EirGrid is the Transmission System Operator for Ireland. As part of our role, we connect generators to the electricity system at transmission level – these are normally larger generators with a capacity of more than 40 megawatts (MW) of capacity. Generators which are smaller than that in terms of capacity are generally connected to the distribution system, operated by ESB Networks.
We operate the connection process for new generators and interconnectors in line with regulatory decisions. The generators we work with include thermal plants which use fossil fuels, or hydro, CHP plants (Combined Heat & Power), wind generators or other newer types of generation such as solar power or storage devices.
The following is a guide for generation customers to assess whether to connect to the Transmission or Distribution System and whether to apply to EirGrid or ESB Networks.
Applications are processed through the Connection Offer Process as approved by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). This process is in place to ensure fairness, provide transparency and facilitate timely delivery of Connection Offers. ECP is the new process for grid connection, open to all generating and/or storage and other system service technologies.
The CRU published its Decision on Enduring Connection Policy Stage 1 (ECP-1) on 27 March 2018. The ECP-1 applications window opened on 27 April 2018 and closed on 28 May 2018.
The CRU published its Decision on Enduring Connection Policy Stage 2 (ECP-2) on 10 June 2020. This decision announced three annual batches through which connection applications will be accepted and processed. The first application window (ECP-2.1) is 1 September 2020 -30 September 2020, with application windows for subsequent batches open over September in the following years.
To accompany this decision paper, the SOs (EirGrid and ESB Networks) have published a ruleset providing more details around the application and connection offer process for ECP-2. This is available here.
For more information on ECP, including application forms, please click below:
Received Complete Date
EirGrid assigns Received Complete Dates to each new generation application in accordance with the following rules.
When submitting a new application to EirGrid as TSO, the application must be accompanied by all supporting documentation as requested, including two signed copies of the EirGrid standard confidentiality agreement and the first installment of €7,000 (inclusive of VAT) of the application fee, or €2,000 (inclusive of VAT) for those applying under ECP-2. The total application fee is dependent on the size of the plant (taking into account the MEC and MIC values) and whether shallow connection works are involved in dealing with the capacity required. The formula for calculating this fee is set out in the Statement of Charges document as approved by the CRU annually. All of these documents are also available on the search facility in the Library section of this website.
Demand and generation customers may apply to change certain elements of their connection agreements by submitting a formal modification request to EirGrid. The rules regarding modification requests are available here. Modification requests can be submitted to EirGrid by filling out the appropriate form(s) and paying the appropriate fee.
The appropriate fees are available by consulting the current version of EirGrid’s Statement of Charges available here.
All modification requests should be submitted in soft copy to OPMO@eirgrid.com
Further information around the rules that relate to modification requests and the clarifications that have been approved to the Connection Offer Policy & Process (COPP) can be found in our document library here.
Enduring Connection Policy (ECP-2) Decision – Change in Generation Type (COPP rules)
As per the CRU's decision on ECP-2, the accompanying ruleset details the changes that have been made to the Connection Offer Policy and Process (COPP) paper. In order to effectively implement these changes the System Operators (SOs) have clarified their interpretation of the new rules, in particular how it is envisaged Chapter 9 ‘Change in Generation Type’ will work in practice. This interpretation follows the COPP principle that “where the policies do not directly translate to a case in point, the principles established will be interpreted by the SOs”. In addition, Section 9 of COPP also states that “Changes in generation technology will generally only be processed as per a new application and be subject to the processing rules that pertain to a new application appropriate to the change in generation technology sought.” While this requirement is only specifically stated in the pre energisation section it has been implemented for all changes in generation types. The processing rules that now pertain to all technologies (with only limited exceptions) is that planning permission is a requirement.
For the avoidance of doubt, the SOs shall implement as follows:
For all applications:
For applications prior to energisation:
For applications post energisation:
For further amendments to COPP, please see the SOs ruleset.
Connection Policy Transitional Arrangements - Capacity Release
In line with the CRU Decision CRU/20/60, all projects contracted pre ECP-1 (but not those that chose to fold into ECP-1) had a final opportunity to apply to EirGrid to terminate their Transmission Connection Agreement. The rules on refunds and charges are set out in Section 3.4.2 of CER/16/284.
The window for submission of applications for this Capacity Release has now closed.
Connection works, Commissioning and Contestability
Details regarding connecting, connection works, commissioning and key dates will be outlined in the Connection Agreement. Under current policy, transmission connected generators and demand customers are entitled to procure large elements of their connection works themselves. An EirGrid paper on Contestability, which has been approved by the CRU, was published in October 2007.
Wind Dynamic Modelling
EirGrid requires dynamic models for all generators connected to, or applying for a connection to the transmission system. This is in order to assess the impact of the generator on the stability of the power system.
All transmission and distribution wind farms greater than 5 MW, with signed connection agreements, are required to provide a dynamic model, to EirGrid, no later than 240 business days (1 year) prior to their scheduled date of connection to the power system.
EirGrid maintains a Dynamic Model Register that lists the current wind turbine generator dynamic models which have been provided with respect to the Planning Code Appendix of the Grid Code (PCA4.10.1) and its subsections. All dynamic models must meet with the requirements as set out in section PCA220.127.116.11 of the Planning Code and be compliant with PSS/E versions 32, 33 and 34.
The latest version of the Dynamic Model Register can be downloaded here.
Advanced Works Packages
Demand and generation customers may apply to request an Advanced Works Package to progress specific works for their project in advance of a modified connection agreement being executed.
The application form and guidelines for applying for an Advanced Works Package are available here.
Applications can be submitted to EirGrid by filling out the appropriate form(s) and paying the appropriate fee.
The application fee for an Advanced Works Package is a Level 1 fee. Please consult the current version of EirGrid’s Statement of Charges available here.
All application requests should be submitted in soft copy to OPMO@eirgrid.com.
EirGrid requires that the individual clearance policies in respect of wind turbines and solar panels are adhered to when planning and constructing projects. For further information on each policy please see the below documents:
Offshore Wind Substation and Cable Functional Specification Revisions
Click here for more information on our consultation on revisions to Functional Specifications for Offshore Substations and Offshore Submarine cables.
In May 2009 the CRU (formerly known as the Commission for Energy Regulation) published a decision paper on Standard Transmission Charges and Timelines (CER/09/077). This document sets out the standard transmission charges and timelines for some asset classes to be used by EirGrid when issuing offers for connection to the transmission system. These charges are updated annually to reflect the change in Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) as published by the Central Bank of Ireland. Please see the CRU approved 2021 standard transmission charges located here.
Find all the supporting documentation you need here.