Connecting a Renewable and Embedded Generator
The Enduring Connection Policy (ECP) process for grid connection applications is the current pathway for generators, storage and other system services technology projects to connect to the electricity system.
Under ECP-2, grid connection applications are categorised as follows:
- Category A (Batch): Generation, storage and other system services technology projects (MEC >0.5MW)
- Category B (Non-Batch): Small-scale generation (11 kW<MEC ≤500 kW), autoproducers and DS3 system services trials (MEC ≤ 0.5MW)
- Category C (Community-led): Community-led renewable energy projects (MEC ≥0.5MW and ≤ 5MW). Further information on Category C projects is available here.
Enduring Connection Policy Stage 2 (ECP-2)
On 10th June 2020, the Commission of Regulation for Utilities (CRU) published its decision on the Enduring Connection Policy Stage 2 (ECP-2), which set policy for at least three annual batches of connection offers (ECP 2.1, ECP-2.2, and ECP-2.3). The System Operator (SO) schedule for each ECP-2 batch will begin with a batch application window from 1st September until 30th September each year. For further information, please refer to the ECP-2 Decision Paper (CRU/20/060), available on the CRU website and ECP-2 Ruleset.
Category A (Batch):
- The ECP-2.1 application window was open from 1st September 2020 until the 30th September 2020. The application window for ECP-2.2 is scheduled to open to all Category A (Batch) applicants from Wednesday, 1st September 2021 with a closing date of 5pm Thursday, 30th September 2021. Applicants will be prioritised by largest renewable energy generation (first 25), then by planning permission grant date with no more than 10 primarily storage and other system service technology projects.
Category B (Non-Batch) and Category C (Community-led):
- Category B (Non-Batch) and Category C (Community-led) applicants can apply on an ongoing basis throughout the calendar year. Please refer to Section 4.5 and 4.6 respectively of the ECP-2 ruleset for further information on application eligibility criteria.
The current Generator Application Forms are available for download by clicking the below links:
Generator Application Forms
Node Assignment Ruleset
Based on industry feedback, EirGrid and ESB Networks (the System Operators or "SOs") have reviewed and published a joint ruleset which outlines how applications are assigned to nodes for offer processing. The ruleset will remain under review, particularly as we complete annual batches, and updates will be published as required. The updated ECP-2 Node Assignment Ruleset can be found .
Generator Standard Charges
The CRU published a decision paper (CRU/21/035) on ESB Networks 2020 proposals for changes to Generator Standard Charges (GSCs). The new 2021 ESB Networks "Standard Prices for Generator Connections 2021" document is published alongside this decision (CRU/21/035a). See link to CRU Decision here (PDF | 569 KB).
This decision is the outcome of a three-year review process for these charges including two consultations and a number of independent advisor reviews. The GSCs approved by this decision will be used by ESB Networks from this point forward and, allowing for inflation, will apply until at least after Enduring Connection Policy - Stage 2, Batch 3 (ECP-2.3) offers.
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 at the link below:
For any other ECP-2 queries not covered on our website please refer to Enduring Connection Policy Stage 2 (ECP-2) CRU/20/060. For all other queries please email DSOgenerators@esb.ie.