It’s only a month to go until the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) launches Australia’s first database of distributed energy resources (DER).

DERs are defined as consumer-owned devices, such as rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar systems and battery storage, which as individual units can generate or store electricity or have the ‘smarts’ to actively manage energy demand.

Australia leads the world in the adoption of DER devices, especially rooftop PV solar, which provides a significant opportunity to aggregate and operate these devices together at scale through micro-grids and virtual power plants, using household devices to contribute to a reliable and secure energy supply.

The first release of the DER Register on 1 December enables the collection of mandated information directly from installers or via network services providers (NSPs) on small generating or battery system within 20 days of the system commissioning or activation.

The register will enable AEMO and networks 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 major disruptions to the system, with a greater understanding of how DER assets will behave 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.

Leading up to the launch, AEMO has worked with stakeholders across the electricity sector to design the DER Register, agree on DER data sets and data collection processes into the register.

AEMO has developed a range of communications materials, including FAQs, fact sheets and other resources, to introduce the DER Register available on AEMO’s website.

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 are set to be large for all Australians!