The first step to connecting new generation to the system, whether it is CCGT (Closed Cycle Gas Turbine), Hydro, Thermal, CHP (Combined Heat & Power), Wind or other forms, is to assess if the facility would be best suited for connection to the Transmission or Distribution System.
Typically Generation Projects
- Under 20 MW total export capacity at a single location should initially apply for a distribution connection
- Over 20MW total export capacity at a single location should initially apply for a transmission connection
If you require further information on distribution connections, please refer to the ESB Networks website or contact them at +353 1 850 372 757.
All parties applying to connect to the transmission system must submit a formal application to EirGrid as the Transmission System Operator (TSO).
Applications are processed through the Connection Offer Process as approved by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). This process is in place to ensure fairness, provide transparency and facilitate timely delivery of Connection Offers.
Further information on applying for a transmission connection can be found on this website.
Completing and Submitting a Generation Application Form to EirGrid
There has been a rising number of connection agreement modification requests in recent times, mainly resulting from changes in the application data originally provided by applicants in comparison to the data for the actual equipment subsequently chosen by the applicant. It has become apparent that in the majority of cases the actual equipment to be installed is unknown at the time of application. Consequently EirGrid, following discussions with members of the electricity industry, the Distribution System Operator and the Commission for Energy Regulation, has suggested a new approach to help reduce the time spent by applicants in sourcing application data that is likely to change after a connection offer has been made.
Therefore, EirGrid is pleased to confirm that, further to the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) final direction on the Criteria for Gate 3 Renewable Generator offers & Related Matters as issued on the 16th December 2008 – Ref: CER/08/260, the data required to process all Gate 3 and future applications has been reduced.
Applicants now have one of two options when submitting an application for the connection of a generation facility to EirGrid.
Option 1 – Reduced Criteria Generation Application
An applicant may now choose to delay providing specific technical details of a project until a later date when the applicant will have chosen the actual equipment which will be installed as part of the plant. Generic application data will be assumed by EirGrid for the purposes of carrying out connection studies. The applicants will however be required to provide the actual project data at least a year before they connect and will be liable for any changes to connection method, charges, lead-times, or other as a result of the assumptions made. The advantage of this approach is that applicants will have to spend less time preparing the application.
The principal features of this option are:
- Typical data, which may be more conservative than the actual parameters for the equipment to be installed, will be assumed for studies. The internal network will not be represented and a single equivalent generator will be modelled at the transmission connection node representing the applicant’s generation facility. This approach may lead to fault levels in excess of the Transmission Planning Criteria which means that the applicant may not be able to connect the “assumed plant” to the Transmission System until the highlighted works are complete or the studies are rerun with specific applicant data when provided after offer acceptance.
- A full application form including all the technical data must be submitted at least a year (1 year) prior to first energisation. Any studies must be completed and a modification agreement accepted six (6) months prior to first energisation or first energisation may be delayed.
- The EirGrid assumed data will be used for studies and detailed as part of the Connection Offer. The consequences of any deviation relating to actual equipment parameters that are to be installed are at the applicant’s sole risk. Consequences include additional works with resultant cost, lead-time for shallow or deep connection and/or constraint implications.
For more information download Further Details on Applicant Data Process - Option 1 or contact the Customer Relations Team at + 353 (0)1 702 6642.
Please note that where an applicant selects this option they must fill out all fields in the following application form.
In addition to the Application form the following documents must also be included as part of the application:
- 2 Signed Confidentiality Agreements (if applicable)
- Signed Landowner Consent Confirmation
- Signed Grid Code Acknowledgement/Compliance Declaration
- Signed Use of Assumed Plant/Data Declaration
Option 2 – Full Technical Criteria Generation Application
EirGrid is conscious that some applicants may have chosen their connection equipment now and may wish to avoid a subsequent modification by providing this data now. Therefore, should an applicant wish to provide actual parameters for the equipment to be installed, they can continue with the existing process. This involves completing, in full, the relevant application form along with the relevant supporting documentation (see below). Please note that where an applicant selects this option they must fill out all fields in the application form.
Application form for Connection of Wind Generation Facilities to the Transmission System (Version 1.1 Feb 07)
Application form for Generation Facilities to the Transmission System (Version 1.1 Feb 07)
In addition to the relevant application form the following documents must also be included as part of the application:
- 2 Signed Confidentiality Agreements(if applicable)
- Signed Landowner Consent Confirmation
- Signed Grid Code Acknowledgement/Compliance Declaration
Should you have any queries relating to specific sections of an application form please do not hesitate to contact the Customer Relations Team at + 353 (0)1 702 6642.
Maximum Export Capacity (MEC) and Maximum Import Capacity (MIC)
It is extremely important that an applicant applying for a generation connection accurately determines and specifies the MEC required. System reinforcements will be designed to facilitate this MEC. If the MEC is amended during the connection application process, then EirGrid may have to re-evaluate the application which may result in a delay in issuing the Connection Offer.
It is also important that generators correctly determine the MIC that will be required by the facility. This is something that is often overlooked by those completing generator application forms as often the focus is on the export (MEC) capacity. If the MIC is amended during the connection application process, then EirGrid may have to re-evaluate the application which may result in delay in issuing the Connection Offer.
When submitting an application form to EirGrid as TSO, the application must be accompanied by all supporting documentation as requested, including two signed copies of the EirGrid standard confidentiality agreement and the first installment of €7,000 (inclusive of VAT) of the application fee.
The total application fee is dependant on the size of the plant (taking into account the MEC and MIC values) and whether shallow connection works are involved in dealing with the capacity required. The formula for calculating this fee is set out in the Statement of Charges document as approved by the CER annually. When EirGrid receives a direction from the CER to progress an application to the Offer stage the balance of the application fee will be requested in accordance with the direction received.
Modification Requests & Fees
In the event that a customer with an existing Connection Offer or Connection Agreement wishes to submit a modification request, that includes changes to information provided in the original application form, the customer must submit a formal request to the relevant System Operator (SO) in line with the defined modification process. Customers should note that there are fees associated with such modification requests. Further details can be found under Modification to Connection Agreement here.
The Next Steps
Once an application has been received and deemed complete it is entered into the List of Complete Applications (Connection Offers Disclosure of Applications document). This document lists all the currently deemed complete applications for all types of generation - wind, hydro, pumped storage, conventional etc from both the DSO (ESB Networks) and the TSO (EirGrid).
The most up to date version of this document can be found here on our website.
EirGrid progress applications to the Connection Offer stage in line with directions issued by the CER.
Once a Connection Offer has been made and accepted it is removed from the List of Complete Applications document and added to the 'Contracted Wind farms' or 'Contracted (Other types of Generators)' documents as appropriate. When the connection works are completed and the generator is connected to the network it moves to the 'Connected' list.
The most up to date version of these documents can be found on the List of Connected and Contracted Generators page of this website.
Please note that EirGrid is currently updating the document Process for Connection, which applies to generation and demand customers and outlines the Connection Offer Process. In the interim if you require any information on this process, please contact a member of the Customer Relations Team at + 353 (0)1 702 6642.
Connection, Construction & Commissioning
Connection, Construction & Commissioning Connection works and timing are project specific in nature. Details regarding connecting, connection works, commissioning and key dates will be outlined in the Connection Agreement.
Under current policy, transmission connected generators and demand customers are entitled to procure large elements of their shallow connection themselves. However, there will still be work required to be done by the TSO with respect to design, approval, commissioning, final connections and remote station work. An EirGrid paper on Contestability, which has been approved by the CER, was published in October 2007. To review this document click here Contestability paper Oct 2007.