About the WA DER Program

AEMO’s WA DER Program will deliver the systems and processes to create the opportunity for all small scale ‘behind the meter’ devices, also known as Distributed Energy Resources (DER) – such as rooftop solar PV, batteries, EVs and controllable loads – to participate to provide services to the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) whilst maintaining and supporting the security and reliability of the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

One in three homes in the SWIS have rooftop solar installed and AEMO’s 2021 Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) report projects rooftop and large-scale commercial solar systems will reach around 40% of total generation capacity by 2030-31. In the 2020 calendar year, there was a 25.3% increase in installed behind-the-meter PV capacity, while battery storage capacity in the SWIS nearly doubled. During daylight hours, with clear sky conditions, behind-the-meter PV is the largest single generator in the SWIS.

However, the speed and scale of the uptake of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) may present serious risks to the power system if not managed carefully. To address these challenges the WA Government published the Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Roadmap in April 2020 which sets out key actions required over a five-year period to manage the energy transition. It requires a collaborative approach by AEMO, Western Power, Synergy, the WA Government and other stakeholders. By working together on the Roadmap actions, this outlines the path to transitioning to a future where DER is integral to a safe, reliable, and efficient electricity system, and where the full capabilities of DER can provide benefits and value to all customers.

The DER Roadmap aligns with recommendations made in the AEMO reports Integrating Utility scale Renewables and Distributed Energy Resources in the SWIS, initially published in March 2019 and updated in September 2021. The WA DER Program is designed to manage the delivery of AEMO’s contribution to the DER Roadmap’s objectives to enable the uptake of DER to continue. In addition to addressing the system security risks associated with the SWIS’s high DER operating conditions, another key objective for AEMO is building a future where DER becomes an active participant in the power system and the WEM.

Our key WA DER work streams

The WA DER Program consists of four key workstreams to support the evolution of the SWIS and WEM to safely integrate DER and enable consumer participation in energy and related markets:

  • Technology Integration Workstream

    The Technology Integration Workstream will uplift foundational capabilities to forecast, plan and operate a secure and reliable high-DER SWIS. This workstream includes developing and applying tools to better understand DER behaviour applying outcomes from this work to uplift system security parameters such as under-frequency load shedding and system restart and enhanced DER performance (delivering AEMO’s contribution to actions 1, 3, 10, 12 and 13 of the DER Roadmap).

  • DER Participation Workstream

    The DER Participation Workstream tackles the regulatory and market development requirements to enable DER to participate in the WEM and to provide network support services to Western Power. AEMO’s goal with respect to these actions is to deliver a more efficient and sustainable WEM through the participation of DER (delivering AEMO’s contribution to actions 24, 25, 27 and 29 of the DER Roadmap).

  • Project Symphony

    WA’s largest customer DER pilot - Project Symphony - will orchestrate about 900 DER assets across 500 households and businesses totalling up to 9MW of capacity. This pilot will run trials that test and design systems to support the ‘Hybrid Model’ outlined in the WA DER Roadmap (delivering AEMO’s contribution to actions 22 and 23 of the DER Roadmap). Run in parallel to the DER Participation Workstream, Project Symphony will share learnings directly with the DER Participation Workstream. Project Symphony is a collaboration between AEMO, Western Power, Synergy and the WA Government. It has also received support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of ARENA's Advanced Renewables Program.

  • DER Register for the WEM

    Design and implementation of a DER Register for the WEM, leveraging AEMO’s NEM DER Register. AEMO has expanded this system to integrate information provided by Western Power for DER across the SWIS. This project has made this data available for forecasting, operational and compliance purposes, and public reporting (delivering AEMO’s contribution to action 15 of the WA DER Roadmap).


AEMO’s submission to Energy Policy WA’s Discussion Paper on DPV Management.

AEMO’s submission to the WA Government’s consultation paper on DER Orchestration Roles and Responsibilities outlines AEMO’s views on the implementation of the Hybrid Model for DER Orchestration in the SWIS to enable DER aggregators to provide service to the WEM and network.

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