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Energy Networks Australia has released the national Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Grid Connections Guidelines and Principles to support the fair and efficient connection of solar and battery storage to the grid.

The national Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Grid Connections Guidelines Framework and Principles sets out the principles, objectives, structure and framework for networks to ensure consistency in how household and business solar and batteries are integrated into the grid.

Energy Networks Australia CEO, Andrew Dillon, said a consistent approach across the country was essential as Australia’s national energy market transformed into a more decentralised system.

“Up to now, networks have responded to the challenges of growth in rooftop solar and storage options by adopting their own, often different, technical requirements and connection processes,” Mr Dillon said.

“This has led to inconsistencies between networks, which has been identified as a major concern by stakeholders in numerous industry reports including the CSIRO/Energy Networks Australia Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap. These guidelines are being developed to establish uniformity around voltage, legal frameworks, and technical standards to enable fair, easy, and efficient grid connection.”

The guidelines are being developed in consultation with industry stakeholders including the Australian Energy Regulator, Australian Energy Market Operator, Clean Energy Council, Energy Consumers Australia and all Australian electricity networks.

Mr Dillon said the framework would also deliver on recommendations in the Finkel Review for a holistic review and update of connection standards.

“We’re also really pleased that while these guidelines are voluntary, all Australian networks have committed to adopt their requirements,” Mr Dillon said.

Based on the requirements outlined in the Framework and Principles guideline, four technical guidelines will be developed over the second half of 2018, detailing the specific technical requirements for network connections.

Energy Networks Australia will review the DER guidelines regularly to make sure they are consistent with legal frameworks and technical standards.

The first review will be in October 2018 and the guidelines will be independently evaluated every two years.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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