Victoria Solar Power System Grid Connection Rules & Process

First, you’ll need to know who your Distributed Network Service Provider (DNSP) is, as their permission will be needed to connect a solar power system to their electricity network. The distributors in Victoria are:

Each DNSP has rules on inverter limits, indicated in the table below. Also shown in the table is whether battery inverters count towards these limits. Information for Victoria is current as at August 2021.

Distributor

Rules

Source

CitiPower/ PowerCor

Single phase: 5 kW inverter limit.

Three phase: 30 kW inverter limit.

Export limit: Case-by-case approval TBD if battery inverters count towards inverter limit.

Citipower/ Powercor website

Jemena

Single phase: 10 kW inverter limit, 5 kW export limit.

Three phase: 30 kW inverter limit, 15 kW export limit.

Battery inverters do count towards phase inverter limit.

Jemena website

AusNet

Single phase: 10 kW inverter limit, 5 kW export limit.

Three phase: 30 kW inverter limit, 15 kW export limit.

TBD if battery inverters count towards inverter limit.

AusNet website

United Energy

Single phase: 10 kW inverter limit, 10 kW export limit.

Three phase: 30 kW inverter limit, 30 kW export limit.

Battery inverters do not count towards phase inverter limit.

United Energy website

Solar Grid Connection Process In Victoria

The grid connection process in Victoria is a little more complex than some other Australian states as Victoria’s electricity distributors have varying requirements. This means that it’s important to check the requirements of your distributor before signing on the dotted line for a system. While a good solar installer should know what the requirements are, don’t leave it to chance.

1. Network Application

It has increasingly become the case in Victoria that distributors will require systems to be pre-approved before installation can commence, so check with yours.

2. System Installation

After the solar power system has been installed, your installer will need to lodge a Certificate of Electrical Safety (CES) to Energy Safe Victoria and arrange for an inspection of the work within 10 days of installation. 

3. More Paperwork

On return receipt of the Certificate of Electrical Safety, your installer is required to lodge all the necessary forms with your electricity retailer, which also includes an Electrical Work Request (EWR) and a Solar Generator Connection Form – the latter in the case of a system not needing pre-approval. Your retailer will then arrange for your meter to be changed over, with this request taking approximately a week to process. 

4. Meter changeover

A majority of homes in Victoria no longer need the meter to be physically changed. The distributors now reconfigure the smart meter remotely to read the export of the solar PV to the grid. 

The main reason a distributor needs to attend site of the meter is if a reconsolidation of multiple meters is required or a new meter is required. This is called a truck appointment. 

Where a meter does need to be installed, it used to be that a technician would install the meter within 20 days of the notification from the retailer and the cost of the new meter will be charged to your electricity account. From February 1, 2019, your retailer will need to arrange to change over the meter on a date agreed upon with you, or where no date is set, within 15 business days if it is a simple meter exchange.

5. Solar Power System Switched On

Once the meter has been installed, your system will become fully operational and your electricity retailer will make the necessary changes to your account. This includes adjustments associated with the feed-in tariff, so you’ll receive payment for the surplus electricity you generate that is exported to the mains grid.

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