliance - Private installation voltage rise compliance is an important aspect for the ongoing operation of inverters. The installer should calculate the theoretical voltage rise in accordance with instructions in the NSW service and installation rules. If voltage rise compliance is not met, your installation cabling may need to be upgraded.
- Main Switchboard (MSB) alteration compliance - Your main switchboard may need to be altered to allow the connection of solar/battery. Additionally for larger connections above 100 amps, please note that new or altered switchboards must comply with AS/NZS 61439. Download the Main Switchboard Compliance Statement.
- Location of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) - Please refer to AS/NZS 5139:2019 for appropriate consideration and preparation for BESS locations.
- Central protection for solar/battery over 30kW - Once an installation exceeds 30kW, some additional connection requirements apply. Most significantly, central protection is required by AS/NZS 4777.1. Ausgrid’s network standard NS194 reflects AS/NZS 4777.1 requirements generally but applies some limited variations where possible to offer more flexibility and practicality for our customers.
- Central protection in multi-tenanted installations - The above-mentioned central protection requirements also apply where there are multiple tenancies (such as retirement village installations) at a site that share a common connection to the distribution network. The central protection threshold of 30kW is applicable based on the total aggregate inverter ratings for the site. If you are unsure of what a multi-tenanted installation is, see the multi-tenanted section above.