Generation

Distributed Energy Resources

New technologies are shaping the way electricity systems generate, control, distribute and store electricity. These innovative technologies, often referred to as Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), are changing the way consumers, businesses and communities are meeting their electricity needs.

Distributed Energy Resource (DER) is an electricity source or load that is connected to a distribution system, typically through a connection on the customer-side of an ownership demarcation point. Sources generate electricity (e.g. generation facilities, including energy storage facilities when discharging), while loads do not generate electricity (e.g. energy storage facilities when charging).

While generation power plants continue to play an essential role in Ontario’s electricity system, new smaller-scale technologies, like solar panels and onsite battery storage, enable consumers and communities the opportunity to produce and distribute their own electricity, reducing their reliance on Ontario’s electricity system.

Examples of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) include:

  • Rooftop solar photovoltaic systems.
  • Battery storage systems.
  • Combined heat and power systems.
  • Electric vehicle-to-grid charging systems

Benefits of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) include:

  • Give consumers control: DERs reduce reliance on the provincial electricity grid by supplying some of the energy needed for a home, facility or business, which helps lower electricity bills.
  • Lower system costs: DERs can be located close to urban centres, which limits (or avoids) the need for new or upgraded distribution / transmission lines.
  • Provide energy security: DERs can be connected to the local or provincial grid, providing back-up power during emergencies

Thinking of DER project?

If you are considering a Distributed Energy Resource (DER) project, before you start work or purchase equipment, please review the details in the OEB “Distributed Energy Resources Connection Procedures” document and complete & submit the “Preliminary Consultation Information Request form to us.

These forms will assist us in checking to make sure there is electricity distribution capacity to connect a DER project in your area.

Micro Embedded Generation Facility – Net Metering

If you are considering installing a Micro-Embedded Generation Net Metering at your residential property or business facility, below is a list of frequently asked questions to assist you.

Important:

Before you start work or purchase equipment, please review the information below.

What is Net Metering?

Net Metering allows you to manage your energy costs through the installation of renewable resources. If you are producing more renewable energy than you can use, we will take what you have got leftover. You will receive a credit or an adjustment on your monthly hydro bill for the energy exported, up to a maximum of the value of electricity consumed from our grid.

In return, we will give you a credit on your bill so it can be applied to help you pay when you are not generating as much as you have used.
For details and eligibility requirements, see Ontario Regulation 541/05

How does it work?

Once you have met all the technical requirements, we will install a bidirectional meter at your location. The meter measures the electricity that you draw (or consume) from the grid and it also measures the electricity that you produce (or generate) and send to the distribution system.

As per Ontario Regulation 541/05, using monthly meter readings, we will calculate the value of the energy you took (or consumed) from the grid as well as the value of the energy you sent (or generated) to the grid. You will essentially pay the difference (or “net”) between the two.

What if I generate more than I consume?

Some months you might generate more than you consume, such as in the summer when there is plenty of sunshine. In these circumstances, you will accumulate generation credits that can be used towards future consumption charges.

Under Ontario Regulation 541/05 we cannot pay you for excess generation. Excess generation accumulates as generation credits to be used against future consumption charges only.

What if I consume more than I generate?

Some months you might consume more than you generate. During the winter months, most systems generate less electricity, and you will likely draw more electricity from the grid than you produce. In these months, the generation credits that you have previously accumulated will be automatically applied to your account.

Do Credits Expire?

Generation credits do not carry forward indefinitely. The accumulated credit must be used within 12 months. Once credits have accumulated for 12-consecutive months, all credits are written-off as per Ontario Regulation 541/05.

Is a Connection Impact Assessment Required?

No, a Connection Impact Assessment is not required if the micro-embedded generation project is ≤10 kW.

Will Net Metering bring my bill to zero?

No. There is a monthly fixed charge that you will always have to pay. This is to pay for the use and maintenance of the distributor’s electricity distribution system (i.e. poles, transformers and, wires).

For business customers there are also some charges that are not offset by net metering.

However, all customers will be able to offset the cost of the electricity commodity with net metering.

Can credits be applied to other services?

No, net metering credits can only be applied to your future electricity usage.

Credits can not be transferred to pay for other services your local hydro company may also bill you for, such as water / sewer usage.

What is the process for connecting a Micro-Embedded Generation facility such as a net-metering project?

The process and steps for connecting a Micro-Embedded Generation facility, like a net-metering project, are summarized in the document below:

Micro-embedded Generation Facility Connection Process

 

How I apply?

Please complete the Net Metering Application form and submit it to us.

This form will assist us in checking to make sure there is electricity distribution capacity to connect a net metering project in your area.

Once we have confirmed with you that there is adequate electricity distribution capacity to connect your Micro-Embedded Generation Net Metering project, you will be required to complete and submit to us a “Net Metering Connection Agreement” form.

Distributed Energy Resources

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), are changing the way consumers, businesses and communities are meeting their electricity needs.

Thinking of DER project?

If you are considering a Distributed Energy Resource (DER) project, before you start work or purchase equipment, please review the details in the OEB “Distributed Energy Resources Connection Procedures” document and complete & submit the form to us.

These forms will assist us in checking to make sure there is electricity distribution capacity to connect a DER project in your area.

Distributed Energy Resources Connection Process Overview

The connection process can be broken into 4 stages once an applicant initiates a request to the distributor for a connection or information to connect:

1. Preliminary consultation, exchange of information and capacity check
a) Planning, information exchange, capacity check

2. Connection Impact Assessment
a) Capacity allocation

3. Project Development
a) Project scope and cost
b) Connection Cost Agreement

4. Build and energization
a) ESA Review and Inspections.
b) Build and Commissioning
c) Connection Agreements

Generation Connection Agreement

Protection Philosophy

The Sample Protection Philosophy document below is a summary of a sample protection philosophy for non-exporting, inverter-based (NE/I) connections including storage, solar, and wind. (Note: Other philosophies may also meet the standards.)

Sample Protection Philosophy

This document serves as a guide for applicants regarding the kinds of protections, and particularly the categories of protections, that distributors will require for connection.

To form a protection scheme, all the elements for each category within any given protection philosophy are required.

This document is not an approval for connection. This information should help applicants file complete applications for connection. An applicant will need to submit detailed protection settings after the utility has completed the impact assessment of the submitted connection application.

Preliminary Consultation Information Request – DER Connections

During the initial planning phase of a project, an applicant needs to know if there are any limitations that would prevent connecting a project at a specific location on a distributor’s electricity distribution system.

The “Preliminary Consultation Information Request” form gathers basic information on the proposed project including contact information, project intent, size, type, and location.

An applicant completes and submits a “Preliminary Consultation Information Request” form to the distributor. The distributor will then respond with a Preliminary Consultation Report.

Responsibility:

DER-applicant is responsible for completing and submitting the “Preliminary Consultation Information Request” form to the distributor.

Preliminary Consultation Report

Once you have submitted a completed “Preliminary Consultation Information Request,” within 15 days, Centre Wellington Hydro Ltd. will issue a “Preliminary Consultation Report” to the DER-applicant.

This report identifies the feasibility of a connection based on the information provided in the “Preliminary Consultation Information Request” and the distributor’s knowledge of available capacity at the proposed point of connection.

If the “Preliminary Consultation Report” identifies there may be connection capacity, it will provide information that the DER-applicant will need to prepare for a “Connection Impact Assessment” application.

Any other information that the distributor considers helpful to the applicant in deciding whether to proceed to the next stage of planning (e.g., any conditions on capacity or configuration and the likelihood that the project will require transfer trip) will be included in the notes section of the “Preliminary Consultation Report.”

The “Preliminary Consultation Report” will also identify what connection studies will be required at the Connection Impact Assessment application stage. For instance, depending on the size and location of the project, these may include multiple Connection Impact Assessments (e.g. the distributor and the host distributer – Hydro One Networks Inc).

It is important to remember that the “Preliminary Consultation Report” is a snapshot in time and does not reserve capacity for a project.

Responsibility:

The distributor is responsible for completing and submitting the “Preliminary Consultation Report” form to the DER-applicant.

Connection Impact Assessment Form

The “Connection Impact Assessment” form is a study prepared by the distributor to assess the impact of a proposed Distributed Energy Resource facility connection on its system. This assessment will specify the technical requirements for the connection.

The information requirements at this stage are more substantial than the information included in the preliminary consultation phase.

Depending on the size of the project and its location within the distribution system, an additional Connection Impact Assessment by a host distributor and/or transmitter (such as Hydro One Networks Inc.), and/or a System Impact Assessment by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) may also be necessary to assess upstream system impacts.

The table below outlines an anticipated number of additional studies required based on DER classification:

DER ClassificationRatingSample List of Studies
Micro≤ 10 kWNone
Smalla)  ≤ 500 kW connected on distribution system voltage < 15 kV
b) ≤ 1 MW connected on distribution system voltage ≥ 15 kV
1- Distributor (or Embedded Distributor)
2- Host Distributor (if applicable)
Mid-Sizeda)  ≤10 MW but > 500 kW connected on distribution system voltage < 15 kV
b) > 1 MW but ≤ 10 MW connected on distribution system voltage ≥ 15 kV
1- Distributor (or Embedded Distributor)
2- Host Distributor (if applicable)
3- Transmitter (if applicable)
Large> 10 MW1- Distributor (or Embedded Distributor)
2- Host Distributor (if applicable)
3- Transmitter
4- IESO System Impact Assessment
The completion of a Connection Impact Assessment does not constitute approval of the protection philosophy and single line diagram (SLD) by the distributor. The protection philosophy and single-line diagram will be subject to distributor review after the Connection Impact Assessment has been issued.

The “Connection Impact Assessment – Screening Process” document below is a useful tool to confirm if the Connection Impact Assessment is complete.

The process and steps for connecting a Small-Embedded Generation facility are summarized in the document below.

The process and steps for connecting a Mid-Sized and Large-Sized-Embedded Generation facility are summarized in the document below.

Responsibilities:

Distributor:

  • The distributor will provide the DER-applicant with the technical requirements using the “Connection Impact Assessment” form for connection to the distributor’s electrical system.
  • The distributor will provide an estimate of the cost to facilitate the connection.

DER-applicant:

  • Payment (in full) of the estimate must be made prior to the distributor commencing the studies.

Note:

  • Depending on the size of the project and its location within the distribution system, additional Connection Impact Assessments by a host distributor and/or transmitter, and/or a System Impact Assessment by the Independent Electricity System Operator may also be necessary to assess upstream system impacts.
  • The distributor will reserve capacity on its own system for a minimum of 180 days pending a decision by the applicant on moving forward.

Timelines for Review & Response

The table below summarizes the steps and review/response times for managing a Distributed Energy Resource Connection request:

For Projects ≤ 10 kW (Micro-Embedded Generation facility – Net Metering)

StepActionWhoTimingInformation
1Submits a “Net Metering Application” formDER-applicant
2Reviews “Net Metering Application” formDistributorWithin 15 calendar daysDistributor may contact customer for more information
3Distributor advises Applicant there is adequate distribution capacity to connect ≤10 kW (Micro-Embedded Generation facility.Distributor
Assuming there is capacity and DER-applicant decides to process with the project:
4Issues a “Net Metering Agreement” [Offer to Connect] to the DER-applicantDistributorResponsibility of the DER-applicant to ensure Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) requirements are met.
5Completes and submits “Net Metering Agreement” [Offer to Connect] to the distributorDER-applicantResponsibility of the DER-applicant to ensure Distributor fees are paid (in full).
6Distributor connects the DER micro-embedded generation facility to the distribution systemWithin 5 calendar daysResponsibility of the DER-applicant to ensure ESA authorization to connect.

For Projects > 10 kW

StepAction WhoTimingInformation
1Submits Preliminary Consultation Information Request to DistributorDER-applicant
2Reviews “Preliminary Consultation Information Request”DistributorDistributor may contact customer for more information
3Issues a Preliminary Consultation Report to the DER-applicant.DistributorWithin 15 calendar days of receipt of Preliminary Consultation Information RequestPreliminary Consultation Report will list if whether the project can move ahead and the requirements (i.e. Connection Impact Assessment required (yes/no).
For projects over 10 kW, then a “Connection Impact Assessment” is required:
4Submits a Connection Impact Assessment to DER-applicantDistributorTimeframes listed below dependent upon the size of the generation facility
Size of Embedded Generation FacilityHost Distributor Connection Impact Assessment RequiredNumber of Days for Review & Response
Mid-sizedNowithin 60 days
Large sizedNowithin 90 days
Mid-sizedYes*within 75 days
Large sizedYes*within 105 days

* Note:

Distributor Centre Wellington Hydro Ltd. is an embedded distributor fed from Hydro One Network Inc. (the host distributor). We may need to request a Connection Impact Assessment from Hydro One Networks Inc. to determine whether connecting a generation facility will have any effect to the distribution lines / transmission lines, feeder capacity or equipment of Hydro One Networks Inc.

List of Restricted Feeders

The table below provides a list of restricted feeders by name and feeder designation that the electricity distributor operates that are known not to have any short circuit capacity to accommodate a generation facility connection.

Feeder NameFeeder DesignationDetails
Centre Wellington Hydro Ltd. is not aware of any restricted feeders.
Update & Review DateSeptember 22, 2022

Approximate Costs

The table below provides approximate costs for a Distributor Connection Impact Assessment:

SizeDistributor Connection Impact Assessment Estimated Cost
Small projects up to 30kW on 3 Phase connection, simplified$3800
Up to 1 MW$4900
Up to 5 MW$7400
Above 5 MWPlease email us or call 519-843-2900
Date Reviewed & UpdatedSeptember 22, 2022

* Note:

  • The above cost estimates exclude witnessing/commissioning of the project which is approx. $1,000 per day.
  • The above estimates exclude costs where a Connection Impact Assessment from Hydro One Networks Inc., CWH’s Host Distributor, is required.
  • The above costs are estimates only and may vary depending on the scope of work required.
  • CIA revisions (Administrative only, no impact study) is approx. $1,500

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