Energy Networks Australia has released the first in a suite of guidelines for network companies to support the fair and efficient connection of solar and battery storage to the grid.

The national Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Grid Connection Guidelines Framework and Principles sets out the principles, objectives, structure and framework for networks to ensure consistency in how household and business solar and batteries are integrated into the grid.

According to Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon a consistent approach across the country was essential as Australia’s national energy market transformed into a more decentralised system.

“Up to now, networks have responded to the challenges of the growth in rooftop solar and storage options by adopting their own – often different – technical requirements and connection processes,” said Dillon.

“This has led to inconsistencies between networks, which has been identified as a major concern by stakeholders in numerous industry reports including the CSIRO/Energy Network Australia Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap. These guidelines are being developed to establish uniformity around voltage, legal frameworks and technical standards to enable fair, easy and efficient grid connection.”

The guidelines are being developed in consultation with industry stakeholders including the Australian Energy Regulator, Australian Energy Market Operator, Clean Energy Council, Energy Consumers Australia and all Australian electricity networks.

Dillon said the framework would also deliver on recommendations in the Finkel Review for a holistic review and update of connection standards.

“We’re also really pleased that while these guidelines are voluntary, all Australian networks have committed to adopt their requirements.”

Based on the requirements outlined in the Framework and Principles guideline, four technical guidelines will be developed over the next six months, detailing the specific technical requirements for network connections.

Energy Networks Australia will review the DER guidelines regularly to make sure they are consistent with legal frameworks and technical standards.

The first review will be in October this year and the guidelines will be independently evaluated every two years.

http://www.energynetworks.com.au/sites/default/files/distributed_energy_resources_grid_connection_guidelines_framework_and_principles.pdf