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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    The Australian National University


    Australian Capital Territory

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    9 January 2019

    End date

    28 February 2021

  • Project Partners
    Energy Consumers Australia, Energy Networks Association, Enova Community Energy, RePower, Shoalhaven, TasNetworks, Thinking In Colours, Totally Renewable Yackandandah, Evoenergy
    This DER project was completed on 28 February 2021.


The increasing prevalence of behind­-the­-meter solar generation and battery storage is often motivated by high network tariffs, which discourage the transport of energy between generation, storage and load assets that are not co-­located.

This project will investigate community energy models, where distributed generation, storage and load are not co-­located behind a single metered, connection point. Through this work, the project aims to provide the basis for greater adoption and deployment of community energy models both in Australia and around the world.

How the project works

The key deliverables of the Community Models for Deploying and Operating DER project will include the development of analysis software to assess the value of different community energy models deployed throughout Australia. These analysis tools will then be used to provide recommendations for new tariffs that incentivise community energy 
models and underpin more efficient use of distributed generation and storage. The project will also provide recommendations that will allow future practical demonstration of these community energy models in Australian communities.

Area of innovation

The key innovation in this project will be a thorough analysis of community energy models from a technical, financial, regulatory, social and logistical perspective. Through the analysis capabilities developed in this project it will be possible to demonstrate the value of the models, for customers, retailers and distribution networks and the mechanism by which the models increase the hosting capacity of renewable energy in our electricity grid.


This project will demonstrate how community energy models can reduce costs for customers whilst increasing the amount of renewable energy generation and storage that can be installed in electricity distribution networks. Through better understanding how the models can be designed and operated this project will also demonstrate how to increase the opportunity for distributed energy generation and storage to participate in energy, ancillary and network services markets. Furthermore, this project will highlight how the models increase opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged customers to realise the benefits of distributed renewables and energy storage.

Last updated 21 March 2021


Plotting next steps in distributed energy transformation

As Australians embrace rooftop solar at world-leading rates, work is underway to create a modern, fairer electricity system for the future.

$9.6 million to support distributed energy revolution

To support the transition to an electricity network that is increasingly powered by small-scale energy assets, ARENA has announced $9.6 million funding for 12 new projects and studies.

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