Rooftop and utility-scale solar met the equivalent of all South Australia’s electricity demand for more than six hours last Sunday, as “operational demand” was almost eliminated as it hit a record low on the same day.
The new benchmark was noted by the Australian Energy Market Operators, and some independent data analysts.
According to AEMO, the minimum operational demand (i.e., that not provided by rooftop solar and other distributed resources) fell to a new record low of 100MW at 1 pm on Sunday.
The last record was set in November 2021.
At the time, rooftop solar took care of 92 percent of the state’s power needs. According to data provider NemLog2, the combination of rooftop solar and utility-scale solar achieved a new peak of 116.7 percent of demand (at least in a five-minute trading period), one hour later.
The extra supply provided “synchronous” support to the grid, which was exported to Victoria or stored in batteries.
AEMO states that with the use of advanced battery inverters, and the new connection to NSW from 2025, at these times of excess wind and solar supply, no fossil fuel will need to be burnt.
The primary grid services will come from the advanced battery inverters. This will enable the grid to be the first at this massive scale to functionon just wind, solar, and battery storage.
For the last 12 months, wind and solar have been providing an average of more than 65 percent of state electricity demand and are expected to average 100 percent in the next five years.