Embedded Generation

The electricity industry is experiencing significant growth in the connection of embedded generation (EG), in particular from renewable energy sources. Much of this growth is a result of initiatives relating to climate change activities, political and customer appetite, and the need for demand management to reduce network costs. For many customers, small EG is desirable for additional energy security and flexibility, and their own clean energy supply.

Embedded or distributed generation is any form of generation which is connected to (or embedded in) an electrical distribution network. Types of embedded generation may include:

  • open and closed cycle gas turbines;
  • reciprocating engines (diesel, oil);
  • hydro and mini-hydro schemes;
  • wind turbines;
  • photovoltaic generation (solar);
  • fuel cells; and
  • cogeneration or polygeneration’ (combined cooling, heat and power).

Distribution networks in Australia have in the past been designed for a one-way flow of energy. However, with the introduction of embedded generation consumers are now able to supply their own energy and export excess energy to the grid. With this two-way flow of power, it is increasingly important for network businesses to address any potential impacts and maximise the benefits of connecting embedded generation to the electricity network.

ENA Work

ENA is currently undertaking a project to investigate the impacts and benefits of Embedded Generation (EG) on electricity networks around Australia. This project will particularly focus on the emerging technical, regulatory and commercial issues and benefits that EG could bring to managing peak demand and what options the ENA should consider, in the long term interests of the networks, consumers and prosumers, to support an effective and efficient transition process to facilitate the continued growth and integration of EG, and to enable consistency of approach to these issues across all Australian networks.

For more information contact Stuart Johnston info@ena.asn.au

Stocktake: Database of renewable energy grid integration projects

The Stocktake is an important initiative with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The ENA and ARENA are working together to ensure that the Stocktake remains a continuing resource with publically available, up to date information in the area. ARENA is funding the ENA to deliver the first two updates to the stocktake, in late 2014 and 2015, with oversight from a cross-industry steering committee.

Click here for more details about the stocktake