Connect a Community-led Renewable Energy Project

As outlined in Section 2.4.1 of the Enduring Connection Policy Stage 2 (ECP-2) Decision, CRU/20/060, published by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Community-led Renewable Energy Projects are defined as*:

(1) Projects with a Maximum Export Capacity (MEC) greater than or equal to 0.5 MW and less than or equal to 5 MW

(2) Projects meeting the following requirements:

(a) at all relevant times, be at least 51% owned by a Renewable Energy Community (the “Relevant REC”) either by way of (i) a direct ownership of the ECP project’s assets, or (ii) a direct ownership of the shares in the generator; and

(b) at all relevant times, at least 51% of all expected profits, dividends and surpluses derived from project are returned to the Relevant REC.

*In relation to Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auctions, it was announced in February 2021 by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications that there will be a new requirement for community-led projects to be 100% community-owned in order to apply for future RESS auctions. The above criteria may therefore be subject to change under future auctions.

Note: for connections made after September 2018 some Distribution Code conditions may change, arising from the need to be aligned with European Network Codes. For more information on this see our European Network Codes page.

Wind Turbine and Solar Panel Spotlight

Community-led Renewable Energy Projects

The following are examples of different types of renewable energy generation technologies:

 

  • Wind turbines (wind)
  • Solar photovoltaic panels (solar)
  • Hydraulic turbines (hydro) excluding pumped storage
  • Waste to energy projects
  • Biomass projects and biogas projects
Note: Renewable energy generation technologies may not be used in combination with non-renewable generation technologies.

Step by step guide

To connect a Community-led Renewable Energy Project to the electricity network, you must follow the steps outlined in Section 3 of the document Ruleset for Enduring Connection Policy Stage 2 (ECP-2) | 457 KB. Please read this document before you start your application.

Obtain a 1:50,000 'Discovery Series' Ordnance Survey map with both the location of your new generator and the site boundary clearly marked with a red pen.

You will also need a detailed site plan in the appropriate scale with both the location of your new generator and the site boundary clearly marked with a red pen.

Application Form

The Generator application forms have been updated in line with Enduring Connection Policy Stage 2, CRU/20/060. To apply for the ECP-2.1 Batch please complete the appropriate application form:

The System Operators will target the issuance of 15 Community-led Energy Projects for each ECP-2 Batch.

Declaration of Community-led Energy Project Form

Community-led Energy Project Applicants are also required to complete a Declaration of Community-led Energy Project Form, confirming that the project meets the community-led renewable energy project definition requirements:

All application documentation must be submitted in electronic format. Electronic files must be submitted via email to: DSOgenerators@esb.ie.

For New Applicants, an initial application fee deposit of €2,000 (including VAT) is required for MEC > 500 kW. The full application fee (including VAT) is required for MEC ≤ 500 kW. 
For Existing Applicants, no new, initial application fee deposit is required should they decide to apply under ECP-2.

The Full Application fees for connection to both the transmission and distribution system under ECP-2 are set
out in the table below:

MIC and MEC Capacity Ranges  A
Demand
Capacity (MIC)
B
Generation
Capacity (MEC)
 C

Shallow Works
> 50kW ≤ 500kW €0 €1,577 €0
> 500kW ≤ 1 MW €0 €8,956 €0
> 1 MW ≤ 4 MW €12,631 €18,347 €0
> 4 MW ≤ 10 MW €21,839 €18,566 €18,566

Table 1 - ECP-2 Connection Application Fees (ex-VAT@23%)
    Demand only: Fee = AMIC + CMIC - D
    Generation Only: Fee = BMEC + CMEC - D
    Demand and Generation: Fee = AMIC + BMEC + MAX [CMEC, CMIC] - D
    Where D is the sum of the credits for the pre-feasibility and advanced works studies still relevant.     
    Determination of D will be calculated by the relevant System Operator



Level Initial non-refundable
deposit (excl. VAT)
Balance of fee
(excl. VAT)

Total Fee
(excl. VAT)

Level 1 €881 €0 €881
Level 1.5 €881 €4,433 €5,315
Level 2 €881 €8,868 €9,749
Level 2.5 €881 €13,455 €14,336
Level 3 €881 €18,042 €18,923
Level 3.5 €881 €21,769 €22,651
Level 4 €881 €25,497 €26,378

Table 2 - Modification Fees (ex-VAT)

This guide has been prepared by ESB Networks to support customers in connecting a community-led renewable energy project to the electricity network. 

Community-led Renewable Energy Projects Guide | Download PDF | 860 KB

Please see link below to the Category B (Non-Batch) and Category C (Community-led) results for ECP-2.1.

Download PDF | 284 KB

For any other queries related to ECP-2 Community-led renewable energy projects please refer to Section 2.4 of the Enduring Connection Policy Stage 2 (ECP-2) Decision CRU/20/060 or email us at communityenergy@esbnetworks.ie.