Distributed Energy Resources

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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 a
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 “Generation Connection Agreement” and complete and submit the forms 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

Useful Resources:
More information about DER’s can be found at:
Ontario Energy Board DER Connection Process
Hydro One – List of Station Capacity

Questions:
Please call us at 519-942-8000 or email us.

Detailed Information
& Forms

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 document

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:
The 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, Orangeville Hydro 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 distributor – 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 Application

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 Generation facility are summarized in the documents below.

Responsibilities – DER-applicant: Complete and submit a “Request for Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) Application“ to the distributor using the form below.

The distributor will send a “Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) Application”. For reference, click  “Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) Application” to view a copy.

Complete and submit a “Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) Application“ to the distributor. Payment (in full) of the estimate must be made prior to the distributor commencing the studies. (Refer to Approximate Costs section for fees and charges)

Responsibilities – Distributor:

Upon receiving a “Request for Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) Application“, the distributor will issue a “Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) Application“ to the DER-applicant.

Upon receiving the “Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) Application“ , 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.

Note:

  1. 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.
  2. The distributor will reserve capacity on its own system for a minimum of 180 days pending a decision by the applicant on moving forward.

Questions:
Please call us at 519-942-8000 or email us.

Connection Agreement Form – Generation Facility >10 kW

Once we have confirmed with you that there is adequate electricity distribution capacity to connect your Small/Mid-Embedded Generation facility, you will be required to complete and submit to us a “Connection Agreement – Generation Facility >10 kW” form.

We will send you a “Connection Agreement – Generation Facility >10 kW” form. For reference, clicking the link below will display a copy of the “Connection Agreement – Generation Facility >10 kW” form:

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 Orangeville Hydro 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
Orangeville Hydro 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
Up to 100 kW3800
Up to 1 MW4900
Up to 5 MW7400
Above 5 MWPlease email us or call 5519-942-8000
Date Reviewed & UpdatedSeptember 2

Notes:

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

Questions:
Please call us at 519-942-8000 or email us.