Distributed Energy Resources Register
The Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Register is a national initiative driven by a rule change submitted by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and is effective from 1 March 2020.
It’s a centralised register that will record data in relation to small generating systems (e.g. solar PV, other renewable energy and fossil-fueled) and battery storage systems up to 30 MW, that are either exempt from registering as a generator with AEMO or not required to be registered.
Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) across Australia, like us, are required under the National Electricity Rules to provide DER information to the AEMO in accordance with the DER Register Information Guidelines (PDF).
Over the past 10 years, Australian consumers have had a high uptake of rooftop solar PV. Consumers are also now starting to connect battery storage systems at homes as the prices decrease and products are becoming more commercial.
Uptake of these technologies is leading to an increasingly decentralised energy system, where a significant amount of electricity is generated at a smaller scale by our customers. This presents both opportunities and challenges to the energy industry.
The coordination of these resources is vital in helping energy consumers to optimise their financial benefit and allowing the electricity grid to efficiently manage the bi-directional power flow.
In September 2018 the Australian Energy Market Commission made a final rule placing an obligation on the AEMO to establish a register of distributed energy resources in the National Electricity Market.
What types of systems will be recorded in the DER Register?
The DER Register will record all small grid-connected generating systems totaling up to 30 MW at a premises, including:
- Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, whether on the building or the ground
- Battery Energy Storage Systems
- Small wind turbines
- Small hydro-electric turbines
- Other renewable energy generating systems
- Gas turbines
- Diesel or petrol generators (grid-connected)
- Electric vehicles configured with Vehicle-to-Home/Vehicle-to-Grid capability.
Why has the DER Register been established?
Distributed energy resources, for example solar PV systems, have been so successful in Australia that their combined effect is changing the way the AEMO needs to plan and operate the National Electricity Market. Getting this right for everyone requires better visibility of DER connections installed across Australia.
To date there is no comprehensive register that records the DER systems installed at homes and businesses across Australia.
The AEMO will be using the DER Register to understand the DER systems connected to the electricity network to plan for and operate the National Electricity Market with a high DER penetration.
With better knowledge of DER connections, the AEMO can better manage the grid and ensure these systems can deliver their expected value to energy consumers, the network and other market participants.
What are the benefits of the DER Register?
There are significant benefits of the DER Register for different stakeholders:
DER industry and customers
- Increases publicly available information on DER connections.
- Provides visibility of electricity generated in, and exported from, households and businesses, which will enhance power system reliability for Australia.
- Assists with planning and operating the national power grid as it transforms.
DNSPs such as Ergon Energy Network
- Enhances existing DER data to improve planning and operation of the electricity distribution network.
Third parties such as emergency services
- Allows DER-related (especially battery) information to be available for planning purposes or emergency response.
What is changing?
Our Embedded Generation Connection Application forms will change to include additional fields to collect new mandatory DER information, for both new installations and changes to existing installations.
Examples of the additional DER data to be entered (when relevant) are:
- Panel type, manufacturer and model number
- Number of panels
- Battery type, manufacturer and model number
- Power quality response modes
- Non-inverter generator information.