Connecting solar and batteries to our network
As one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing and most progressive networks, Counties Energy is committed to enabling an ecosystem that supports and fosters the growing need for distributed generation of solar, wind, and other emerging sources that feed back to the grid.
The following information is relevant for residential customers, businesses, developers, and tradespeople who are looking to take advantage of new distributed generation and who are:
- connected, or about to be connected to our network; and
- capable of injecting electricity back into the grid.
Wanting to set up Distributed Generation?
Customers choose Distributed Generation solutions, or ‘DG’, for a number of reasons – to reduce their carbon footprint, save money, or for self-reliance from living ‘off-the-grid.’
Whatever the reason, if you’re looking to install solar panels, wind generation, or any other kind of small-scale power generation that will feed back into the grid, the following application process applies.
Please ensure you are familiar with the Electricity Industry Participation Code 2010 – Part 6 prior to completing a network connection application. The code sets out the rules on how to apply to connect distributed generation to our network and how we process this application. Our Distributed Generation Requirements document is also a useful resource, particularly for our trade customers who require technical distribution guidance.
If you’re getting a generator for household use and not looking to push electricity back into the grid, then you don’t need to inform us.
The first step is to understand how much energy you will be generating. Generally, homes and small businesses generate up to 10kW, while larger businesses generate more than 10kW.
Next, complete the relevant DG application form, below.
Counties Energy will acknowledge receipt of your DG1 or DG2 application within two working days.
Counties Energy completes a review of your application. Please allow an average of 10 – 20 working days* for this step. *While we aim to process applications within ten – twenty working days, it can take up to thirty days for an application to be considered.
Your application to install a DG source is approved or declined. Please note: Counties Energy may decline your application for the following reasons: (i) Your Distributed Generation device does not meet AS4777 standards and/or Counties Energy Network Standards and/or (ii) Information relating to your application is incomplete.
Once Counties Energy has approved your application, your DG source can be installed by a certified service provider.
Your installer will issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC).
Sign up with your chosen energy retailer.
Request an import/export meter (An import/export meter is required when you generate your own electricity site using alternative sources such as solar. The meter has two registers – one that records the energy you use and another that tracks the electricity that is exported back to the grid.) through your retailer and provide them with the CoC document.
You’re ready to connect your DG to the grid!
The Manukau Heads feeder, which supplies part of Awhitu Peninsula, is subject to export capacity constraints.
If your distributed generation system capacity is up to 10kW and is a pre-approved inverter your application will generally be processed quicker – usually within ten business days.
Once your DG installation is approved, you will have one year to install your generator. The installation is not complete until it has been through all inspection phases.
Stay informed about the latest advancements and best practices in distributed generation to make informed decisions and continuously improve your setup.
On approval, have the installation completed by a certified service provider.
The 110 kV subtransmission network that supplies the wider areas of Pukekohe, Tuakau, Pukekawa, Port Waikato, Glen Murray, Onewhero and Pokeno is subject to export capacity constraints.