For over a decade, South Australians have been the world’s earliest and most enthusiastic adopters of distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar.

As of September 2020, there are now more than 278,000 homes with rooftop solar installed in South Australia, plus an increasing number of small business systems, and new installations are rapidly continuing.

South Australia’s electricity grid is part of the National Electricity Market managed by the independent Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). A recent AEMO technical report highlighted several challenges arising from the increasing and unmanaged supply of electricity to the grid from rooftop solar.

New guidelines

A pair of new guidelines detailing requirements for dynamic export control have been published. The document below also contains several existing guidelines relating to distributed energy resources, however these are currently unchanged.

The two new guidelines are preceded by an explanatory section titled Introduction to Dynamic Export Requirements, which provides a brief overview of the scope, use-cases, site compliance and responsible parties involved in enabling dynamic exports. The Remote Updating Methods guideline provides requirements that relate to communications between a distribution network operator and a site. The Export Limiting Methods guideline should be read with this, and provides requirements for electricity export limitation on site.

Technical Regulator Guidelines - Distributed Energy Resources (PDF, 981.8 KB)

Any queries or comments regarding these guidelines can be emailed to otr.smarterhomes@sa.gov.au

Regulatory changes

The Smarter Homes regulatory changes have now been made and published along with several associated notices in the 24 September 2020 Government Gazette

  • Electricity (General)(Technical Standards) Variation Regulations 2020 – page 4679
  • National Energy Retail Law (Local Provisions) Tariff Structures) Variation Regulations 2020 – page 4688
  • Gazette Notices pages 4719, 4720.

New technical standards and requirements in South Australia

Following the advice from AEMO, a number of new technical standards and requirements for smaller generating systems, such as rooftop solar, have been introduced in South Australia and are in effect as of 28 September 2020. These include:

  1. Voltage ride through standards for generating systems connected via an inverter

    A new technical standard for systems to reduce impacts during disturbances.

  2. Remote disconnection and reconnection requirements

    A new technical standard requiring that systems are capable of being remotely disconnected and reconnected by an agent registered with the Technical Regulator.
    List of relevant agents (PDF, 131.0 KB)
    Note that assessments of prospective relevant agents are ongoing and this list will be frequently updated.

  3. Export limit requirements

    A new technical standard for all new systems to be capable of export limitation to provide for fair sharing of network capacity.

  4. Smart meter minimum technical standards

    A new technical standard for smart meters to be able to separately measure and manage generation and controlled load.

  5. Tariffs to incentivise energy use in low demand periods
    A new requirement that retailers offer plans which reward customers for shifting electricity use to support the grid.

The Technical Regulator may exempt certain arrangements from the above requirements — refer to the list of class exemptions (PDF, 404.1 KB).

For more information about the consultation process and documentation, please see Consultation on Regulatory Changes for Smarter Homes.

Frequently asked questions

Some fact sheets have been prepared:

Additionally, answers to frequently asked questions have been prepared: