DER Register Implementation
In this section
Following extensive stakeholder consultation, AEMO published its final determination on the DER Register Information Guidelines and Final Report on 31 May 2019. Key documents and background can be found on our project consultation page.
The goal of the DER Register, and DER Program in general, is to enable the realisation of consumer value and enhance power system reliability via DER installed in homes and businesses across Australia.
As a national first, the register’s database of DER assets will be foundational to AEMO’s DER Program to build the world’s most dynamic two-way energy system and market that will underpin Australia’s future energy system.
The DER Register is now moving towards implementation from 1 December 2019. The following information is intended to provide stakeholders, such as Network Service Providers (NSP), DER installers, consumer representatives and government agencies, with the information they need and a pathway to engage in the implementation process.
Stakeholders are encouraged to make contact at DERregister@aemo.com.au to take part and remain up to date with the project.
Australian consumers lead the world in adopting rooftop solar, with more than two million rooftop solar systems already installed and a growing uptake in battery storage. These effective connection and integration of these distributed energy resources or DER will create new opportunities for consumers to innovate and participate in new energy markets.
AEMO’s role requires it to manage the power grid at all times and under all conditions. The massive successes of DER already means that at times the power grid is now more reliant than ever on these energy sources. In fact, rooftop solar has become so successful in Australia that AEMO’s 2018 Integrated System Plan forecasts that by 2040 the NEM will host between 21 gigawatts and 56 gigawatts of rooftop PV capacity. This would make rooftop solar the highest generation capacity of any technology in the NEM, so we need to understand DER better.
AEMO firmly believes that DER will play a fundamental role in maintaining safe, reliable, secure and affordable energy moving forward. But to ensure we can plan for and operate a high-DER power grid we need to have a very good understanding of the DER devices deployed across all electricity networks. With better knowledge of DER, AEMO can better manage the grid and ensure that consumer-led energy investments can deliver their expected value to consumers and the energy system.
From 1 December 2019 some new additional information will be required from qualified electrical contractors and solar installers at the time of installation. This different approach will see Network Service Providers requiring details about what is installed on site for every new grid connection.
To facilitate this AEMO has developed systems that integrate with existing DER information collection systems so that the effort from contractors and installers is minimised.
The new system and approach represent a change to the way small-scale solar, batteries and other forms of DER are deployed in Australia, but the benefits for all Australian’s will be large. These benefits will support a modern Australian grid and are below.
The following links will provide stakeholders with the latest reference material for the project.
Final Determination and Guidelines
- Draft Technical Specification (release August 2019) (1.4 MB, pdf)
- Draft Technical Specification: 17 July 2019
- Final Draft Technical Specification: 9 August 2019
- Final Technical Specification: November 2019
- AEMO accepting existing data from NSPs: 22 July to 29 November 2019
- NSPs required to confirm manner and form of data submission to AEMO: 2 September 2019
- DER Register Information Guidelines Effective Date: 2 September 2019
- System pre-production testing: 14 - 29 October 2019
- System industry testing: 4 - 8 November 2019
- System production release: 14 November 2019
- DER installer account registration open: 18 November 2019
- System online and in use: 1 December 2019
AEMO has initiated open forums initiated to cover three key areas to support implementation and build on the groups that have contributed to prior consultation. These working groups cover off Data integration, IT implementation and Stakeholder engagement. Further details can be found in the DER program section in Stakeholder Consultations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of creating a DERs register?
To date there is no comprehensive database that maps the make-up of the DER assets installed in site in homes and businesses across Australia. When there is not a lot of DER installed this is not an issue as it is not material compared to the whole grid. But in Australia DER such as rooftop solar has been so successful that it is starting to have a significant influence, and AEMO needs to plan and operate the grid with this in mind.
The data set that AEMO will be collecting after 1 December 2019 will enable us to:
Forecast, plan and operate the grid more efficiently, ensuring the system and market can deliver energy at an efficient price for all customers,
Be more prepared for a major outage or disruption in the system by using DER assets to support the grid during these events,
Prepare the grid for major innovations with DER such as virtual power plants, and enabling customers to consider and participate in new markets with their DER, and
Allow networks to make better informed decisions about network investment options in the future as demand changes and DER increases.
While the DER Register is designed with Australia’s east coast electricity market in mind, AEMO is also involved with key stakeholders to develop a Western Australian solution that can support the same benefits in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).
Why does AEMO need a record of DERs installed at my home or business?
AEMO must operate the power grid and market in real time, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. To do this we need to have a good understanding of how the grid will react when things don’t go to plan, like when a storm shuts down a very large transmission line.
Australian residents and business owners are charging ahead with rooftop solar PV installations and household batteries are becoming more common. However, we don't have a comprehensive database of these electricity generation and storage assets.
At times the electricity grid and AEMO are more dependent on these assets than ever before. As this continues more opportunities will be available for consumers to become active participants in the energy market and for this to reduce costs overall. To ensure AEMO can plan for and operate a high-DER power grid that delivers these benefits we need to have a very good understanding of the DER devices deployed across all networks.
Will the DER Register affect a customer’s solar or battery subsidy?
AEMO does not have an active role in the allocation of subsidies from state and federal governments. However, some subsidy schemes may rely on AEMO’s receipt confirming that the installation has been recorded in the DER Register. Customers should ask their qualified contractor or DER installer to ensure this process is completed.
Is AEMO collecting personal information about me or other customers for the DER Register?
No. AEMO takes the privacy and security of your information very seriously. Protecting privacy and security form the foundations of every system we develop and build, including the DER Register.
The DER Register contains technical information about small generating and storage systems. Collecting this information does not require AEMO to collect personal information about customers or owners of these systems.
The collection systems that will support the DER Register will collect some information about contractors and installers involved in the DER installation process as this is required to manage the integrity of data provision. This information will be collected in line with appropriate privacy policies.
Is the DER Register going to be accessible to all stakeholders?
AEMO will be developing reports and a dashboard based on the data held in the DER Register, which will be publicly available on AEMO’s website. AEMO’s working groups will discuss the design of these reports prior to implementation, and stakeholders can email us with ideas to consider for this.Frequently asked questions from DER installers
What is changing with the new DER Register ?
From 1 December 2019, a regulatory requirement will mandate that NSPs provide several more data sets than currently provided on every small generating or battery system within 20 days of the system commissioning or activation. This information will be collected as a part of current grid connection approval processes managed by NSPs and installers either via NSP systems or smart phone applications.
What does this mean for installers?
Altogether, DER installers will provide a maximum of 10 new pieces of information about the equipment installed on site that will feed into AEMO's DER Register. This information can be provided through existing processes, via the NSP systems or mobile applications installers already use, or straight into AEMO’s portal.
The DER Register system is designed to draw information from available data sets, such as the Clean Energy Council’s approved product databases, to streamline data provision. Installers will be asked to confirm this information, rather than enter it.
Ahead of 1 December, AEMO will also be working with the owners of solar installer applications to integrate DER data collection as far as possible with the existing information collection systems in place for the Clean Energy Regulator.
How will I get information about what I have to do?
Leading up to implementation on 1 December 2019, AEMO is working with NSPs, peak bodies (i.e., Clean Energy Council and Smart Energy Council) and DER installers to ensure a smooth transition to the new requirements.
AEMO will also make information and training available through our website and installer log-in systems, and ensure the right material is available to support NSPs.
Are NSPs going to make it harder to connect to the grid?
No. The DER Register should not make it harder to connect DER to the grid. We are aware that connection processes can differ between NSPs. We have paid close attention to these existing connection processes around Australia with the aim to integrate the DER Register collection system as seamlessly as possible.
Does the DER Register change the connection process for customers when they get solar installed?
No. Customers should not be expected to do anything for the DER Register as they will be able to rely on their local NSP and qualified contractors and DER installers to provide the information.
AEMO will generate a receipt confirming that a customer's installation has been registered in the system. This should occur within 20 business days of the installation being commissioned. Customers should ensure that their qualified DER installer provides them with this receipt following the completion of the system.
How will AEMO make information available so we can prepare for implementation?
This website will be the primary source for NSPs to access detail to support their effort to prepare for implementation of the DER Register. Stakeholders can also register for email updates and to keep informed by emailing AEMO at DERregister@aemo.com.au.
When will AEMO make information available for NSPs?
The above timetable and meeting schedule provides this information.
How should we make information available to DER installers?
We will provide information to NSPs to support their communications with DER installers through existing channels. This will be available for download from this website.
AEMO will similarly be using available channels to communicate the change needed to support the DER Register.
What happens when an installer raises an issue with the DER Register?
Information collection for the DER Register will need to be integrated as a part of existing connection processes. Issues raised about data provision to this process need to be managed by the NSP, as they are now. AEMO will manage issues in relation to the DER Register system through our existing support arrangements.
Why does the DER Register not include data on demand side participation?
AEMO collects information from Registered Participants on demand that participates in demand response. While this data has some similarities, it serves a different purpose so has not yet been integrated with the DER Register. AEMO will be exploring opportunities for this integration following the implementation of the DER Register.What are our obligations to provide information to the DER Register?
The National Electricity Rules do not require retailers to provide information to the DER Register. However, retailers that have DER installers are expected to provide information within the NSP’s DER connection processes.
Does the DER Register impact changes to meter upgrades for DER?
The information for the DER register relates to the connection processes, but not market systems. Metering changes will not be impacted by its implementation.
Is the DER Register going to be accessible to retailers?
The DER Register is a requirement under the National Electricity Rules, which specifies that the information it holds must be made available to some stakeholders, including NSP and emergency services.
Under the rules, AEMO is required to develop reports based on the data held in the DER Register. These reports will be publicly available on AEMO’s website. AEMO’s working groups will discuss the design of these reports prior to implementation.
Why does the DER Register not include data on demand side participation?
AEMO collects information from Registered Participants on demand that participates in demand response. While this data has some similarities, it serves a different purpose so has not yet been integrated with the DER Register. AEMO will be exploring opportunities for this integration following the implementation of the DER Register.