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Emergency Solar Management

To keep solar widely accessible to all, we need to work together. That’s where plans like WA’s Emergency Solar Management (ESM) come in, to help keep our network balanced.  
 
ESM works to stabilise our network when there is a high amount of solar energy being generated from rooftop solar systems, and not enough demand from everyone in our network.

On a day like this, remote management of household solar is needed to prevent potential outages. This means that for a few hours, a Synergy customer’s solar, could be remotely turned off, and then on again.

This is a rare event 

A day where remote management is needed to stabilise the grid and prevent outages are rare. When it happens, it’s because all other options have been exhausted.

 

Testing

To be prepared for an event, we carry out testing once a month. Testing usually takes between 15 minutes and an hour, and during that time your solar will be remotely switched off, then on again. Information on ESM tests can be found here.

It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with your solar systems operating procedure so you can periodically check that your system is exporting. You can also check your household consumption and export credits in your My Account to ensure your system is operating correctly. 

 

No interruptions to your power supply 

When an ESM event or test occurs, your electricity will continue to power on, undisturbed.  
We will always let you know if your solar was temporarily switched off for an ESM event. We publish all monthly tests and any events on our website and in your My Account.  

 

Who it applies to 

Since 14 February 2022, all new and upgraded rooftop solar systems with an inverter capacity of 5kW or less, and participating in the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme (DEBS), must have the capability to be remotely turned off to help prevent outages. 

 

Minimal cost to you

Each time your solar is remotely turned off for monthly tests, the cost is estimated to be around 12 cents. If an ESM event occurs and your solar needs to be turned off for a few hours, the cost is estimated to be around $1.00. 

These costs depend on the amount of power you use during that time and will simply form part of your supply charges in your next Synergy bill. 

We understand your solar is an investment and for this reason we do everything we can to minimise the frequency and financial costs of ESM events, whilst ensuring we keep the network reliable for everyone.

 

How it helps 

Participation in the State Government’s ESM plan allows for solar to be widely accessible to all and assists in maintaining security and reliability in the energy system. It is an interim solution that allows us to continue our journey in the renewable energy transition whilst keeping the network balanced.

Moving into the future, battery resources such as the Kwinana Battery will help to soak up the excess energy when demand is low during the day and releasing it back into the system when demand is higher later in the afternoon. 

Enhancements in technology will enable us to offer programs currently in pilot, such as Solar Rewards, at scale which will lessen the need for emergency tools like ESM. 


For more information on ESM and more, please see FAQs below or:  

ESM Events and Event Tests

Information on ESM Events (low load event) and Event Tests from 1 January 2023 are available on the ESM low load events and testing page and in My Account. Event Tests will continue to be conducted periodically for monitoring and compliance purposes.

Solar Rewards

Solar Rewards is a program we offer to eligible customers that help reduce the risk of an ESM event occurring. 

Customers on Solar Rewards participate in additional events whereby your roof top solar is remotely switched off and you receive bill credits for these. 

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General ESM FAQs

Here you will find general information on Emergency Solar Management.

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ESM Low Load Event and Testing FAQs

Find out more about ESM Low Load Events and testing,

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ESM and the Solar Application process FAQs

Find out more about how ESM works within the Solar Application process,

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Understanding ESM Event data in My Account FAQs

Understand what is displayed in the MyAccount portal.

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