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New year, new rules

This year will see a suite of new rules introduced governing the sale and installation of rooftop solar. While the Clean Energy Regulator’s new rules will apply across the country, Victoria’s state government has also introduced its own set of additional ordinances – among them, a ban on door-to-door sales or cold-calling for solar, electricity and gas companies alike.

NT’s first publicly owned house finally granted access to rooftop solar

Indigenous communities have some of the most unreliable, expensive power in Australia, with a recent study finding almost three quarters of households in remote Northern Territory communities lost power more than 10 times, often for significant periods on “dangerously” hot days. Alarmingly, regulations have until now completely blocked communities in public housing from connecting rooftop solar because they use a prepaid meter system.

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The silly source of Australia’s inverter chaos which threatened a pre-Christmas solar shutdown

When warnings of an end of year solar industry shutdown flared last week caused by rather incomprehensible strings of letters and numbers, gauging how the pieces fit together wasn’t easy. With a resolution all but officially confirmed, it appears the threat of a December 18 Armageddon have been averted, but the whole saga is, as Smart Energy Council CEO John Grimes put it, is “a masterclass in how Australian exceptionalism can backfire.”

Sunday read: New consensus in cybersecurity

As power systems integrate more digital and inverter-based devices, the guidelines and technical standards for these resources are evolving, and none as quickly and urgently as cybersecurity standards. New approaches to cyber defence are now needed to protect more interconnected systems with diverse owners, manufacturers, and system architectures. However, current cybersecurity standards for energy devices are still patchy. Upcoming efforts are aimed at changing that, reports NREL’s Connor O’Neil.

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WA introduces remote solar switch off, following SA model

Western Australia has become the second state to give network operators the capacity to remotely switch off residential solar systems as an emergency grid stability mechanism.

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Spark $5.2bn takeover secures foreign investment approval

Spark Infrastructure looks set to be sold off with the Foreign Investment Review Board giving its tick of approval for a North American consortium led by private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to acquire the Australian electricity network operator.

Australia removes much-criticised DC isolator mandate

Following years of lobbying, the Standards Australia Committee has removed the requirement for rooftop solar installations to include a DC isolator.

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Fortescue already approved for world’s largest electrolyser production plant in Queensland

Fortescue Future Industries, founded by billionaire Andrew Forrest, has already received planning approval for its 2 GW electrolyser factory at Gladstone despite announcing the plan just five weeks ago.

Australia welcomes first energy data ‘one stop shop’

Energy data provider C4NET has now opened its services up to any party with a query, streamlining data access in the interest of accelerating Australia’s transition.“First thing we’re trying to do is be a one stop shop,” James Seymour, CEO of C4NET, told pv magazine Australia.

Basslink enters voluntary administration amid legal dispute

The companies that own and operate the Basslink undersea power cable linking Tasmania and Victoria have entered voluntary administration amid a legal dispute with the Tasmania government over an outage that occurred six years ago.

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