AEMC to establish national DER register

The AEMC has made a final rule for the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to establish a register of distributed energy resources (DER) in the national electricity market, including small-scale battery storage systems and rooftop solar.

The register will give network businesses and AEMO visibility of where DERs are connected to help in planning and operating the power system as it transforms.

The register will primarily be compiled using data collected by network businesses through existing processes.

Energy Networks Australia chief executive officer Andrew Dillon said new rules were vital to ensure network businesses could better service customers and manage the increasing amounts of DERs connecting to the grid.

“As household solar and storage continues to grow, especially with state-based government subsidies on offer, a register will provide networks and the market operator with far better visibility of distributed energy resources – that will be vital in managing a more distributed network,” he said.

“Effective optimisation of renewable energy into the grid requires knowledge of where these resources are and what type they are.

“Without this, we are flying blind and the extra load on the grid will cause extra costs and could cause blackouts.

“This register will help create the basis for the establishment of a multi-directional energy system that is more connected for the benefit of all customers.”

Energy Networks Australia is working with AEMO to align DER connection requirements with the DER register to ensure efficient connection and operation for customers.

Mr Dillon said the register would also need to be responsive to future changes in technology.

“Grid-connected electric vehicles are a potential battery or generation source for customers,” he said.

“Right now the register doesn’t take into account the integration of electric vehicles, but we look forward to making sure it can consider electric vehicles when the time is right.”

The final rule also allows AEMO to incorporate any other relevant data it receives, for instance from the Clean Energy Regulator or state safety regulators, where appropriate.

The new register must be in place by December 1, 2019.

The transitional provisions, which will commence on September 18, 2018, include an obligation on AEMO to make and publish the first information guidelines for the register by June 1, 2019.