The Victorian Government is improving the safety, performance and consumer benefits of its Solar Homes program by introducing new requirements for solar installations.
Minister for Solar Homes, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the changes would make smart inverters mandatory for solar PV system installations supported by the Solar Homes program from 1 July 2019.
“Victorians have been enthusiastic about adopting renewable energy technology, to take charge of their power bills and help protect the environment,” Minister D’Ambrosio said.
“Ensuring all new systems are equipped with smart inverters will mean we have a more responsive grid that can handle the rapid uptake of renewable energy.
“These changes are about ensuring solar panels continue to be rolled out effectively, safely and provide long-term security for the entire Victorian energy network.”
These inverters respond dynamically to fluctuations in the energy grid, helping to stabilise the network and provide a safer product for both households and installers.
Utilising smart inverters will ensure the Victorian energy grid is able to safely absorb the additional energy supply generated by over one million households, taking up solar systems over the next ten years.
Smart inverters let the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) do more predictable modelling of how the grid is functioning, manage energy demand, and build greater reliability across the network during times of peak demand, such as extended cold or hot periods.
These features exceed the minimum standards currently seen in the industry and is part of the Solar Homes ‘technology roadmap’, which will progressively improve the quality of solar technology installed in Victoria.
This announcement builds on other safety and industry accreditation improvements already introduced for installers and solar retailers through the Solar Homes programs, including an industry Code of Conduct for installers.
These measures will ensure that Victorians can have confidence in their new PV systems, hot water systems or batteries, and that the Solar Homes program can be delivered effectively, safely and sustainably across the Victoria.
The Labor Government’s Solar Homes package is already helping households to cut energy costs, boost supply to the grid, create local jobs and contribute to Victoria’s commitment to tackle climate change.
Solar Homes will support the installation of more than 650,000 solar systems for owner occupiers, 50,000 systems for rental properties, 10,000 battery storage systems and 60,000 solar hot water systems across the state over the coming decade.
Lauren Butler is the assistant editor for Utility Magazine. She’s based in Melbourne, Australia.