Our connection process

A tailored approach

Transpower's connection process adapts to fit the needs of your connection. For a small, discrete and simple connection you may be up and running on the National Grid in fewer than 18 months depending on demand and resource availability. Large-scale complex connections may take longer than three years to commission.

  • Step One: Contact us and discuss your requirements
  • Step Two: We will send you a Concept Assessment Questionnaire and if applicable a Transpower Services Agreement
  • Step Three: One of our subject matter experts will assess your request and requirements.
    • Our standard concept assessment turnaround time is 25-45 working days depending on levels of inquiry and the complexity of each case – the graph below is updated monthly.

Image
Concept Assessment volumes

April 2024 update - we presently have 8 active concept assessment requests and an increasing number of active investigations for customer projects

Image
OCP

 

Welcome to the power team

When you connect to the New Zealand Grid you become one of our customers and will be given a dedicated Customer Relationship Manager and individual engagement plan. Read more.

For further information on our process check out the information below or contact us at [email protected].

New customer - information checklist

New Connections General FAQ

Your Customer Journey

The image below shows a typical customer journey with Transpower from initial contact through to ongoing operations, lifecycle replacement and connection enhancements.  We can be flexible to meet your needs, so your journey may take a different path.

Image
Customer Journey

Application stage for generation and storage connections

To manage high interest in connecting grid scale generation and storage, and to focus resourcing on projects which are more likely to be built, Transpower requires a formal Application for grid scale generation and storage connection requests to join our generation pipeline.

Applicants for grid scale generation and storage projects requiring new Transpower assets will need to:

  • provide evidence of project readiness via an Application Form, and
  • agree to Transpower publishing limited project information, and
  • pay an Application Fee, and
  • meet project milestones to demonstrate progress during the Investigation and delivery stages.

For further information on our Application stage check out the information below or contact us at [email protected].

On 1 July 2024 we completed a review of our Connection Management Framework, the outcome of which is available in the following document:

Connection Management Framework Review Decision Document (1/7/2024)

Generation and storage connection Applications will re-open from 8am on the 8th July 2024.

For new applications see the following process document which includes the latest Application Form and Guidance notes:

Connection Management Framework – Process Document V2 (3/7/2024)

Note - new applications completed using the latest form and received prior to applications formally re-opening on the 8th July 2024 will be considered from the 8th July in the order in which they are received.

Customer-led new connections

When will Transpower consider a customer-led connection?

Transpower’s usual process for new Transpower connections works sequentially from concept assessment to investigation, then delivery, with Transpower leading all stages. Some generation or industrial load developers seeking a connection to Transpower may request to lead all or part of the connection process and undertake much of the work themselves.

The following PDF guideline identifies when and under what conditions Transpower may agree to a customer-led approach for connection of new generation or industrial load to Transpower’s transmission network. Transpower involvement is always required, although the extent of this will vary by project.

Customer-led New Connections draft guideline

Competing connections

How do we manage competing connections?

The electricity market in New Zealand is designed to be competitive, encouraging economic investment in new generation to compete against, and potentially replace, existing generation. As a regulated monopoly Transpower provides open access connections to New Zealand’s power system. Transpower will connect any new development (generation or demand) where the new connection is technically and logistically feasible, the developer covers all incremental costs associated with the connection, and our ability to operate the power system for the benefit of New Zealand is not compromised. Transpower does not consider the economics of a connection and does not provide advice on whether a project will be financially viable.

With open access there is no guaranteed right to transmission capacity beyond the use of the dedicated Transpower assets forming your direct connection to the power system. After you are connected Transpower may connect competing generation to local Transpower assets not dedicated to your connection.  This may require you to compete for transmission capacity in the wholesale electricity market.

For a proposed new point of connection Transpower commits any local spare connection capacity on a first ready first served basis. Spare capacity is committed when we have accepted an application request for your connection and is conditional on your demonstration of reasonable progress against an agreed project milestones. We do not allow companies to ‘reserve spots’ earlier in the connection process to mitigate the risk developers might bank connections for projects that will never be built.

If you have an active connection project with Transpower, but are yet to commit to a Transpower connection, we may receive a request from another party to invest in a connection at the same location. In the interests of operating transparently whilst protecting confidentiality, if we receive a competing connection request at your connection location we will inform you of the existence of this request, and any potential impacts to your project.

We have implemented a generation connection management framework including a formal application stage for generation connections and publication of our generation and non-generation connection pipelines, with the aim of increasing transparency and certainty for your proposed connection in relation to other competing connection requests.

Where multiple parties share a connection location and there is a present or future need for a capacity upgrade to connection assets at that location, all connected parties must agree between them how they will share the Transpower cost to implement an upgrade.  In accordance with the Code, Transpower does not determine cost sharing arrangements for capacity upgrades to shared connection assets subject to customer investments. Transpower may facilitate this conversation and may suggest methodologies which connected parties have used in other locations, e.g. a ratio based on anytime maximum load or generation. For shared load connections the following flow chart outlines the process and the associated regulations.

Shared connection upgrade process flow chart