Victoria’s Emergency Backstop Mechanism – Consultation Paper

Summary & Recommendations
Victorians have embraced rooftop solar PV and batteries supported and encouraged by the Victorian government. In adopting Distributed Energy Resources (DER), Victorians are helping to reduce their electricity costs while supporting the clean energy transition. However, the social licence necessary for control and disconnection of DER has not been secured. The need for flexibility from consumers to support system management and security, is set against a background of increasing distrust in both the energy sector and government.

  • Social licence for flexibility and control
    In a context where consumers are investing in DER to protect themselves from the distrusted energy sector, imposing export tariffs and mandated “emergency backstops” is unlikely to be popular or accepted. Securing a social licence to underpin the trust needed to support flexibility services from DER is a critical requirement before applying any “backstop”.
  • Emergency backstop
    It would be helpful to see how the development of the “emergency backstop” meets the Victorian government’s principles for DER and the cost-benefit analysis that supports the “emergency backstop” approach to managing minimum demand.
  • Technical compliance
    Inverter compliance is already very low and further work is required in Victoria to ensure that inverters not only meet electrical connection requirements, but also the communications compliance that will be needed to remotely control inverters. Training and support will be needed to ensure that installers can meet any new requirements and to ensure that the continued rapid rollout of DER does not stall in Victoria.
  • New approaches are needed
    The development of services from DER that can be utilised at the early stages of a Minimum System Load (MSL) should be prioritised ahead of introducing an “emergency backstop”.

You can read our full submission here: Nexa Advisory Submission _Victorian Emergency Backstop August 2023