Plug and play on the way for renewable connections


Thursday, 14 December, 2017


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Energy Networks Australia is developing a new suite of guidelines with a focus on a more consumer-friendly approach to connect renewables to the grid.

The Finkel Review recommended the development of Energy Security Obligations by mid-2018, including a holistic review and update of connection standards. Meanwhile, standardising and streamlining the connection of next-generation technology has been identified as a key priority by networks, customers and industry stakeholders.

As such, the Distributed Energy Resources National Connection Guidelines will provide a consistent set of protocols to connect and integrate a range of distributed energy resources (DER), such as large-scale wind and solar, battery storage and household solar, with Australia’s electricity networks. DER can help provide the electricity required to meet demand, helping facilitate Australia’s transition to a smarter grid.

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said that better facilitating customer-owned resources into the grid is essential, noting, “The Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap finds that almost two-thirds of customers will have distributed energy resources by 2050 and network service providers could buy grid support in a network optimisation market worth $2.5 billion per year.

“However, the Finkel Review identified a number of challenges associated with integration of DER, which will require modernised connection standards and uniform control mechanisms to strengthen system security.

“Our guidelines aim to enable the modern energy grid for the community.”

Energy Networks Australia will work with the Clean Energy Council and other key stakeholders to develop the guidelines, enabling customers to connect to electricity networks and markets in a consistent way that improves grid efficiency and security. According to Dillon, “This project reflects our commitment to embed an efficient, reliable and affordable energy network for all Australians.”

Consultation with all electricity network businesses, consumer representatives and key industry stakeholders will take place in the initial project phase. A framework will be released by March, with further guidelines released from May through to December.

Energy Networks Australia will be hosting a webinar on the new guidelines later today from 2 pm AEDT. To register, go to www.energynetworks.com.au/events.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Jürgen Fälchle

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