All of South Australia’s renewable energy comes from a solar panel and this makes the region the first-ever jurisdiction in the world to be entirely powered by solar energy. On October 11, solar panels met 100 percent of energy demand in the region.
Audrey Zibelman, the chief executive of the Australian Energy Market Operator(AEMO) maintained that this is a phenomenon in the energy landscape. This is the first time a jurisdiction like South Australia will be completely powered by solar energy. The consumers’ rooftop solar systems contributed 77% while large-scale solar farms contributed the remaining 23%.
Any extra power generated by solar farms was either stored in batteries or exported to Victoria. According to analysts, this is an important milestone that will occur more frequently as solar growth continues.
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Energy regulators reveal that without careful management, the generation of too much solar energy can result in grid instability. AEMO is projecting an additional 36,000 new solar rooftop systems to be installed in South Australia in 14 months. Meanwhile, 288,000 households have been generating electricity.
Jackie Thomson who just had 20 panels installed to her roof said that she opted for solar energy when she decided it was time she stopped spending more on electricity bills. Solar retailers maintain that most people have not been discouraged by the changes.
AEMO introduced some changes when it was concerned that the extra rooftop solar could affect voltage levels and result in blackouts. New inverters must feature software that enables them to be remotely controlled.
AEMO suggests that such action is urgently needed in Victoria, and promptly in Queensland. South Australia Power Networks maintains that any switch-off would only be needed as a last resort and if grid stability was at risk.