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About the emergency backstop mechanism for solar
Victoria is introducing an emergency backstop mechanism for solar. This will only be used in rare emergency situations when our rooftop solar exports are high, but our energy use is low, and the electricity grid becomes unstable.
How it works
With an emergency backstop, network service providers must be able to remotely turn down or switch off rooftop solar systems during an energy supply emergency to avoid blackouts.
The emergency backstop mechanism will only be used when required by the Australian Electricity Market Operator (AEMO) and only in rare emergencies when solar exports are too high to be safely managed. It will help to avoid blackouts and make sure that Victorians can continue to use electricity.
When will it be introduced
The emergency backstop will be introduced in 2 stages for newly installed, upgraded and replacement rooftop solar systems.
Stage 1 – Large solar systems
From 25 October 2023, an emergency backstop will apply to all new, upgrading and replacement solar systems greater than 200 kW (large). To do this, network service providers must introduce emergency backstop capabilities for new and replacement solar systems connecting to their networks.
Your network service provider can provide more information about these requirements when you apply to connect or replace a large solar system.
Stage 2 – Small and medium solar systems
In July 2024, Victoria will introduce an emergency backstop for new, upgrading and replacement rooftop solar systems less than or equal to 200 kW (small and medium). For these rooftop solar systems, this means the power you generate and feed into the grid can be remotely turned down or switched off in an emergency. If you do not have solar panels, this does not affect you.
Consultation on the development of Stage 2 closed on 2 August 2023. The feedback received during this consultation will help the development of the emergency backstop for small and medium systems. A summary of the feedback received will be published on Engage Victoria: Victoria’s Emergency Backstop Mechanism for rooftop solar in late 2023.
When it will be used
The emergency backstop will only be used as a last resort to avoid local or state-wide blackouts during rare minimum system load emergencies.
The emergency backstop will not interrupt power supply to customers. It enables network service providers to reduce solar exports during emergency situations. Customers will continue to receive power from the grid. It is expected to cost solar households between $4 and $7 in lost feed-in tariffs per year.
For more information about Stage 1 of the emergency backstop introduction, please contact your local network service provider via their website:
For more information about Stage 2 of the emergency backstop introduction, please select Follow on the Engage Victoria website and subscribe for updates.
Page last updated: 12/10/23