Solar power has again delivered more than 100 per cent of local demand in South Australia, in what is expected to become an increasingly regular occurrence.
At 12.20pm grid time (AEST, or 1250 local time in Adelaide) the combination of rooftop solar (1275MW, or 80.9 per cent of local demand) and large scale solar (331MW, or 21 per cent) delivered a combined 101.9 per cent of local state demand for a 5-minute period.
At the time there was a little bit of wind generating (just 22.2MW), and about 275MW of gas generation. The state’s three big batteries were charging (72MW) and a total of 326MW was being exported to Victoria.
South Australia last year became the first gigawatt scale grid in the world to meet more than 100 per cent of its demand with just solar, and the Australian Energy Market Operator believes that – as early as this spring – rooftop solar alone may also deliver 100 per cent of local demand That would also be a world first.
The solar share recorded on Monday afternoon was not a record – that was set earlier this month when the share of solar was just over 106 per cent of demand, with the surplus again either stored or exported.
Over the past 12 months, South Australia has sourced an average 62 per cent of its local demand from wind and solar, and over the past month this has jumped to an average of 71.2 per cent, according to the data on OPENNem.
The state Liberal government aims to reach net 100 per cent renewables by 2030, but the state is expected to get there much earlier as a new transmission link to NSW encourages more projects and the newly installed synchronous condensers reduces constraints on the output of wind and solar.
See: Wind and solar limits relaxed after four big spinning machines installed
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of Renew Economy, and is also the founder of One Step Off The Grid and founder/editor of the EV-focused The Driven. Giles has been a journalist for 40 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.
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