Solar power is an example of a renewable energy that will form part of NZ response to decarbonisation and our future energy strategy. The EEA has observed that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of companies planning for the installation of utility-scale solar grid connections schemes.

Held Monday 2nd August 2021 at the Wellington Museum prior to the EEA conference, this Masterclass was designed to help engineers grow their knowledge on utility-scale solar installation projects. The EEA lined up presentations from engineering leaders in our industry that have experience and involvement in utility-scale solar installations.


Mat O'Neill - General Manager Asset Management, WEL

Solar installations are growing rapidly in New Zealand, In May this year Lodestone announced 5 new farms in the upper north by 2022, in March Kea Energy commission 2.0 megawatts in Marlborough and in June Todd Corporation commissioned Kapuni solar power plant at 2.1 megawatts.
Transpowers' Te Mauri Hiko report forecast that "distributed solar will contribute 16TWh of energy by 2050. Therefore, connecting to the grid is only going to increase in the future with many more expected connections.
EEA has had feedback that connecting to the grid is complex, difficult and not consistent, and yes it is all of those added to those is the level of knowledge on what is required, there have been very few grid solar connections across the country. Therefore EEA has pulled together the New Zealand experts to develop todays master class, they are all specialist in their area with many years of experience that we can all learn from. We recognize that there will be lots of questions afterwards and more time is likely to be required to provide a full understanding of the obiligations, approaches and studies require for connecting to the grid. This Master Class is just a start and we will be looking at how we can provide further support into the future.


Ron Beatty

Application process - Requirements of the code and System Operator for an application: Connection cost

Kevin Wronski

Grid management obligations - Asset owner obligations from the planning stage to decommissioning , Studies, performance requirements. Voltage , point of connection Scada Commission and testing, fault ride through, offers.

Link to presentation slides

Note no video available due to poor sound quality.

Rupert Holbrook

Transpower role - DER and direct connections, Grid owner interests for large scale DER, three way working relationship. Power quality and protection co-ordination / impacts, connection capacity impact to GXP. Benchmark agreement between TP and EDB's

Allan Miller

Network Capacity -Distribution connection Solar, 11kV. (>1MW), 400V hosting capacity. What the distribution can do with application fee, solar output, feeder load, understand the impact on feeder load, the complexities of studies depend on where they are going to connect. Types of studies that are required. Discussing the areas to be looked at from a distribution perspective, Earthing, fault levels, thermal ratings

Link to presentation slides

Note no video available due to poor sound quality

Brad Henderson

Systems studies - Mitton Outlining the system studies that shall be undertaken, Transient behaviors

Noel Nagoorsamy

Protection settings- Mitton Typical and areas and protection to apply; Distribution line and functions, specification requirements for asset Owner and EDB; Protection Studies; Powerplant controllers; 11kV line, auto reclose

Alex Spiers and Georgin Raju

Case Study - Working with distribution companies and installers, what needs to be commissioned, the typical steps How to interface with the EDB, what needs to be monitored, who is responsible

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