Wind energy sets new record output in Australia’s main grid

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Wind output hit new record on Sunday night, average prices in South Australia fall into negative territory last Thursday.

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The cold front and violent winds that swept across south-east Australian over the past few days also resulted in record output for wind energy on Australia’s main grid.

At 8.40pm on Sunday, the output for wind energy reached 4,624MW – according to the OpenNem widget operated by the Climate and Energy College in Melbourne. That beat the previous wind output record set during another cold front in May by around 200MW.

The record came at the end of more than three days of solid wind output, with South Australia experiencing an average negative price of minus $13/MWh on Thursday, and an average price of just (positive) $13.64 a day earlier.

Indeed, South Australia’s average price for wholesale electricity in the first two weeks of the financial year are the second lowest in the main grid – touched out only by Queensland, according to official AEMO data.

But that will not likely last long as the gas generators regain their pricing control , at least until new synchronous condensers come on line next year which will mean gas generators will be needed less often.

According to OpenNem, the record wind output on Sunday evening was not the only record to fall in these past few days. The record wind output helped propel the share of renewables for the week in the main grid to a record 26.1 per cent, with wind contributing a record high of 12.6 per cent.

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