A rule change made by the Australian Energy Market Commission will make it simpler for buildings with small embedded generators under five megawatts to connect to the grid and sell excess energy.
The request for a change to the electricity rules was made by the Clean Energy Council, with the resultant rule working to help businesses generating energy through co/trigeneration, solar, wind and biomass connect to the distribution network in order to obtain back-up power or sell excess energy.
The rule provides two pathways to connection to the grid: a flexible, more open and shorter connection process, or a longer, more defined and detailed connection process. The rule also broadens the information that distributors are to provide on their websites regarding embedded generator connections.
The AEMC said embedded generator proponents would have the discretion to use the connection process that best suited their needs, which would result in efficient and timely connection of smaller generators to the distribution network.
AEMC chairman John Pierce said the change would reduce barriers for connecting generators to distribution networks, increasing competition along the supply chain.
“The final rule balances the need to maintain system security with connection processes suitable for the wide range of embedded generators that want to participate in the electricity market,” Mr Pierce said.
“We have widened the connection process options for smaller embedded generators to improve regulatory certainty and clarity as the emerging energy services market responds to changing circumstances and consumer needs.”
The final rule commences operation on 1 March 2015. It follows a rule change completed in April relating to connection of larger embedded generators to distribution networks.