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Installing generation after 28 September 2020?

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Applying for embedded generation to be installed after 28 September 2020? Government changes applicable.

This update follows Industry News Embedded generation - regulatory changes for smarter homes.  

From 28 September 2020 the SA Government’s Smarter Homes Requirements are coming into effect and all new embedded generation installations in South Australia must comply with the new requirements outlined in the Government’s ‘Smarter Homes’ amendments to the Electricity (General) Regulations. 

One of the new requirements for customers installing embedded generation or replacing specified generation plant (e.g. a PV inverter), is to appoint a ‘Relevant Agent’. The Relevant Agent will initiate control of the output of the embedded generator as directed by the SA Government or other party with a lawful authority such as SA Power Networks.  

The Relevant Agent framework has been designed to enable the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and State Government to reduce the risk of major blackouts, under certain rare circumstances, by monitoring and maintaining safe levels of solar PV generation.

To facilitate this, we are making some changes 

From 28 September you will see some modifications to our SEG application form. The changes you will see are: 

  • Removing inverters which do not meet Voltage Disturbance Ride Through (VDRT) capabilities  
  • A requirement to nominate a Relevant Agent when making a connection application 

Voltage Disturbance Ride Through requirement 

Inverters that do not have the capability for VDRT will not be selectable for new applications. This excludes like-for-like inverters replaced under warranty. 

The inverters available for selection will initially be limited to those declared compliant and listed by the OTR here. The Clean Energy Council will eventually list inverters which are tested as compliant. If you are looking for an inverter on our form and cannot find it, please make sure it is on the OTR’s list prior to contacting us. 

Ability to nominate a Relevant Agent 

A new page has been created where the chosen Relevant Agent and the technology being used must be selected before the application can be lodged. The applicant will need to ensure that the Relevant Agent selected on this page can support the technology proposed in the application. The drop down list will reflect the State Government’s List of Relevant Agents. 

For those customers applying to connect medium embedded generation (MEG) (>30kW – 200kW) or large embedded generation (LEG) (greater than 200kW) there will be no change to the application form but there will be some amendments to the Connection Offer where you will be required to nominate a Relevant Agent.  

Other changes 

We’re also using this opportunity to streamline the connections application process by removing the requirement to attach a single line diagram (SLD) to the applications for export limited systems. Selecting the device that will perform the export limiting will still be required. 

We will be partnering with the OTR to improve compliance management of the Smarter Homes requirements, as well as the requirements in TS129 including export limiting and the application of correct application of power quality modes. This will involve automated analysis of SEG applications, eCoCs and smart meter data. 

What does this mean for you? 
As a solar installer/retailer you will have some new responsibilities as part of the Relevant Agent changes.  

  • At the point of sale, you will need to make sure solutions presented to the customer meet the new requirements. You may need to work closely with manufacturers to achieve this 
  • At network application time, you will need to select the customer’s chosen Relevant Agent 
  • Post installation complete the eCoC and confirm the customer’s chosen Relevant Agent. The OTR are modifying their eCoC to include this 

If you have already submitted an application and installation is planned on or after 28 September: 

  • The installation must meet the requirements as detailed by the regulatory changes. *Noting applications submitted prior to 10 August are exempt from the VDRT requirement 
  • If the application is pending or has been recently approved, you will not need to submit a new application however we may contact you to confirm who the Relevant Agent for the system will be 

SA Power Networks will be listed as a Relevant Agent 

SA Power Networks will become a Relevant Agent on behalf of a number of agreed technology providers, which will be listed on the State Government’s List of Relevant Agents. You will be able to authorise the appointment of SA Power Networks as the Relevant Agent on behalf of the customer as part of the SEG application submission.   

In addition, we will also be listing as an available Relevant Agent for all large embedded generation systems connected to our SCADA system. 

Wanting more information?  

The Government have some resources available which we encourage you to read: 

If you have any questions about the SA Power Networks changes or the process, you can reach out to SA Power Networks:

Or, if you're looking to contact the OTR directly, you can via email or phone.

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