Interoperability is the ability for different information technology systems, devices and software applications to enable two-way communication, use, and exchange of data accurately, effectively, and consistently.
The Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP) Interoperability Steering Committee (ISC) supports the development and implementation of industry technical standards with a focus on interoperability capabilities to better enable the integration of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) into the Australian energy system. This committee replaces the formally known DEIP ‘Standards, Data and Interoperability Working Group’ (SDIWG) which was established in May 2020.
Why is Interoperability Important
Customers are driving a distributed energy revolution in Australia through the uptake of DER. If the ever-increasing number of DER are not coordinated effectively, Australia’s system operators will be faced with threats to power quality and reliability which will impact access by new customers. If, however they are coordinated effectively, Australia’s power system will not only withstand and overcome challenges resulting from the distributed generation, but also provide increasing opportunities for customers to access benefits from DER.
New interoperability and communication standards could be vital in solving these issues and ensuring tomorrow’s grid is not only safe and reliable, but also delivers increased value to all customers.
The value released by interoperability includes:
- Consumers getting more value by providing them with greater flexibility in how they utilise their assets and access services
- Grid flexibility services can be made to work if interoperable systems can communicate with each other
- System costs may be reduced by using existing infrastructure in smarter ways
The key purpose of the working group includes:
- Prioritising, coordinating and steering the required activities to establish uniform interoperability and cyber standards to better enable DER integration.
- Provide governance and direction as per the DEIP steering committee outcomes and approved ISC workplan to ensure they are delivered by the relevant taskforce responsible for the results.
- Communicate and highlight key outcomes and/or priorities regarding interoperability and cyber for DER integration to industry and broader stakeholders.
- The ISC will also provide an avenue for sharing learnings, achievements and challenges of the Interoperability and cyber workstreams, including how they interact with other related DEIP working groups and the broader DER Program of work.
2021 ISC Workplan
The ISC workplan for 2021 is focused on two major work streams:
Test compliance of the IEEE 2030.5 Australian Implementation Guide (Phase 2) and develop use cases.
Why: to ensure all DER devices can communicate effectively and respond to provide communication-enabled grid support functions as required.
- June 2021 - Engagement with Standards Australia to facilitate the implementation guide being formally documented and endorsed by Standards Australia.
- Mid 2022 - A testing guide, use cases and data to allow stakeholders and vendors to validate conformance to the Australian Implementation Guide.
- Ongoing once established - Formal engagement with the IEEE standards committee providing a pathway for updating the underlying IEEE2030.5 standard to accommodate Australian Extensions.
A no-regrets technical work plan to accelerate cyber security approaches.
Why: To establish what are the first phase cyber security controls required to mitigate the threats for DER integration in a consistent industry accepted format. This is a high priority as DER can significantly impact power system operations if communications and autonomous response requirements are compromised.
- July 2021 - Outline of first phase (i.e. priority) minimum cyber security requirements of DER integration and participation (including markets).
- December 2021 - early 2022 - A DER cyber security no-regrets technical workplan for the ISC that identifies the communications, cyber security, computation and control infrastructure requirements that support the integration and participation of DER.
ISC Governance Structure
The ISC will interact with DEIP Steering Committee and its underlying taskforces and as per the following diagram:
It should also be noted that the ISC will have an independent chair appointed by the DEIP Steering Group.
How the ISC relates to other key stakeholders is outlined in the diagram below:
The working groups will meet on a monthly basis.
Australian Energy Council (AEC)
Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)
Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)
Australian Energy Regulator (AER)
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
Clean Energy Council (CEC)
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisations (CSIRO)
Energy Consumers Australia (ECA)
Energy Networks Australia (ENA)
Energy Security Board (ESB)
For further information, or to get involved please contact DERSDI@aemo.com.au