The crackdown on solar inverters might make distant operation obligatory – Power Issues
Solar inverters on roof-top PV systems could soon be controlled and switched off remotely following a procedure by the authorities for clean energy. The Clean Energy Regulator is working with the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Clean Energy Council to make inverter inspections mandatory.
The Australian standard 4777.2-2015 was updated in 2015 and has been in force since 2016. Now the CER requires regular inspections of new inverter installations to ensure that they meet this standard. This standard contains compliance metrics for reactive power capability, new voltage and frequency setpoints and limit values to be compatible with the requirements of grid companies.
And one of the most important and important requirements of the standard is the Demand Response Mode (DRM), which enables a remote operator to take control of the inverter and even shut it down completely. In this way, inverters can be disconnected from the grid in order to stop electricity generation or to increase their electricity production.
South Australia is taking steps to remotely shutdown inverters
The SA government’s Smarter Homes strategy currently allows SA Power Networks (SAPN) to remotely shut down and control solar power systems when the grid becomes overloaded with electricity.
This happens after the electricity prices fell into negative territory at the end of 2019 because too much solar power was fed into the grid. If negative prices persist for a long period of time, it would mean that energy companies would have to pay consumers to use their electricity.
The Smarter Homes strategy aims to regulate energy supplies and control solar power systems for homes and businesses to match supply and demand after another weekend when solar supply reached up to 93.7 percent of state demand.
It is hoped that by controlling the flow of solar energy back into the grid, South Australia will have a more solid and reliable grid.
Controlling home inverters would create a better power system, CER insists
Verification and compliance with the standard began on August 10th for all newly installed systems, which some industry associations believed were rushed.
The crackdown has not been well received by top solar associations who believe it could lead to mass confusion and large numbers of unusable, unsaleable, and non-compliant inverters on shelves.
However, the CER said in a statement that this is a necessary step as more households are turning to solar solutions to create a regulated energy system that meets all supply and demand requirements.
“Australia now has over 2.5 million small grid-connected PV systems, of which around 310,000 (equivalent to 2.4 GW) were installed in 2019. Together, these individual systems form one of the largest generators in the power grid, ”said the CER in a statement.
“Small-scale solar PV systems that meet Australian standards and DNSP requirements improve the reliability of the grid and enable further systems to be connected in the future. This will ensure that the rooftop solar industry can continue to thrive. “