New standards making power more secure and clean

29 Sep 2020

On the fourth anniversary of the state-wide blackout, the world’s smartest solar standards have begun in South Australia to keep the lights on, whilst allowing more households to save from solar power.

During the transition period for these regulations, new solar approvals increased over 30% in August this year compared to 2019. In addition to this, roughly 4000 batteries have been committed under the Home Battery Scheme and Tesla Virtual Power Plant over the last three months.

“This shows that the sector is still growing, helping us to achieve our goals of net-100% renewable energy and doubling the amount of rooftop solar that we can securely host on our grid,” said Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“These standards will ensure that solar systems continue to generate for households during disturbances. As an absolute last resort measure under conditions like infrastructure failure at times of low demand, output can be reduced to allow the market operator to keep the lights on.

“We hope to never use these emergency powers, but as we saw in February our grid can be impacted by disturbances in Victoria, and we need the tools in our arsenal to avoid blackouts.

“I want to thank the clean energy sector and the Clean Energy Council for their amazing efforts over the last few months in consultation to propose world-leading, innovative ways for rooftop solar to help the grid. The sector in a few months has taken a huge leap forward to be clear world-leaders.

“I appreciate that with the challenges around COVID-19 and the amount of change in a short period of time, that this is a period of adjustment for some solar companies.”

The standards have been brought in to address risks identified in a report by the independent Australian Energy Mark Operator, commissioned by the South Australian Government.

In addition, the Government is investing $10 million to improve voltage ride through on the distribution network, meaning that solar systems generate power more consistently with higher output across the year.

The Government is also investing in accelerating the SA-NSW Interconnector, to allow us to securely export excess rooftop solar into the future.

“The message is clear – getting solar and batteries still makes great financial sense for so many households, and you can now invest with more confidence that your investment will be protected.

“We’re also accelerating our investment in home and grid storage to sop up more solar and make it work better for consumers.

“These standards are critical to avoid another state-wide blackout, and today is a solemn reminder of the $367 million hit to our economy and disruption to lives and businesses.

“Unfortunately, there have been shameful political scare tactics from the Labor, causing anxiety at a time of a global recession for those who have invested in solar power. These issues grew for a decade under Labor, but unlike them we won’t run the power system on politics instead of physics.

“Labor’s policies of opposing the interconnector and opposing smart solar standards would be a disaster for the solar sector and the state’s economy. It’s more reckless disregard for expert advice, and shows that they are as much a danger to the power system now as they were in government. “We are still cleaning up Labor’s mess, and the delivery of the SA-NSW Interconnector will herald a new age of power system security, whilst attracting billions of dollars of investment and hundreds of jobs in major renewables projects, which will assist South Australia.”