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Connection of Small-Scale Inverter-Based Distributed Generation (Interim Guide)


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The purpose of this Guide is to provide assistance to Electricity Distribution Businesses (EDBs) for managing the integration of small-scale, inverter based Distributed Generation (DG) into Low-voltage (LV) distribution networks in New Zealand.

The Guide covers the application assessment process and recommended technical requirements for inverter-connected DG systems capable of generating up to, but not exceeding, 10 kW at the point of supply, intended to be connected to and operate within LV distribution networks. While Installations above 10 kW may reference this Guide the assessment process this document was not specifically developed for these larger installations. The Guide provides a structured assessment process for DG applications and specifies the minimum technical requirements that recommended in the design and installation of Inverter Energy Systems (IES) to ensure safe and reliable operation of the LV distribution networks. Voltage levels in distribution networks must be managed to comply with standard low voltage limits specified in the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010. In addition, the Electricity Industry Participation Code (EIPC 2010), Part 6, requires EDBs to publish which locations on their network are congested, or are likely to become congested within 12 months.

This Guide provides a methodology for the identification and management of LV network congestion, including the specification of prudent requirements for inverter voltage control capabilities.

The Guide is an "interim" as two matters are still being worked on - changes to the Electricity Industry Participation Code (EIPC) by the Electricity Authority and the updating of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations to get recognition of the current AS/NZS Standards relating to inverter technology. We understand both the EA and MBIE are considering/proposing changes to these key documents. These matters are discussed in the addendum to this Guide. As it is an "interim" document EEA will monitor progress by EA and MBIE and is committed to refinement of this guide as appropriate.

We welcome ongoing feedback, please send all comments to admin@eea.co.nz.

EEA would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Transpower, EEA Members, the NAG (Network Advisory Group) and the University of Canterbury, the Electric Power Engineering Excellence Centre and GREEN Grid project staff.

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