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Standards and Protocols

AEMO has commenced the Standards and Protocols workstream to adequately support energy system security and provide Australian consumers with the capabilities required to unlock the full value of their DER investments and benefits derived from integrating DER into the electricity grid.

This workstream aims to deliver uplifted or new Australian Standards to improve the performance and capability of DER consistently across the energy system that align with international best practices. In addition, the workstream engages Distributed Network Service Providers to understand the challenges faced in a high-DER environment and collaboratively design solutions (including Standards and Protocols) accordingly.

The following activities comprise the workstream

  • uplifting existing Australian Standards (AS/NZS4777.2 and AS4755) and crafting new Australian Standards to ensure optimal DER performance capabilities in support of energy system security, and opening of new energy markets and services
  • new standards which provide interoperability and cyber security protection of the energy system at a device level
  • collaborating with DNSPs to include relevant Standards and Protocols in their network connection agreements
  • improving compliance frameworks to support correct application of the Standards, and
  • publishing reports on the impact DER is having on the energy system, the technical options required to mitigate risks, and the resulting consumer benefits

Proposed timeline for this workstream’s activities is as follows


Optimal DER technical performance means the DER devices have state-of-the-art capabilities that allow energy systems to stay connected during disturbances, provide autonomous frequency and voltage response, and offer the necessary inter-operability and cyber protections to deliver a two-sided marketplace for consumers.

Key collaboration partners of this workstream include:

  • Standards Australia and associated committee members
  • Consumer advocacy groups
  • Energy retailers
  • Data providers
  • Distributed Network Service Providers (DNSPs)
  • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)
  • Clean Energy Council
  • Governments (Federal, State and Territory)
  • Universities and cyber research agencies
  • Regulators (Australian Energy Regulator and Clean Energy Regulator)

Australian energy consumers will benefit from these new Standards and Protocols through a sustained secure and reliable energy supply in a high-DER energy environment.  These activities also benefit consumers as they mitigate additional costs required to expand the energy system with high DER penetration, and will embed functionality in DER devices that allows consumers to better manage their energy costs through their DER investments in a two-sided energy marketplace.

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Reference information

  • AEMO’s Technical Integration of Distributed Energy Resources Report (2.0 MB, pdf) 
    This report shares AEMO’s preliminary findings on the behaviour of DER devices 'plugged' into the electricity grid during disturbances, and proposes the development of improved DER performance standards and DER dynamic models to facilitate secure, reliable, and affordable operation of a high DER energy system. This is an area of significant learning internationally, and understanding will evolve over time.
  • EPRI Accompanying Letter to AEMO’s Technical Integration of Distributed Energy Resources Report (577 KB, pdf) – the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) undertook a supplementary independent, technical review, directionally supporting the findings in AEMO’s report (which was titled "DER Response to Disturbances" during development).
  • International Review on opportunities to activate DER (1.86 MB, pdf) – this report resulted from AEMO’s interest in effectively orchestrating the high levels of distributed energy resources (DER) in our networks to deliver a more productive and efficient power system. AEMO engaged the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to undertake research about international experiences on:
    • The best incentives and approaches to encourage active and dynamic market participation of DER.
    • The development of tariffs, subsidies, connection requirements other mechanisms to encourage load shifting and active DER market participation.
      Further discussion on the key insights from this report can be found in the Renewable Integration Study (RIS) International Review.
  • International Review on PV feed-in management (949 KB, pdf) – AEMO engaged the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to identify and explore international experiences in managing system-wide issues related to high penetrations of rooftop PV. There was particular interest in the implementation of dynamic PV feed-in management for small-scale rooftop systems (e.g.1-10 kW) and of distribution connected commercial systems (e.g. 30-100 kW). The review included details on implementation or trials of feed-in management, including:
    • Technology selection (communication protocols, communication pathways, customer devices)
    • Means of coordination, and
    • Drivers for implementation.
      Further discussion on the key insights from this report can be found in the Renewable Integration Study (RIS) International Review.
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