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As of 28 September 2020, 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.
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
- Installers need to contact their tech provider or manufacturer on how to install systems properly
- Installers are responsible to ensure the system is commissioned in a way that complies with the new regulation requirements and allows the nominated Agent to perform the remote disconnection/reconnection activity
- Post installation complete the eCoC and confirm the customer’s chosen Relevant Agent
- Where systems include multiple inverters, tech providers and/or manufacturers may have additional configuration requirements
DER Compliance for solar retailers and installers
Ensuring solar and battery installations comply with mandatory standards and settings is becoming increasingly important to ensure the continued growth of solar in South Australia and the secure, reliable operation of the energy system.
Focus areas of compliance include:
- Installation, commissioning and close out of the job as part of the connections processes (SmartApply and SmartInstall)
- The remote disconnection / re-connection and dynamic export limit requirements as determined by the SA Government's 'Smarter Homes' regulations
- Enrolling equipment in SA Power Networks' Flexible Exports connection offer
- Power quality settings on inverters as per the Technical Standards (TS129) specifications (Volt/VAr and Volt/Watt)
SA Power Networks engaged with solar retailers and installers in December 2021 and February 2022 to inform them about our Distributed Energy Resources (DER) compliance management program and to understand their views about DER compliance.
We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback. We are pleased to see that people are supportive of our new approach to ensuring DER compliance. The feedback has been used to prioritise improvements to SmartApply, SmartInstall and our New Energy Services support team to make it easier to achieve compliance. To find out more about the consultation outcomes, read our DER compliance for solar retailers and installer page on the Talking Power platform.
Our New Energy Services team is committed to supporting solar retailers, installers and customers, as we navigate this new approach to DER compliance.
To change your Agent nomination, please log into SmartApply and use the Update Relevant Agent form available on the dashboard.
SA Power Networks as a Relevant Agent
SA Power Networks is a Relevant Agent on behalf of a number of agreed technology providers, which is listed on the State Government’s List of Relevant Agents. You can authorise the appointment of SA Power Networks as the Relevant Agent on behalf of the customer as part of the SEG application submission.
- 26 October - Smarter Homes Regulation now in effect
- 25 September - Supported technologies as a Relevant Agent
- 23 September - Installing generation after 28 September 2020?
- 28 August - Embedded generation - regulatory changes for smarter homes
- 13 August - Small Embedded Generation - Inverter replacements
Want more information?
The Government have some resources available which we encourage you to read:
- Regulatory changes for Smarter Homes
- Information for customer and owners
- List of Relevant Agents
- Voltage Ride Through