Distribution code requirements

Under the Electricity Distribution Code owners of small embedded generators must comply with the code under its generation license.

 

  • Ensure that your generating source is capable of continuous uninterrupted operation at the system frequency of 50 Hz (or within any allowable variation that applies).
  • Ensure that your generating source and any associated equipment that is connected to the electricity network complies with Victoria’s Electricity Distribution Code, the Electricity Safety Act 1998 and all relevant Australian Standards and is maintained in a safe condition.
  • Ensure that your generating source’s electrical protection device meets the requirements of our electricity distribution system at all times. All grid interactive solar inverters which are connected to the Powercor network have to comply with AS4777 Australian Standard.

To help you understand and meet these obligations, we recommend the Clean Energy Council’s Guide to Installing PV for Households, which contains a section on maintenance on page 20.

 

Preventative maintenance checks from time to time are the best way to ensure your installation meets safety requirements and we suggest you organise these through a registered electrical contractor or your installer.

 

The safety of the community and our employees is our top priority. Therefore we may disconnect or ask you to disconnect your generating source if it is not safe, interferes with the local network or does not comply with the regulatory requirements referred to above.

 

Frequently asked questions

 

What are small renewable energy sources?

Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat which are naturally replenished. The most common energy source for small electricity generation is sunlight using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels

 

Why do I have these obligations?

Since your generating source connects with the electricity network and may supply electricity used by other consumers, it is important to ensure standards are maintained and safety precautions are in place.

 

Does my system comply with the Code?

All systems connected to our network are checked for compliance with AS4777 when they are installed. The Clean Energy Council also provides a list of compliant systems on their website www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au

 

How do I maintain my system?

Most systems require very little maintenance and only need an occasional inspection to ensure excessive dust or dirt is not present and all connections are secure and clearly labelled. Your user manual may contain additional information about maintenance. Otherwise, contact your installer if you have any queries about your system.

 

What is an electrical protection device?

This is the device within your system that ensures electricity is not fed into the network during an outage. It is required to ensure repairs and maintenance can be safely carried out by our line workers. Protection devices work by shutting down your system if a loss of mains power is detected and returning your system to operation when mains power is restored.

 

What is a compliance and anti-islanding test?

This specifically covers the inspection of the customer’s site to ensure safe connection to the network. The anti-islanding test is a check to ensure that the system will not feed electricity into the electricity network if mains power is lost. This ensures the safety of authorised personnel working on the network.

 

Who should I contact for more information about my system?

Consult your user manual or contact your installer. If required, a list of accredited installers in your area is available from the Clean Energy Council web site. www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au