The renewable energy records continue to fall, which in Australia must mean that Spring is in the air, because that is the season of usually good wind conditions, strong solar, and relatively low demand due to the mild temperatures.
The share of renewables in Australia’s main grid is breaking new records, including an instantaneous 52.5 per cent share reached on Friday, but the more striking achievement came in South Australia, where wind and solar combined to meet 73.3 per cent of local demand in the month of September.
As we reported on Thursday, when noting the record 30 per cent share of renewables in the main grid for the month of September, South Australia’s wind and solar reached 66 per cent of local generation.
But Dylan McConnell, an energy analyst from the Climate and Energy College in Melbourne, points out that South Australia is a net exporter (to Victoria) and the share of wind and solar in South Australia compared to local demand was 73.3 per cent.
Three quarters of the output came from wind farms, with the rest supplied by rooftop solar and the state’s first three large scale solar farms. The share may have been more without various constraints and the decision by some wind and solar farms to switch off to avoid the numerous negative pricing events. The average wholesale price in South Australia over the month was around $14/MWh.
This graph above shows the growth over the last 10 years, and it will continue to grow. remember, the state’s Liberal government has a target of “net 100 per cent renewables” to be reached before 2030, and the Australian Energy Market Operator believes this could happen as early as 2025.
That may depend on whether the proposed new link to NSW, Project EnergyConnect, goes ahead. But there are a huge number of big projects already committed, or in the pipeline, including the first 100MW stage of the Goyder South project, which could grow to a massive renewables hub of 1,200MW of wind, 600MW of solar, and 900MW/1800MWh of battery storage.
As well, the country’s biggest hybrid wind and solar park (330MW) is being built near Port Augusta by DP Energy and Iberdrola, while Nexif is looking to add the second stage of the Lincoln Gap wind farm, and Sanjeev Gupta is about to start construction of a 260MW solar farm.
And there are many others in the pipeline.