Western Australia has a well-established reputation for innovation in the use of distributed energy resources (DER). Western Power has led the national development of inverter standards and Horizon Power is a global leader in the use of microgrids. The latest groundbreaking innovation from WA is a community battery business model, led by the electricity retailer, Synergy, in partnership with the Western Power distribution network using batteries supplied by Tesla.
The basic idea is to connect a ‘medium-sized’ battery (around one hundred hours of kWh) to the distribution network near the low voltage transformers. Instead of customers owning batteries, they can pay to share the neighbourhood’s battery. Customers can store excess solar energy generated during the day and withdraw it at night. Customers save money on peak power prices and it’s much cheaper than buying individual household batteries. Community batteries also help networks manage voltage and can save them money when installed on parts of the grid due for an upgrade. Because networks save money, costs to all electricity customers are reduced – even for customers that don’t participate in the community battery program. The program can be offered to both renters and homeowners, including people renting high-rise apartments, as there is no need to find a space for a battery within the home.
WA will continue to lead the use of community batteries for the foreseeable future. Policies to simplify the development of community battery projects are expected from WA’s DER Roadmap, which will be published next year. Regulations in the National Electricity Market, unfortunately, make it very complicated to set up community batteries in the eastern states.
In other good news, WA introduced legislation to Parliament last week to facilitate the use of stand-alone power systems and energy storage devices on Western Power’s network, allowing for the costs to be recovered through regulated tariffs. WA is the first state in Australia to introduce this legislation, which will ultimately provide substantial benefits to all energy consumers, especially in regional areas. Joondalup Solar can assist you with all your Solar Storage requirements.
Rooftop solar has helped deliver another Australian grid record, this time in Western Australia where the state’s wholesale electricity market (WEM) dipped to 1,176MW in the third quarter, the lowest minimum demand on record for the third quarter and just 3MW higher than the state’s all-time minimum.
According to the Australian Energy Market Operator’s latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics report, new Q3 low in demand was recorded at 11.30am on Sunday September 29 – at a time when output from rooftop PV was approximately 971MW and fulfilling an astonishing 45 per cent of underlying system demand.
This, in turn, has contributed to an increase in negative pricing events in W.A., as it has in South Australia and Queensland.
AEMO says negative prices were recorded in 5% of intervals, mostly in the middle of the day due to low operational demand and rooftop PV, but also in the early morning with low demand and strong wind output. Unusually, negative prices were also experienced in the state’s “balancing” market.
The output of distributed solar generation over the quarter was boosted by mild and sunny weather, AEMO said, coupled with increased penetration of rooftop PV – 22 per cent increase on W.A.’s South West Intercnnected System (SWIS) alone, according to state-owned gen-tailer Synergy.
Elephants at Perth Zoo are the newest supporters of a solar-powered future after Environment Minister today unveiled the city’s biggest solar site at the zoo.
More than 300 solar panels have been installed across eight buildings, including the elephant barn, reptile enclosure and education classrooms.
Environment Minister said the 90.9 kW solar installation was expected to produce more than 120,000 kWh of energy per year for use by the zoo.
“The 303 solar panels are stage one of a two-stage $2.7 million installation project at Perth Zoo, jointly funded by the State and Federal governments,” he said.
“The zoo is committed to sustainability and conservation and will demonstrate to the broader community the economic and environmental benefits of wiser energy choices.
“Perth Zoo will be well positioned to showcase sustainable ways of living, with on-site educational material for its 630,000 annual visitors.
“We want to encourage people to install household solar energy systems to take advantage of Perth’s high number of sunny days.
“With about 300 sunny days a year, a typical 1.5 kW household system in Perth saves about three tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, nearly the same amount produced by driving a car 40,000 km.”
The Minister said Perth Zoo was chosen as one of five identifiable sites to showcase major solar installations as an environmentally-sustainable source of energy that reduced carbon emissions, as part of the Perth Solar City program.
The program is part of the Federal Government’s $94 million Solar City initiative and is challenging industry, business, governments and communities to come together and change the way they produce, use and save energy. Western Power is managing the program and worked with the State Government. source: wa.gov.au
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The Australian solar industry has achieved another record-breaking milestone, with the number of households now enjoying the benefits of rooftop solar reaching a whopping 2 million. We at Joondalup Solar are pleased that we have played a small part in this milestone.