Grid-scale and Rooftop Solar Beef Up Summer Electricity

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released its plans to keep the lights and air-cons on this summer.

The 2019/20 Summer Readiness Plan is Australia’s plan of attack to beat outages due to summer heatwaves and storms.

According to AEMO chief executive officer Audrey Zibelman, the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting both warmer than average and extreme temperatures this summer.

“These risks add to the deteriorating reliability of some of the older coal generation plants,” Zibelman said.

“Whilst unexpected events can and do happen, particularly when the power system is under significant pressure and most prone to failure, AEMO has worked diligently to prepare the power system appropriately, including the procurement of emergency resources.”

The plan focuses on four pillars:

  • Sufficient available resources
  • Continuing operational improvement
  • Contingency planning
  • Collaboration and communication

90% new power in the grid is solar

Since last summer, the National Electricity Market (NEM) has 3,700 megawatts (MW) of increased generation. Large-scale and rooftop solar power represent 90% of this increase.

AEMO has entered into over 1,500 MW of short and medium notice RERT agreements across the market.

These Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader agreements allow AEMO to more rapidly enter into reserve contracts if required. In other words, if a coal-fired plant shuts down, short and medium notice RERTs could roughly cover the shortfall.

On 24 and 25 January 2019, AEMO used all its available RERT at a total cost of approximately $34.5 million.

Victoria highest risk for power outages

According to the plan, Victoria is at the highest risk of power outages. This is due to faults at Loy Yang A coal plant in the Latrobe Valley and the Mortlake gas station in the state’s west.

“The risk of unserved energy in Victoria is more acute if there is any delay in the planned return to service of the units of Loy Yang A (Unit 2) and Mortlake Power Station (Unit 2), which are currently on long-term outages,” the report states.

Evidence shows that not only does rooftop solar power help with electricity bills, it also contributes to the state’s power reliability in peak demand times over summer.

To find out how to install the right size solar system and safeguard your electricity supply this summer, contact Solaray for a free consultation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.