Australia Solar export limits for Adelaide suburbs with most panels under SA Power Networks trial

00:15  15 april  2021
00:15  15 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

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SA Power Networks plan to use dynamic export limits ; enabling more people to get rooftop solar power without crippling solar exports . Here's how it works. SA Power Networks plan to use dynamic export limits to allow more people to get rooftop solar power – whilst maximising allowable solar energy exports . Brilliant. When the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) released its Economic Regulatory Framework Review, “Integrating Distributed Energy Resources For The Grid Of The Future” (PDF here) last week, media reactions had a pessimistic, almost apocalyptic slant.

Exporting surplus solar power is good because it reduces fossil fuel generation and pays you a feed-in tariff that reduces electricity bills. The Bad: When a Distributed Network Service Provider — the people in charge of local poles, wires, and sub-stations — gives approval for rooftop solar panels to be installed, they can restrict the amount of power allowed for export to less than is usually allowed. In this situation exporting limiting can enable the household to install a solar system large enough to meet most of their electricity use during the day, while still enabling them to export a considerable amount

a group of people on a court with a racket: Adelaide's southern suburbs have one of the highest concentrations of solar panels, SA Power Networks says. (ABC News) © Provided by ABC Business Adelaide's southern suburbs have one of the highest concentrations of solar panels, SA Power Networks says. (ABC News)

South Australia's electricity distributor will undertake a trial of tough limits on how much power some solar panel owners can export to the grid.

However, SA Power Networks will also allow new and upgrading customers in areas with a high concentration of solar panels to contribute double as much as they can now to the system when there is enough demand.

The company, which controls the state's poles and wires, calls the initiative "Flexible Exports".

It says the change is needed because new solar panels are overloading some parts of the grid, increasing the risk of blackouts and damage to equipment.

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Installing solar in SA after 1 December 2017? Here’s what you need to know… SA Power Networks Makes Radelaide Sadelaide. There are limits to how much distributed solar generation can easily be installed on the grid, but the amount is dependent on local grid conditions and so I don’t think we should have one standard apply across an entire state. Instead we should allow people to install as much as is practically possible in their location and reward Distributed Network Service Providers such as SAPN, for increasing the amount of rooftop solar capacity that can be installed.

Adelaide , SA is a great place for solar power – and did you know that 30-40% of homes in the Adelaide area have solar panels installed on their roofs? With the cost of solar power at historic lows and electricity rates higher than ever, more and more Adelaide homes and businesses are making Solar panels produce electricity only when the sun is shining, and how much electricity is generated depends on the intensity and duration of the sunshine. The table below provides an overview of how much energy you can expect some common residential solar system sizes to generate, assuming

South Australian solar panel owners can currently export 5 kilowatts of electricity to the grid but under Flexible Exports, they could export double that amount — 10kW.

Under another option to be offered to customers in the trial area — Adelaide's southern suburbs — solar exports would be limited to 1.5kW at congested times.

Solar exports would be monitored and controlled through internet-connected smart meters.

More solar panels creating problems

Last month, energy authorities in South Australia used a power given to them last year to remotely switch off thousands of household solar panels for the first time, making the intervention when electricity demand plunged during sunny but not hot weather.

SA Power Networks general manager for strategy and transformation Mark Vincent said the system could be expanded across the state, if successful during the trial.

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SA Power Networks wants to recruit 100 customers at Salisbury to purchase a heavily subsidised home storage battery, as the power distributor attempts to avoid a million network upgrade. Battery systems can store electricity from solar panels or the grid, to be used at night or when there is a blackout. South Australia has among the highest levels of renewable energy generation in Australia. John Bradley, the CEO of the Energy Networks Association, said 40 per cent of the state's electricity was consistently coming from wind and large-scale solar . Power -storage might help SA Power

Many solar panel system owners are becoming more and more ambitious about what they want from their PV system, somewhat like car owners ‘hotting up’ or ‘super charging’ their car engines to boost performance. A grid export limit effectively puts a cap on the size of PV system that can be installed (and connected to the grid). Their logic goes that it is too expensive to upgrade the power network to allow PV system owners to install systems beyond a certain size, as the current network can’t cope.

"At this stage, a few localised areas serviced by substations in the southern suburbs are most likely to be involved," he said.

"However, over time, we plan to expand the service so that all customers can get access to flexible export limits if they wish."

He said the change was necessary in order to accommodate more solar customers on the network.

"Flexible Exports and other initiatives we are undertaking will mean more South Australians will have the opportunity to install solar and gain the benefits," Mr Vincent said.

"Obviously, the outcome for individual customers depends on a host of factors and customers should talk to their solar installer about the specific benefits."

Trial to start later this year

SA Power Networks estimates fewer than 2 per cent of new solar systems would be affected.

Most household systems produce between 2kW and 4kW.

SA Power Networks spokesman Paul Roberts said the federally-funded trial was set to start in the middle of the year.

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AEMO has recommended SA Power Networks stop household solar systems feeding power into the grid in some circumstances to ensure the stability of the network and prevent widespread blackouts. SA Power Networks said its voltage management upgrades had already been completed at 40 substations with work at the remaining 100 to be finished by early 2021. It said the upgrades would allow it to better deal with load and supply issues should the state's interconnector to Victoria go down.

SA Power Networks said it could support the RDA and LGA in rolling out the scheme, as long as it happened gradually. "My guess is that it's not going to be a whole street at once — it's going to be people scattered," spokesperson Paul Roberts said. "That would give time for us to monitor what (Supplied: SA Power Networks . ) "If everyone tomorrow went and bought panels and had them installed tomorrow, yes, there would be an issue across Eyre Peninsula." He said immediate network upgrades wouldn't be necessary, but the electricity distributor may eventually need to make changes

"It's about giving customers an option instead of interstate, where in many cases customers are being told they can't export at all or they have a very low limit," he said.

"We're giving customers the option of choosing between a fixed lower limit or a more flexible one that will take them up to 10kW."

Electricity distributors could soon be given the right to charge customers for exporting power, under a proposal recommended by the Australian Energy Market Commission.

The suggestion was prompted by requests from SA Power Networks, along with welfare groups St Vincent de Paul and the Australian Council of Social Service, who argued the cost of augmenting power networks to cope with new solar panels was unfairly borne by households without solar.

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