In WA, we enjoy lots of days with sunny blue skies, which is why so many of us generate energy in our homes through rooftop solar.
As common as it now is for households, managing the grid for the integration of renewables, such as rooftop solar, requires careful planning and investment.
The electricity network is transforming. New sources of renewable energy generation and two-way power flows are coming into the mix. It’s an exciting time for sure, but the speed at which everything is moving affects the optimal stability of the electricity system.
Today, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released the 'Renewable Energy Integration – SWIS update’, a report about the way renewable energy is affecting the security, reliability and market efficiency of the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).
The report follows the 2019 AEMO report, which outlined the need for WA’s energy transformation. The updated report provides recommendations to further strengthen the power system for the future.
Importantly, it acknowledges the significant work being done to transform the grid during the past few years as we move towards a decarbonised future.
How is renewable generation affecting the WA’s rapidly evolving energy system?
Renewable energy generation, both residential and utility-scale, in the SWIS is accelerating. Collectively, rooftop solar is the largest energy generator in WA.
With one in three households now having rooftop solar, and this is expected to rise to one in two households by 2030, it’s essential that we continue to develop strategies to address unmanaged solar has on the grid.
Minimal operational demand, also known as low load, is when energy demand from the grid is low. This occurs on sunny, mild-temperature weekends when rooftop solar generation meets the majority of energy needs.
These occasions can affect system security and reliability, as they lead to load volatility.
What‘s being done to manage renewable generation effects on the grid?
We’ve been working with AEMO, Energy Policy WA, Synergy and other industry partners to improve the power system’s resilience to ensure West Aussies continue to receive secure, reliable and affordable energy.
AEMO’s latest report sets out 13 recommendations to manage increased generational and minimum operational demand (low load). Learn about AEMO’s 13 recommendations.
What has Western Power been doing?
At a network level, we've been transforming the grid with new technology and innovative energy solutions to give households and businesses more choice in how they generate and use energy.
Some of these include:
- Stand-alone power systems
- Community batteries and PowerBanks
- Flexibility Services Pilot with local businesses
- Project Symphony
These allow us to better manage voltage fluctuations on the network while providing consumers more choice, reliability and affordability.
We continue to collaborate with the energy market and industries in WA to ensure the power system continues to run securely and cost-effectively for the benefit of the WA community.
To find out more about WA’s evolving energy system, go to https://www.brighterenergyfuture.wa.gov.au/