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Solar PV install without DNO approval


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A little bit complex, so I'll try to bullet-point this:

- before you have solar panels installed, if the peak output is above a certain level, you have to get approval from the Distributed Network Operator in your area (the people responsible for the electricity grid), in my case, SSE.
- my installer submitted the application in 2018 and it was approved so they went on an installed the system, which is an 8.2kW array with twin tesla powerwalls.
- in 2020 I discovered they never submitted the paperwork to SSE to finalise and be issued a certificate. You need this to get onto a smart tariff which directly meters your exported electricity. As far as SSE are concerned, my system doesn't exist.
- in the intervening time, the regs have changed from G59 to G99 and our system, as installed, won't get approval. It doesn't contravene the new regs, but SSE have toughened their internal criteria. It boils down to the fantastically unlikely event of both powerwalls going nuts and exporting at full chat on a very sunny day, taking the theoretical export beyond the limit for a single phase installation. No, a simple circuit breaker isn't sufficient - but I cannot get anyone to explain why.
- the only 'fix' is to upgrade the house and solar inverter to 3-phase, something the installer refuses to do on the grounds of cost. This cost will be significantly more than I could go to Small Claims court over - and it isn't as though I can just pay someone else to do it.
- the installer's comms is just terrible, giving the distinct "bury head in sand" attitude. If it weren't for my asking SSE directly backm in 2020 I don't think they'd have volunteered the original clerical error.

Interested if anyone has any suggestions! In an ideal world, SSE would change their minds, or dictate what safety device they'd need to see installed in order to protect against this crazy unlikely scenario.
 

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You could start off telling us who the installer is or are you trying to protect them?

What would be the cost of putting your system into compliance with new regulations?

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I'm not naming the installer because the situation is ongoing. The cost of 3-phase is about £12k and the new inverter at least abother 3. Plus a fair bit of replacement wiring will be required.

The frustration is that this is all in the name of "safety" when considered against a vanishingly small likelihood which could easily be covered by a £20 circuit breaker.

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Well you should name the installer. There's obviously no disadvantage to you and it may spark off memories in the minds of other people who have had panels fitted by the same installers elsewhere in the country.

If you keep the name secret, then the only people this benefits is the installer.

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