Rooftop solar deployment triggers update to WA’s energy plan – pv magazine Australia
With 1 MW of rooftop solar power entering Western Australia’s energy system each week, the state government has announced a multi-million dollar package that will allow for an update to its transition strategy. of the network which aims to quickly adapt to renewable energies.
The government of Western Australia has announced an envelope of $ 14.2 million that will help update a comprehensive system plan as the transition to renewable power generation continues at a steady pace, 50% of state homes to have solar power on rooftops by 2030.
The energy sector in Western Australia (WA) is undergoing rapid transformation, with one in three households now having solar panels on the roof; this figure is expected to reach one in two by 2030.
Energy Minister Bill Johnston announced this week that the WA Department of Energy Policy, which is implementing the Energy Transformation Strategy and Energy Transformation Task Force recommendations, will receive $ 14.2 million to help fund policy and market development, long-term power system modeling, and energy sector co-coordination.
The funding will enable Energy Policy WA to prepare a second comprehensive system plan and also provide the distributed energy resource roadmap, which leads to the integration of rooftop solar batteries, household and community batteries, and vehicles. electricity in the main state power grid.
“We all know the energy system is transforming,” Johnston said during a speech Wednesday at an industry forum in Perth.
“The influx of solar panels is changing everything we do in the energy system.
“We have 1 MW per week of new solar energy on the roof going into the system. We have to make sure that the system takes into account the new dynamics.
“The Energy Transformation Strategy sets out the steps we need to take to continue to modernize our system and plan for the long-term needs of our state. “
The original system master plan, prepared by the Energy Transformation Task Force and released in October 2020, provided a 20-year forecast of the future of the state’s main power system, the Interconnected System. southwest (SWIS), but in the meantime the penetration of renewable energy production has exploded.
Analysis by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) shows that a third of all homes in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) now have rooftop solar installations, with the 2021 Wholesale Electricity Market report Electricity Statement of Opportunities (WEM ESOO) predicting large-scale commercial rooftop and solar systems to reach 40% of total generating capacity by 2030-31.
According to the report, WA is on track for a rapid transition of its entire power system, with large-scale solar and commercial rooftop system installations expected to grow at an average rate of 8% (219 MW every year). This would mean rooftop and commercial solar installations would exceed 4 GW by 2030-31.
Energy policy WA energy coordinator Kate Ryan called the adoption of renewables in the state in recent years “phenomenal.”
“We saw a 50% increase in solar PV over what was already a relatively high penetration level and a 144% increase in large-scale renewables here in SWIS,” she told the forum. industry.
“We have arrived at times when the SWIS electrical system is powered by almost 80% renewable energy. Change is happening at a steady pace. “
Ryan said the whole system plan indicates that the current numbers are just a start, with the four scenarios modeled in the plan predicting more than 70% renewables by 2040 in SWIS.
“This is without including explicit policy guidance on carbon,” she said.
“It is highly likely that the change we will see over the next two decades will go beyond this perspective.”
The modeling also reveals a strong adoption of wind power with battery storage which will also play an important role in the future of the grid, helping to stabilize the system and open up new markets.
While Ryan praised the high penetration of low-emission power into the state’s main power grid, she said it presents challenges that need to be addressed.
Peak demand remains an issue while Ryan also highlighted the challenge of low system demand that occurs on mild sunny days, often during shoulder seasons when PV production is high and customer demand is reduced. .
Ryan said a 2019 AEMO report identified the problem and indicated that without action, this low demand will result in an unstable electrical system by 2022-2024.
“Through the Energy Transformation Working Group, we have already taken a series of steps to mitigate and manage this potential future, but in the meantime we have increased the use of solar PV, which I think exceeded everyone’s expectations, so that challenge remains, ”she said.
“We must continue to manage these challenges in order to enable the adoption of renewable energy technologies. “
Ryan said work will begin shortly on the next comprehensive system plan.
The updated version will include the government’s net aspiration by 2050 and take into account changing technology costs and updated assumptions.
Version two of the entire system plan is expected to be released in late 2023.
“We have an obligation to do this once every five years, but although the transition in the electricity sector is as fast as it has been, we plan to do it more frequently than that,” Ryan said.
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