Friday, 02 October 2020 10:40

SA Power Networks trials rooftop solar grid integration system Featured


South Australian electricity distributor SA Power Networks is trialling a new approach to integrating rooftop solar with the grid, using smart inverter technology.

SA Power has been awarded $2.09 million in funding by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to undertake the 12-month field trial which will test a new flexible solar connection to up to 600 rooftop solar customers in South Australia and Victoria who live in areas where the network is currently constrained due to very high levels of rooftop solar.

To achieve this, the project will deploy new flexible connection technology that enables inverters to automatically adjust export limits every five minutes based on signals received from the distribution network.

SA Power Networks is partnering with AusNet Services who will lead the Victorian trials, along with leading solar inverter manufacturers Fronius, SMA, and SolarEdge and energy management provider SwitchDin.

According to ARENA, most current rooftop solar systems across Australia lack the ability to intelligently control the amount of electricity exports to the grid.

“As a result, the local distribution networks in areas with high rooftop solar uptake can become congested, with too much electricity feeding back in the middle of the day at certain times of year,” ARENA says.

“To avoid exceeding the technical limits of the grid and manage this issue today, energy networks like SA Power Networks and AusNet impose zero or near-zero energy export limits on new solar systems in congested areas.

“As more Australian households install rooftop solar and network constraints increase, more new solar customers will face limits that prevent them from selling electricity back to the grid. This can create an inequitable system where early adopters of rooftop solar ‘use up’ the available grid capacity, and late adopters are constrained.”

ARENA says that by enabling customers’ smart inverters to automatically adjust the electricity exported by a rooftop solar system to match the available capacity of the grid, the $4.84 million trial will give customers in constrained areas the opportunity to sell surplus solar energy - with systems only reducing their exports during those specific times when the network is constrained such as on a peak demand day, instead of being permanently limited.

If the trial is successful, ARENA says this approach could create a new solar connection agreement which could be adopted by any compatible solar inverter product and any network across Australia. 

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the trial could lead to increased utilisation of rooftop solar generation.

“The electricity distribution network has a limited capacity to accommodate reverse power flows when rooftop solar systems export surplus energy to the grid in the middle of the day,” Miller said.

“Currently less than 10 per cent of rooftop solar systems installed across Australia operate with smart control systems which means many people are limited by what they can export back into the grid. If the trial is successful, it should help more customers sell more of their energy into the market and benefit from cost savings on their energy bills,” he said.

Miller said that ARENA has previously funded more than $100 million towards distributed energy projects, and has funded a wide range of projects to manage the integration of rooftop solar into the grid. 

“This trial builds on ARENA’s efforts to encourage and support innovation in enabling technologies and in new ways of managing distributed energy to allow Australian families and businesses to confidently adopt clean energy technologies,” he said.

SA Power Networks General Manager Strategy and Transformation, Mark Vincent, said the trial was one of a number initiatives the distributor has underway to support more solar and distributed energy resources on its network.

“Our target is to double the amount of solar we can accommodate on our network by 2025. We are looking at smart solutions, rather than expensive network capacity investment, to help make it happen.”

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

Now’s the Time for 400G Migration

The optical fibre community is anxiously awaiting the benefits that 400G capacity per wavelength will bring to existing and future fibre optic networks.

Nearly every business wants to leverage the latest in digital offerings to remain competitive in their respective markets and to provide support for fast and ever-increasing demands for data capacity. 400G is the answer.

Initial challenges are associated with supporting such project and upgrades to fulfil the promise of higher-capacity transport.

The foundation of optical networking infrastructure includes coherent optical transceivers and digital signal processing (DSP), mux/demux, ROADM, and optical amplifiers, all of which must be able to support 400G capacity.

With today’s proprietary power-hungry and high cost transceivers and DSP, how is migration to 400G networks going to be a viable option?

PacketLight's next-generation standardised solutions may be the answer. Click below to read the full article.

WEBINAR PROMOTION ON ITWIRE: It's all about webinars

These days our customers Advertising & Marketing campaigns are mainly focussed on webinars.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 2 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial.

This coupled with the new capabilities 5G brings opens up huge opportunities for both network operators and enterprise organisations.

We have a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you.


Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News


  • Can vouch for being a happy Aussie Broadband customer since giving up Telstra and it's very poor customer service.

  • felix will be an interesting addition to the mobile solution offerings but having TPG, including Vodafone as parents would suggest[…]

  • Re: iTWire - Uproar over Biden story forces Twitter to change hacked materials policy

    Thx for covering this Sam :)Not to put too fine a point on the definition of 'hacked materials', and no[…]

  • This is basically the same price per GB as the discounted rate I'm getting from Vodafone at the moment. Very[…]

  • Definitely an attractive plan!

内蒙快三综合走势图表 内蒙麻将官网 嫩草影院,钻石娱乐 能微信充值的竞彩软件 泥巴体育 宁夏‖选5电子走势图 宁夏十一选五任四多少钱 牛8彩票 牛彩会员资 牛彩全部藏机图汇总