Rule Change: Completed
On 5 May 2020, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) submitted a rule change request seeking to establish a framework to enable it to set initial minimum technical standards for DER.
The rule change request proposed to oblige AEMO to oversee a subordinate instrument under the National Electricity Rules (NER) that sets minimum technical standards for DER.
The AEMC's final rule
On 25 February 2021, the AEMC made a determination to make a more preferable final rule to create an initial set of technical standards that will apply to DER across the National Electricity Market (NEM). The final rule is expected to address the immediate concerns arising from the increased uptake of small rooftop solar generators while avoiding the implementation of new, potentially inefficient costs on industry and customers.
Details of the final rule
The final rule amends the NER to require all new or replacement micro embedded generators – primarily rooftop solar systems – connecting to distribution networks to be compliant with the DER Technical Standards.
The key components of the final rule are:
- the creation of DER Technical Standards which embedded generating units connecting by way of a micro EG connection service must comply with
- DER Technical Standards that include the requirements set out in AS 4777.2:2020 as in force from time to time
- A requirement that model standing offers for basic micro embedded generator connection services for embedded generating units, information required to negotiate the connection of embedded generating units and the minimum content requirements of connection offers for embedded generating units the subject of a basic micro EG connection service must be compliant with the DER Technical Standards
In addition, the final rule leverages the existing compliance and monitoring arrangements by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) and the Clean Energy Regulator (CER), relating to the certification of products and installers of electricity-generating systems.
The rule comes into effect on 18 December 2021.
Changes made from the draft to the final rule determination
- Referring to the most recent standard — AS 4777.2:2020: The final rule defines DER Technical Standards by reference to AS 4777.2:2020. (AS 4777.2:2020 can be accessed through Standards Australia).
- Extending the implementation timeframe: The final rule commences on 18 December 2021. This date is the same as when AS 4777.2:2020 comes into effect.
- Non-static reference to AS 4777.2:2020: The final rule refers to AS 4777.2:2020 as in force from time to time.