The Australian Energy Market Operator is seeking to develop a minimum set of technical standards to tackle Australia’s still-booming rooftop solar uptake, and the challenges emerging in managing the growing behind-the-meter resource.
The AEMO lodged a request for a rule change to the Australian Energy Market Commission seeking approval to develop a minimum set of grid connection standards for rooftop solar systems, household and business battery systems, and electric vehicles.
In the request, AEMO said the uniform minimum standard was needed so that distributed energy resources (DER) could contribute to the secure and reliable function of the electricity network, while also “providing greater value to DER owners and minimising cross-subsidies to those who cannot install these resources.”
The proposed standards would apply to small and medium solar and battery storage systems, controllable loads, demand response systems, and electric vehicles with the capability to deliver power stored in batteries back into the grid.
“Minimum standards on technical capabilities to integrate DER with the power system will improve certainty about the behaviour, performance and contribution of DER to the power system during and following severe disturbances,” AEMO said.
“By improving the performance of DER and the predictability of DER behaviour, standardisation of minimum DER capabilities across the NEM will allow more consumers to connect DER to the grid in the future and increase the avenues available for consumers to optimise their investments in DER.”
AEMO has proposed that the new standards – which the market operator hopes to have in place by October of this year – will only apply to new installations of distributed energy technologies, and will not apply to existing systems.