Reference Information

To assist in understanding the capability of smart meters, the South Australian Energy Minister formally requested AEMO to run a trial testing this capability. The trial tested, via a simulated response, the technical capabilities and communication protocols for smart meters to be used in such a way that may support power system security in rare circumstances. This report provides an overview of the technical capabilities for consideration in regulatory reforms.

Phase 1 of this trial proved that residential smart meters have capability to actively manage distributed photovoltaic (DPV – rooftop solar) generation within the timeframes and reliability levels required to support power system security.  

On completion of Phase 1, the South Australian Energy Minister formally approved AEMO continuing to trial capability latent in Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) (or ‘smart meters’) in South Australia. With the capability proven under Phase 1, Phase 2 sought to specifically demonstrate how this functionality could be harnessed to enable new energy markets and enhanced information and choice for South Australian consumers. 

The trial found:

  • Smart meters can actively manage and measure DPV generation in a manner that provides the consistency and certainty in measurement required under trade measurement laws to support fair and open competition, enabling customers to utilise this capability to engage in new markets and maximise the value of the system.
  • Smart meters can actively manage DPV to support power system security at the necessary levels of speed and reliability.
  • Situation awareness is improved with additional near-real-time aggregate data from precision measurement equipment, with some forecast scenarios showing enhancements in the order of 200 MW for a dispatch interval.
  • Smart Meters have the potential to provide numerous other market and power system support capabilities including UFLS, System Restart and by acting as a last resort Cyber Security Safety Switch for DPV. 

This report shares AEMO’s preliminary findings on the behaviour of DER devices 'plugged' into the electricity grid during disturbances, and proposes the development of improved DER performance standards and DER dynamic models to facilitate secure, reliable, and affordable operation of a high DER energy system. This is an area of significant learning internationally, and understanding will evolve over time.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) undertook a supplementary independent, technical review, directionally supporting the findings in AEMO’s report (which was titled "DER Response to Disturbances" during development).

This report resulted from AEMO’s interest in effectively orchestrating the high levels of distributed energy resources (DER) in our networks to deliver a more productive and efficient power system. AEMO engaged the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to undertake research about international experiences on: 

  •  The best incentives and approaches to encourage active and dynamic market participation of DER.
  •  The development of tariffs, subsidies, connection requirements other mechanisms to encourage load shifting and active DER market participation. Further discussion on the key insights from this report can be found in the Renewable Integration Study (RIS) International Review.

AEMO engaged the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to identify and explore international experiences in managing system-wide issues related to high penetrations of rooftop PV. There was particular interest in the implementation of dynamic PV feed-in management for small-scale rooftop systems (e.g.1-10 kW) and of distribution connected commercial systems (e.g. 30-100 kW). The review included details on implementation or trials of feed-in management, including: 

  • Technology selection (communication protocols, communication pathways, customer devices)
  • Means of coordination, and
  • Drivers for implementation.

Further discussion on the key insights from this report can be found in the Renewable Integration Study (RIS) International Review.

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.