DO YOU OWN A SOLAR SYSTEM OR THINKING OF INSTALLING ONE? You need to read this…
Well well well… here we go again. Electricity suppliers control the grid and in the near future will have the ability to remotely turn your solar inverter “OFF” to protect the grid from power deterioration. It’s called “DRMO” (Demand Response Monitor) and allows whoever your electricity retailer is via a signal to switch your inverter off, rendering your solar system useless until they allow it to be turned on again.
Yes, you read that correctly. Through no fault of your own, you may at times find your new investment to save you money on electricity, “REMOTELY” turned off by your power supplier because they deem your (and other’s) system to be deteriorating their grid by forcing up line voltages to excessive levels causing issues with transmission infrastructure.
Though the hardware to achieve this DRMO isn’t yet in Australia at the time of writing this post, it won’t be long before it’s being applied and installed with all new solar systems. Those of you who have an existing solar system don’t need to be worried because you have what’s called a “legacy system” meaning a system installed prior to the new regulatory changes. However, if your current inverter breaks down, the replacement will have the new software to enable DRMO, it just won’t have the hardware associated with shutting your system down – YET! Looking into the future, my belief is that if you’ve had your broken inverter replaced with a new standard inverter with DRMO software, you MAY at any stage be told by your power provider that the control hardware will be fitted, probably at your cost (maybe not) and you’ll have no choice in the matter. This is just my opinion based on what I’ve learned about our energy providers over many years which is they’re all about profit.
On one hand, I can understand why this is happening. It’s obvious that shonky inverters which came into Australia with very little quality control plus the enormous volume of solar systems being installed are affecting grid stability. What worries me though, is once again the control of a “personal” investment such as a solar system is going to be in full control of the energy companies who have been missing out on revenue ever since solar was introduced into Australia.
The skeptic within me tells me that some energy providers MAY take advantage of this new DRMO technology and use it to their own advantage to claw back some of the lost revenue. At the end of the day, who is going to be monitoring these energy suppliers as to when they stop inverters from working? It will all be controlled in-house and governed by what they deem to be “their decision”.
For the love of Australia – the luckiest country in the world which is bathed in sunshine – why can’t we get this right so everyone who does the right thing by their wallet and the environmental benefits. Who knows where this is going to lead us now. More profits in the massive energy provider’s pockets due to more solar customers paying increasing bills because their system has been shut down remotely? I’ll bet that’s where it’s headed because the system can be so easily manipulated by energy companies. Maybe buy stocks in AGL and Origin who are the major players in the SA market. But this new regulation applies to the whole of Australia meaning no matter who your power provider is, you’re subject to these changes. It’s ridiculous because no matter which way we turn, or what good we try and do as individuals to save money and/or help protect our planet, we’re knocked backwards by major corporations implementing controls and conditions so we’re out of pocket and they profit.
IN SUMMERY: This is yet another good reason to keep an eye on battery storage technology because if you end up with one of these new standard inverters, you’ll want to store as much energy as you can to run your home after the power company has turned your inverter off. You may like to register for our “Battery Storage” newsletter here.
I hope this information has helped.