New standards for rooftop solar panels to protect Australian power grid

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has set binding new technical standards that apply to new and improved solar panel systems on the home roof to protect the power grid.

The new standards, which will come into effect from December 2021, apply to inverters, which are devices that convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) in order for electrical devices to work.

They ensure that household energy systems do not “trigger” or disconnect in the event of voltage disruptions in the network.

The work is part of an ongoing and larger project to embed solar and other distributed energy resources in the entire power grid.

Benn Barr, Chief Executive of AEMC, said, “These new minimum technical standards are part of a series of changes we are considering to future proof the power system so that it can handle more solar energy more safely.

“The rapid adoption of solar means that we must act now to ensure that this technology and the system used work hand in hand.

“We need to keep pace with change – nearly three million households and small businesses have used solar power, and the demand for household batteries and electric vehicles will increase over time.”

Other changes being considered by the AEMC include changing the pricing structure to encourage owners of distributed energy resources to export electricity when it is of greatest value to the system.

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