Part of the application review process is to determine whether there is sufficient transmission and distribution capacity available for your project at the proposed connection point. When there is sufficient capacity available to connect your project, you will be offered a contract.
When connection availability is insufficient to connect your project, the OPA will determine the transmission and distribution upgrades required and, in conjunction with other applications that require the same upgrades, will assess whether the upgrades are justifiable. The upgrades that are justifiable will be included in transmission and distribution expansion plans. The contract will be offered once these upgrades have received the required approvals and the OPA is reasonably certain that they will be completed by your milestone date for commercial operation.
There are five tools designed to identify connection availability, or, when none is present, to facilitate the development of plans for expanding the grid to enable the connection of FIT projects:
Transmission Availability Test
The transmission availability test will be performed by the OPA to determine if there is sufficient transmission capacity available to connect your renewable energy project.
Distribution Availability Test
The distribution availability test applies only to distribution-connected projects. It will be performed by your local distribution company if your project first passes the transmission availability test. This test will determine if there is sufficient connection availability on the distribution system to connect your renewable energy project.
Economic Connection Test
The economic connection test determines whether the costs of the required grid upgrades to allow your renewable energy project to connect are justifiable and can be included in grid expansion plans.
FIT Production Line
If your project passes the economic connection test, it will wait in the FIT production line until the required grid upgrades have received the necessary approvals and the OPA is reasonably certain that they will be completed by your milestone date for commercial operation.
If your project does not pass the economic connection test, it will wait in the FIT reserve and serve as input to future expansion plans.