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Introducing consequences for non-compliant DER installations from 19 May 2023

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SA Power Networks is committed to ensuring a safe, reliable and secure electricity supply for South Australia while supporting the continued growth of solar and other distributed energy resources (DER). As part of this commitment, we are introducing consequences for non-compliant DER installations, effective from 19 May 2023.

What is DER compliance?

A DER installation is considered compliant if it is installed and configured in accordance with the relevant Australian standards, government regulations and SA Power Networks connection requirements. Meeting compliance is crucial to maintaining the secure and safe operation of the electricity system, the continued uptake of DER and the prosperity of the solar industry. 

The four focus areas for compliance are:

  1. SmartInstall closeout
  2. Flexible exports commissioning
  3. Export limit conformance 
  4. Volt-VAr

What will change from Friday 19 May 2023?

To help achieve and maintain compliance, we are introducing automated compliance management with a three-stage warning process. This warning process will begin when less than 90% of your installed sites are compliant. An application is deemed non-compliant when evidence of install is received but the application has not been closed out in SmartInstall. Your live compliance percentage is visible in SmartApply to allow you to monitor and track progress. If the percentage drops below 90% the following process will commence:

  • First warning – SA Power Networks will issue an email to the solar retailer (i.e. all SmartApply users with the same domain name) when compliance rate drops below 90%. This email will include instructions on how to undertake actions to rectify the issues and advise that the ability to submit SEG applications will be blocked if compliance rate remains below 90% for 21 days. 
  • Second warning – if compliance rate remains under 90% for seven days from the date of the first warning, the second warning will be issued.
  • Third warning – if compliance rate remains under 90% for 14 days from the date of the first warning, the final warning will be issued.
  • Ability to submit new SEG applications blocked – if compliance rate remains under 90% for 21 days from the date of the first warning, your ability to submit a new SEG application will be restricted. You will be able to submit new applications again once your compliance rate goes above 90%.

If at any point during the warning process your compliance percentage is at 90% or above, the warning process will be ceased. If you fall below 90% again, the process will begin from the first warning.

From 19 May 2023 all sites that were approved through SmartApply (from June 2021) and not closed out in SmartInstall will contribute to the non-compliance percentage. The other compliance focus areas will be incorporated as they are rolled out across 2023 and 2024. 

What can I do to set myself up for success?

Our SmartApply and SmartInstall portals are self-service and user friendly to make meeting DER compliance requirements easy. 

  1. Action non-compliant applications. You can view them by ‘non-compliant’ filter in SmartApply. It will tell you actions need undertaking to make it compliant.
  2. Communicate the importance of DER compliance and how to meet the requirements with your colleagues and solar installers. 
  3. Educate your team on SmartApply and SmartInstall dashboard, and how to use SmartApply and SmartInstall through our range of Embedded Generation User Guides.
  4. Reach out to our New Energy Services team if you have any question or require support. 

Make sure we have your most current contact details – update your details with this form and we will update our database.

What’s coming up from 1 July 2023?

As part of Smarter Homes Program, the Government of South Australia is introducing Dynamic Export Requirements from July 2023, requiring most new and upgrading exporting solar generation systems to be capable of remotely updating their export limits. As part of this requirement, you will need to register the site with SA Power Networks and pass the capability testing as part of the commissioning for Flexible Exports sites using SmartInstall.

The Capability test is a short test to confirm if the site is configured correctly for Flexible Exports and that the communications to site, and site level export limiting is correct. Benefits include:

  • Giving installers confidence that the site has been configured correctly.
  • Reducing site re-visit occurrences. 

Flexible Exports applications will be deemed non-compliant if we receive notification that a flexible installation has occurred but:

  • The device has not been registered.
  • The device has been registered, but a capability test has not been completed or has failed in SmartInstall.

How can I find out more information?

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