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Emergency Solar Management

Posted on 1 February 2022

As part of the transformation of the network to support greater connection of renewables and DER growth, the WA State Government has introduced Emergency Solar Management (also known as Distributed Photo Voltaic Management or DPVM) as a last resort measure to manage the risks of minimum demand and its impact on secure electricity supply in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

From 14 February 2022, all new and upgraded inverters installed with a capacity of 5kVA or less will need to be capable of being remotely switched off during an extreme minimum demand event.

This new measure will not interrupt power supply, as the grid will continue to supply power to customers, and it is expected to be utilised only several times a year for a few hours.

Western Power, Synergy, Energy Policy WA, and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) have been working closely with industry to implement emergency solar management capability.

How the introduction of Emergency Solar Management will impact the installation of residential solar systems

There are several material changes that came into effect on 14 February 2022:

As of 14 February 2022, any new or upgraded inverter must meet Western Power’s Basic Embedded Generator (EG) Connection Technical Requirements

Important: The Basic Embedded Generator Technical Requirements is a new requirement and supersedes the Network Integration Guidelines.

Any application made on 14 February 2022 for a new or upgraded inverter with a capacity of 5kVA or less will need to comply with emergency solar management requirements. This means inverters must be capable of being remotely controlled, enabling them to be turned off during an extreme minimum demand event as directed to by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

When applying to the electricity retailer to install a new or upgraded inverter for a residential home, you will be required to confirm a remote-control method. The two methods available are API Cloud Solution or Metering Solution. The choice of control method will be determined by undertaking a site assessment and meeting the control method criteria requirements.

API Control Solution uses software integration or an API (Application Programming Interface) to remotely send an instruction to the inverter to turn off and on.

Metering Solution requires an AMI meter with communications capabilities to be remotely turned off and turned back on.

For systems generating above 5kVA, a 1.5kW export limit will be applied. Further detailed information can be found in our Basic Embedded Generator (EG) Technical Requirements and Distributor Customer Connection Requirements.

  • All RRNs will now display your nominated control method as indicated by you when you applied for solar through your Electricity Retailer.
  • Once the solar system is installed, you will be required to complete the Embedded Generation Registration Form, confirming the control method, the inverter serial number, the Notice of Completion number from Building and Energy, and the rating of the circuit breaker installed. 

If you need to change the control method during any stage of the application process, you must cancel the current application, and commence a new application with the electricity retailer for a new RRN.

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Emergency Solar Management FAQs

  • Who needs to do site inspections when choosing meter control method for Emergency Solar Management?
  • What is the standard cost for meter control solution method?
  • With the introduction of WASIR, will main switches need to be circuit breakers for new or upgraded Basic Embedded Generator system installations?
  • How should inverter wires be left, in a single phase direct control installation, for Western Power to connect the meter?
  • Can Western Power switch the solar system on after they have connected the new meter?

Licensed electricians are required to do this work. They have the skill and ability to review an electrical installation and where necessary access electrical switchboards to determine required work. It is illegal for unqualified workers to perform electrical work.

There's no cost to the customer for the dual element meter unit. The cost for solar installation with meter control method depends on site conditions.

Yes, the main switches will need to be circuit breakers. 

We’ve created training assets to assist solar installers prepare the site for Western Power:

Requirements: Distribution Customer Connection Requirements

Webinar: Meter Control Method


Webinar:
Solar installer wiring training

Western Power will not switch the inverter system on but will leave a ‘Meter Service Work’ card in the letter box after the work has been completed. The electricity retailer will email the electricity account holder when they can start the system and commence generating. 

View all FAQs

Further information

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