The uptake of rooftop solar systems, battery storage and electric vehicles continues to rise in Australia. The country is expected to connect about 12 GW of rooftop solar systems to the national electricity market (NEM) by 2025 – one of the highest in the world. The distributed PV can reach a 41% of the NEM demand. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) aims to standardize the technical requirements for these distributed energy resources (DER). At present, the standards are a mix of national and international guidelines, which are implemented on a network-by-network basis. This is enforced through regulatory obligations of Distribution Network Service Provides (DNSP). Thus, it varies from state to state and also among network operators. On 5th May 2020, AEMO submitted a rule change request to the Australian Energy Market Commission.
The other gap in the existing frameworks is the voluntary nature of the existing Australian standards and connection guidelines of the energy network association (ENA) .The new national technical standards would enable efficient operation of power systems, improved DER performance and its integration with consumers. Such standards can also enhance the predictability and operational measures after power disturbances in the NEM; grid responsiveness; interoperability of among DER services and; improved security and remote monitoring. These standards will be applicable only to the newly installed solar PV and battery storage systems. It will also enable easier compliance for manufacturers, easier switch between VPPs for customers, better responsiveness to technology change, and a foundational layer to build new markets and services in the renewables sector. AEMO expects to introduce these new technical standards by the end of Oct 2020 by working closely with the Energy Security Board. The full proposal document of AEMO can be downloaded here.