Integrating DER into the Grid


1 hour and 25 minutes


Enabling active DER into the network to drive solar penetration and drive customer outcomes.

Sponsored by:



Annie Ngo

Senior Consultant, ITP Renewables

Annie is Senior Consultant at ITP Renewables with over 14 years’ experience in the Australian energy sector in specialist advisory roles to government and industry. At ITP Renewables, she has worked on a wide range of advisory projects on distributed energy resources including distributed solar PV and batteries. She was an adviser to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on distributed energy for eight months. She is the project manager for the ACT Government funded Distributed Energy Resources Lab “DER-Lab” a new world-class, open-access facility for safe testing of new technologies such as monitoring and communication devices, smart controllers, aggregation (e.g. Virtual Power Plant) and market participation software and other innovative new products under development, in a multi-platform environment that simulates real-world conditions prior to roll-out.

Annie has a Bachelor of Applied Economics and Bachelor of Business Management from the University of Canberra and is currently a committee member of the South Australian branch of the Australian Institute of Energy, Board Member of the Australian PV Institute and Vice President of the South Australian Division of the United Nations Association of Australia. She was awarded South Australian Young Energy Professional of the Year by the AIE in 2015.


Andrew McConnell

Senior Engineer - Distributed Energy, AusNet Services

Andrew McConnell (AusNet Services) is a Senior Engineer, Distributed Energy with a diverse background in SCADA, Controls, Communications, Strategy and DER Integration projects. Andrew has completed a Masters in Renewable Energy completing his dissertation on integrating customer owned solar into diesel micro-grids and has worked on ARENA projects dealing with DER integration projects at multiple utilities. Andrew is also a previous participant in IEC Young Professionals Programme representing Australia and has previously completed Standards Australia’s NextGen program.

Presentation: Integration of active DER into the network

Oliver Lacroix

CEO, ENEA Consulting and Chris Williams, Data Scientist, ENEA Consulting

Olivier Lacroix is one of ENEA Consulting’s Partners and the CEO of the Melbourne office. He is in charge of developing the company activities in Australia, contributes his expertise to complex projects and supervises the company activities in the power sector across offices. Olivier has managed and contributed to due-diligences, strategic positioning and development of new products and services, as well as business sector, technology and market studies. During the course of his consulting assignments at ENEA, Olivier has worked for major utilities OEMs, national and international public authorities, regulated transmission and distribution businesses, investors (public & private) and entrepreneurs in Australia, EU, US, and Africa. Olivier is a graduate of the École Polytechnique and the University of Stanford in mechanical engineering and energy system analysis.

Presentation: Assessing and improving DER hosting capacity of distribution networks

Dr Andrew Mears

CEO, SwitchDin

Dr Andrew Mears is CEO and founder of SwitchDin. An engineer and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience, he has worked in the areas of renewable energy and innovation management covering Asia & Pacific, Africa and Australia. His first startup was in satellite communications in 1990 and since then he’s worked in academia, SMEs, non-governmental sector, and multi-lateral agencies. This includes lead roles in technology innovation and commercialisation, project development, strategy consulting, and investment program management. He was a Chief Technical Advisor for Renewable Energy and Climate Change for the United Nations in Southern Africa and SE Asia and has delivered more than 40 major assignments in 18 countries directly mobilising investment in excess of $200 million.

Presentation: Why managed solar PV export control is good for energy prosumers 

Alex Ward

Future Networks Program Manager, SA Power Networks

Alex is an Electrical Engineer with a broad technical background, having worked in several technical and project management teams since joining SA Power Networks in 2011. Alex has played a key technical and management role in the delivery of complex projects, including SA Power Networks’ advanced feeder automation system. Recent experience includes major customer and technical interaction in the delivery and commissioning of large embedded generation connections.

Currently he is overseeing the delivery of SA Power Networks’ future network’s strategy, in the role of Program Manager.

Presentation: Evolution of smart DER grid integration from VPPs to individual Solar PV systems in South Australia


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