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Upcoming changes to Distributed Energy Resource (DER) compliance

Notice to industry web news hero

Ensuring every installed system meets Distributed Energy Resource (DER) compliance requirements is key to successfully enabling the energy transition in South Australia and the continued prosperity of the solar industry.

We require all SmartSA (formerly SmartApply/SmartInstall) users to keep their compliance at or above 90% in order to maintain their ability to apply for new SEG approvals.

We’ve implemented automated compliance detection, and an industry facing Compliance dashboard within SmartSA to make it easier for the industry to manage compliance. 

SA Power Networks is taking the following staged approach to managing DER compliance. Stages 1 & 2 were introduced in 2023, and already contribute towards your compliance percentage. Stage 3 is the next important focus area and will be rolled out in the coming months.

Stage Focus area What you need to do Contribute towards compliance
1 Close out Close out all installations in SmartSA Since May 2023
2 Flexible Exports
Install, register the device and successfully complete the capability test for Flexible Exports sites  Since July 2023
3 Export limits* Ensure fixed (1.5kW and 5kW) and flexible export limits (1.5-10kW) are not exceeded Coming Soon
4 Volt-Var / Volt-Watt Ensure regional Power Quality settings (Volt-Var / Volt-Watt) are enabled on all installations by selecting ‘Region A’ during set up Mid-2024

*Export limits noted are per phase. In Flexible Exports eligible suburbs, customers have a choice of fixed 1.5kW; or Flexible Exports limits between 1.5-10kW. Outside of Flexible Exports eligible areas, existing 5kW fixed export limit applies.

Stage 1 – Close out (live)
The industry response to Stage 1 has been extremely positive, with 95% of SEG systems now being correctly closed out in SmartSA (from <40% prior).

Stage 2 – Flexible Exports (live)
Commissioning compliance is currently only 62% for Flexible Exports sites. If installations are not correctly commissioned, it will likely result in repeat visits to site for the installer, and the customer missing out on valuable solar exports. With Flexible Exports now progressively being rolled out to all new/upgraded installations, it’s important to ensure that all installations are correctly commissioned.

To maintain compliance, please ensure you register the device and successfully complete the Capability Test for all Flexible Exports installations.

Stage 3 – Export Limits (coming soon)
In coming months, we will be implementing automatic compliance monitoring of exports limits. We are already observing a significant number of sites which have not been set up or performing in accordance with their approved export limit e.g. exceeding 1.5kW fixed export limit.

We will shortly begin targeted industry engagement to support those with higher levels of export limit non-compliance and to help us shape our approach.

What you can do right now
Here are some tips to meet DER compliance requirements:

  1. Ensure all sites are correctly commissioned for Flexible Exports or Fixed Export limits where applicable
  2. Action non-compliant applications. You can view them by using the ‘non-compliant’ filter in SmartSA. It will tell you what actions need undertaking to make it compliant.
  3. Communicate the importance of DER compliance and how to meet the requirements with your colleagues and solar installers.
  4. Educate your team on the SmartSA dashboard, and how to use Application and Installations through our range of  Embedded Generation User Guides and training.
  5. Reach out to us! Our New Energy Services team is here to help. Send us an email or give us a call on 13 12 61, option 2 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

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