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DER Compliance for small embedded generation

Continued uptake of small embedded generation (SEG) in South Australia has set world first achievements across the Distributed Energy Resource (DER) industry with over 310,000 customers already taking up rooftop solar. With the number of customers investing in solar steadily rising, supporting this growth requires new standards and regulations that consider the changing nature of DER and grid integration.

Why we need to manage DER Compliance

With requirements for new and upgrading small embedded generation equipment to have 'smart' functionalities that enable effective grid integration, compliance to these requirements is critical to maintaining a stable power supply to all South Australians, reducing the risk of widespread power outages, and providing all customers equitable access to the network.  Ensuring every installed system meets DER compliance requirements is key to successfully enabling the energy transition in South Australia and the continued prosperity of the solar industry. 

The DER Compliance Program

SA Power Networks is managing all SEG installations to ensure that new and upgraded installations comply with approval requirements, technical standards and regulations. We are taking the following staged approach to managing DER compliance:


The DER Compliance Program has been co-designed with the solar industry, so that knowledge, skills, and awareness around the importance of DER Compliance, requirements and processes are built from the ground up. 

Building the Program’s foundations with the introduction of application and installation compliance, effectively set-up solar retailers and installers to embrace the second stage of compliance with the roll-out of Dynamic Export Limit requirements and the Flexible Exports connection option. Expansion of the Program into stages three and focusses on adherence to approved export limits and power quality settings.

Detailed information on how to achieve compliance at each stage of the sales and installation process can be found below.

All DER equipment must be applied for, installed, commissioned and be performing in line with National and State regulations (SA Government's 'Smarter Homes') and SA Power Networks standards (Technical Standard - TS129). 

We are working to double the amount of solar we can accommodate on our network by 2025. Getting compliance right for all small embedded generation (SEG) systems means we can: 

  • Ensure supply and reduce the risk of widespread power outages 
  • Provide all customers fair access to the network and unlock future potential for solar and batteries in SA
  • Support continued DER uptake rather than constrain the solar exports as we have seen in other states, which contributes to the growth of the solar industry
  • Better plan and operate the network to enable this future

Our goal is to ensure that every approved and installed system meets DER compliance requirements.

It’s easy to stay DER compliant using our online SmartSA portal. Here are some tips to meet the 90% compliance benchmark: 

  • Read our SEG Compliance Quick Reference Guide. for small embedded generation.
  • Always complete applications with correct customer contact details, including a valid customer email address and phone number.
  • Only submit an application when you have the customer’s consent to proceed. You can save an application in ‘draft’ during the pre-sales process.
  • Use current Inverter Manufacturer reference guides to correctly register all sites with a Flexible Exports connection option.
  • Use the installations tab in SmartSA for every application to close out installations and complete the capability test for Flexible Export sites.
  • Regularly check the ‘Non-Compliant’ section in the SmartSA dashboard for user and domain compliance percentages.
  • In partnership with the Clean Energy Council we have developed two free training courses, ‘SA Power Networks Embedded Generation Compliance for SA’, and ‘What you need to know about Flexible Exports’ both for 30 Core CPD points. They are available by logging into the Clean Energy Council Learning Hub. To enrol, enter the enrolment key ‘SAPNtraining’.

Reach out to us! Our New Energy Services team is here to help.

Compliance is achieved by ensuring the following sales and installation processes are completed in accordance with relevant industry regulations and network standards:

DER Compliance Process1

Detailed information on the end-to-end process can be found here.

SmartSA users need to keep their DER compliance percentage at or above 90%. A user will be automatically notified via email and their SmartSA dashboard, if their percentage drops below the 90% benchmark. If the user doesn’t fix non-compliant applications, our 21 day, three-strikes warning and blocking controls will begin.

Flexible Exports capability test checklist

Flexible Exports capability test checklist

What you need to know about completing the Capability Test for Flexible Exports site.

SEG Compliance Quick Reference Guide

SEG Compliance Quick Reference Guide

Understand your responsibilities in the compliance landscape and how to achieve success.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

A list of the most frequently asked DER Compliance questions and their answers.

Technical standards and useful links

Technical standards and useful links

Understand our technical standards and useful links associated with small embedded generation.