Approval to connect a solar PV system
Western Power is responsible for approving the connection of new solar PV systems to the South West Interconnected Network. A system can only be connected once all of the applicable connection eligibility criteria have been met.
Please refer to the 'Solar PV connection process' fact sheet for information on the solar PV connection process.
A solar PV (photovoltaic) system, the most common of the Inverter Energy Systems, converts solar energy into electricity.
When a solar PV system is connected, it has the potential to increase the amount of power flowing into the network.
To ensure power quality, reliability of supply and prevent a network capacity overload, Western Power must be advised of, and approve the connection of, all solar PV systems.
In some areas, the connection of new solar PV systems is subject to Western Power completing network upgrades or installing new infrastructure to ensure the network capacity is large enough to service community and business demand.
The approval process to connect your solar PV system to the network depends on the size of your system and the capacity of the network in the suburb or region where it will be installed.
** Warning issued on dangerous solar isolating switches - 21 May 2014 **
EnergySafety has issued a public warning about dangerous switches used in some solar systems installed since January 1, 2012. Click here to read the media statement.
** Industry update: Changes to Solar PV Application Process from 1 July 2013 **
Western Power would like to notify solar suppliers and installers of upcoming adjustments to the way applications for the connection of embedded generation systems less than (or equal to) 30 kVA are handled.
From 1 July 2013, the application process will follow a simple, mandatory three step process to getting a solar PV system connected:
Applying to the customer’s Electricity Retailer – All customers must contact their Electricity Retailer when looking to install new or additional embedded generation systems. Once a customer’s application to the Retailer is accepted, the Retailer will provide the customer with a unique ‘Retailer Reference Number’ for use on the application to Western Power. For customers whose Electricity Retailer is Synergy, an email acceptance letter will be provided to the customer containing the ‘Retailer Reference Number’.
Applying to Western Power for technical approval – The customer will then submit an application for approval to connect embedded generation to Western Power’s electricity network. On the application form, the customer will be asked to include the ‘Retailer Reference Number’. Western Power will then review the application and provide technical approval if the system meets the requirements of the Western Power Technical Rules.
Should any application not meet the technical requirements of connecting to the network, Western Power will advise the customer of any alternative options available, such as a revised system capacity.
Upon approval from Western Power, the meter change request will be undertaken, and an approval letter will be provided to the applicant by Western Power.
Appropriate bi-directional metering is installed – Once the meter change or reprogram has been undertaken, the embedded generation system is able to be connected to the network by a qualified solar installer. Note: all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, including Australian Standards for installation, testing and commissioning electrical equipment must be adhered to.
This process will help to make it clearer for the solar PV industry and their customers of the steps required connecting an embedded system.
Western Power has developed an industry fact sheet for those wishing to know more about the upcoming adjustments to the application process.
How to apply?
Please select the relevant size solar PV system you plan to install to view the application process:
For more information
Contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 10 87 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.