As the volume of distributed energy resources (DER) including electric vehicles, solar photovoltaic generation and behind-the-meter battery storage systems rapidly increases, networks need to adjust to accommodate this uptake. This has involved a fundamental switch in mindset from considering low voltage networks as ‘fit and forget’ infrastructure carrying unidirectional power flows to a more actively managed system that has conditions varying across the day and the seasons.
It’s vital that networks integrate DER quickly, cost-effectively and safely as this represents an important step on the decarbonisation journey and the road to net zero. Ensuring that networks embrace this challenge in a way that minimises costs for stakeholders who want to utilise these DER, as well as keeping prices low for those who are not yet in a position to engage with these technologies is a delicate balancing act.
EA Technology has experience in performing modelling, developing policies and constructing technical, economic and regulatory business cases for the efficient integration of DER to the network.
The below example from SA Power Networks is just one instance of where this has been done and has achieved positive outcomes for the distribution network and its customers.
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