SwitchDin, an Australian energy management software company, has been retained by distribution networks, SA Power Networks and AusNet Services, to provide a global-first solution that will allow networks to create flexible solar export limits to accommodate the growth of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that are connected to the grid.
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SwitchDin CEO Dr Andrew Mears with SwitchDin Droplet controller (Photo: Business Wire)
The installation of PV systems is growing at a rate of more than 200,000 each year in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM), and distribution networks are reaching the limit of their ability to host rooftop solar in some areas. This flexible export capability will allow SA Power Networks and AusNet Services to offer an alternative to the strict export limits currently required to address these challenges, increasing the penetration of renewable energy, creating more value for customers and improving the security of the grid.
The project is backed with over A$2 million in direct funding by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), with additional financial contributions from SwitchDin, SA Power Networks, AusNet Services and inverter manufacturers involved in the program. A 12 month trial involving a group of 600 customers in South Australia and Victoria will test the viability of this approach so it can be offered as a standard service to solar customers in future.
SwitchDin will lead in the project’s integration architecture design and will provide the core software platform for SA Power Networks and AusNet Services to support the flexible export functionality, based on the international ‘Smart Grid’ standard IEEE 2030.5. The flexible export capability will be enabled for solar inverters through connection to SwitchDin’s Droplet controller devices, or by connection via the internet into SwitchDin’s IEEE 2030.5 utility server platform.