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Network service provider constructs, owns and operates the infrastructure

This is the most appropriate arrangement for customers who do not intend to operate the necessary electrical infrastructure. In this situation the relevant network service provider (NSP) will own and operate the infrastructure and is responsible for obtaining all planning approvals, and for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the assets. The customer pays for the construction of the asset and is charged an ongoing operations and maintenance fee.

Connecting to the grid

Contact the relevant transmission or distribution network service provider to discuss:

  • connection options
  • connection process
  • fees
  • technical requirements.

Connection to the national grid will need to follow the process required under Chapter 5 of the National Electricity Rules (NER).

Step 1: Connection enquiry

The first step in connecting to the national grid is to make a connection enquiry to the relevant NSP. Your connection enquiry should include the type, magnitude and timing of the proposed connection to the network. The NSP will provide a written response outlining the information that must be provided in an application to connect.

Step 2: Application to connect

Any person who has made a connection enquiry, and has received a response from the NSP, may then make an application to connect.

Step 3: Negotiate access standards

Your application to connect must include a negotiated access standard proposal that specifies any technical requirements that do not meet the automatic access standard.

Step 4: Negotiate connection agreement

The NSP must make an offer to connect for all applications submitted at the automatic access standard or for which a negotiated access standard is agreed. The offer to connect must be consistent with, and no more onerous than, the conditions in the schedules to Chapter 5 of the NER. Additionally, proposed terms and conditions must meet the applicable minimum access standards for the proposed plant, as advised by the NSP and set out in schedule 5.2 of the NER.

If you wish to accept the offer to connect, you must negotiate a connection agreement with the NSP. The negotiated connection agreement must include performance standards and any preconditions such as environmental and planning approvals.

You, and the NSP, must jointly advise the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) of a new connection agreement within 20 business days of execution of the agreement.

Planning and construction

Under this arrangement, the relevant NSP, or its approved contractor, is responsible for all aspects of planning and construction, including network design, corridor selection, environmental assessments, planning approvals, acquisition of land and easements and obtaining necessary permits and wayleaves.

Commissioning

Once construction has finished, and prior to commencing operation, you will be required to conduct commissioning tests in conjunction with the relevant NSP. Section 5.8 of the NER outlines the processes to be undertaken prior to and during commissioning tests.

Registering with AEMO

You will also need to register as a Market Customer with AEMO if you plan to purchase electricity directly from the wholesale National Electricity Market (NEM) instead of an electricity retailer.

Flowchart showing order of processes

This chart illustrates the processes you must follow. The green boxes represent actions to be undertaken by you or, by you in conjunction with the NSP. The purple boxes represent actions to be undertaken by the NSP.

Flow chart - network service provider

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