SA State Grid Runs 100% on Solar Energy


At exactly 12:05pm on the 11th of October, South Australia’s energy demand was met entirely by utility and rooftop solar.

With 992MW of the electricity being made up of rooftop solar and 315MW of utility solar making up the rest, the record-breaking solar output makes South Australia a leader in renewable energy.

The combination of sunny weather, mild temperatures and low energy demand over the weekend lead to, what hopefully will be one of many, 100% renewable events.

The solar generation and capture was so large South Australia had to export surplus to Victoria and store extra energy in the state’s solar batteries.

South Australia’s Solar Batteriestesla home battery

At the moment SA is required to run a minimum generation of gas-fired energy to provide grid stability and inertia support.

With the introduction of four new synchronous condensers over the next year, SA should be able to reduce their reliance on any gas-fired energy generation and refocus their attention on renewables.

In addition, SA’s Tesla battery is set for expansion and trial on inertia services. If successful, the battery will be able to meet over half of the states inertia requirements and drastically reduce the states need for gas.

South Australia remains one of the leading states in the nation for their battery storage services and virtual power plants.

What Comes Next For Solar?

SA solar batterySA’s continuing surge in rooftop solar installation is likely to push the grid to 100% solar over the next decade.

According to the Australian Energy Market Operator this actually is causing concern for South Australia as the grid currently does not have the technology to create solar stability and network security.

As a result, tight standards and protocols for new solar installations on residential and commercial rooftops have been introduced.

How To Transition to Solar Energy

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.

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