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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.

Update: Regulatory changes published

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.
    List of approved inverters
    Note that this list of inverters will be frequently updated.

  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
    Note that assessments of prospective relevant agents are underway 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.