Distributed Energy Resources, or DER, are smaller-scale devices that can either use, generate or store electricity, and form a part of the local distribution system, serving homes and businesses. They include renewable generation, energy storage, electric vehicles, and technology that consumers can use at their premises to manage their electricity demand (e.g. hot water systems, pool pumps or smart appliances).
DER are transforming our electricity system, and while they offer opportunities, they are presenting serious risks to our power system.
The DER Roadmap, released in April 2020, is a five-year plan to guide the better integration of all distributed energy resources, including solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicles, and ensure that the benefits are shared across all members of the community.
The Roadmap was the first major deliverable of the McGowan Government's Energy Transformation Strategy.
The DER Roadmap outlines the opportunities presented by DER for our power system, and identifies the urgent actions required to address the near-term challenges it brings. It identifies actions that:
- pilot the best ways to overcome technical, regulatory and market barriers and integrate DER into our grid,
- progress changes to technical settings, which can provide support to the grid and greater visibility of the power system, and
- provide customers with clear information to make informed choices about their electricity use and DER investment, and ensure that customers remain protected as new business models emerge.
One year on, the DER Roadmap Progress Report has been released by the the Energy Transformation Taskforce, showing implementation of the DER Roadmap is on track, achieving several highlights including:
- installation of 10 PowerBanks, which is seeing community batteries support the Western Power network and make storage available to customers;
- commencement of a time-of-use tariff pilot;
- progress of a DER orchestration pilot, known as Project Symphony;
- improvements to the Australian Standard for inverters;
- establishment of a DER Register for the SWIS; and
- changes to the Electricity Networks Access Code 2004, improving opportunities for providers of network solutions to Western Power.