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  • Writer's pictureRyan Williams


Updated: Jul 14, 2023

How Does a DNO for Solar Panels Work?

Understand how the DNO works

How Does a DNO for Solar Panels Work?

The operation of a DNO for solar panels involves several key components:

Solar Panel Owners: Individuals or businesses who own solar panels on their rooftops or land and generate electricity from sunlight.

Energy Consumers: Nearby households or businesses who consume electricity and are interested in purchasing locally generated solar power.

Local Energy Market: A digital platform or marketplace that facilitates the buying and selling of solar-generated electricity within a local community.

Smart Grid Technology: Advanced metering and monitoring systems that enable the measurement, tracking, and settlement of electricity transactions between solar panel owners and energy consumers.

When solar panels generate more electricity than the owner can consume, the excess electricity can be sold or traded on the local energy market.


When you’re making any significant changes to your connection, you must notify your local DNO provider. A significant change includes installing one of the following green energy devices:

  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) Panels

  • Heat pump

  • EV Charging Point

  • Battery Storage that has back up/islanding functionality.

DNO in the UK

DNO approval process for solar panel installation

Benefits of a DNO for Solar Panels

The concept of a DNO for solar panels offers several benefits for the UK's energy landscape:

Increased Local Energy Resilience: By generating and consuming electricity locally, communities can become more resilient to disruptions in the national grid, such as power outages or extreme weather events. Localized energy systems can operate independently and provide a stable source of electricity, ensuring energy security and reliability.

Reduced Carbon Footprint: Solar panels are a clean and renewable source of energy that does not produce greenhouse gas emissions during operation. By promoting local solar power generation, a DNO can contribute to reducing the overall carbon footprint of a community, helping to mitigate climate change.


In the UK, connecting solar panels to the national grid requires compliance with regulations and standards set by Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). DNOs are responsible for managing the local electricity distribution network, ensuring that solar panel installations are safe and do not pose any risks to the grid or other consumers. As such, solar panel owners need to obtain a DNO certificate to ensure their solar panels are connected legally and safely to the grid.

A DNO certificate is a document that confirms that a solar panel installation complies with the technical and safety requirements set by the DNO. It serves as evidence that the solar panel installation has been inspected and approved by the DNO, and it is a crucial requirement for solar panel owners to connect their system to the grid and benefit from feed-in tariffs (FITs) or participate in a DNO for solar panels program.

Different Types of DNO Applications for Solar Panels

There are different types of DNO applications for solar panels, depending on the size and complexity of the installation. The most common types of DNO applications for solar panels are:

  • G98 Application: This type of application is for small-scale solar panel installations with a capacity of up to 16A per phase, which are connected to a single-phase supply. It is typically used for residential installations or small commercial installations. The G98 application includes a series of technical requirements, such as voltage limits, fault current limits, and protection devices, that must be met to ensure the safe connection of solar panels to the grid.

  • G99 Application: If you are installing a large-scale solar system, greater than 16A per phase, you will need to apply for DNO approval prior to installation. This is because the grid needs to determine whether your local distributor can handle the extra load. The process of the DNO reviewing your application can take between 8 to 12 weeks. This type of application is also for solar panel installations with a capacity of more than 50kW or installations that are connected to a distribution network with a voltage level of more than 1kV. It is typically used for utility-scale solar installations.

  • G100 Application: If your G99 application comes back and your system’s export needs to be limited, a G100 application is required.

The process of obtaining a DNO certificate involves submitting a detailed application, including technical specifications of the solar panel installation, to the relevant DNO. The DNO will review the application, conduct inspections and tests, and issue a certificate if the installation meets the technical and safety requirements. It is essential for solar panel owners to work with qualified and experienced professionals to ensure that their solar panel installation complies with the DNO requirements and obtains the necessary certificate for grid connection.

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