In the electricity world, it’s about as significant as the transition from analogue to digital, and Australia’s market operator has now openly admitted that the key to the country’s “once in a lifetime” energy transition will be found in advanced grid-scale inverters.
The Australian Energy Market Operator on Thursday published a “white paper” on the subject that it hopes will help fast track the deployment of big batteries with grid forming inverters, to support what is say is the “undeniable” transition to a grid with little or no synchronous generation, such as coal-fired generation.
“The NEM (National Electricity Market) is undergoing a once-in-a-lifetime transition from synchronous generation, such as thermal and hydro, to variable inverter-based renewable generation,” says Chris Davies, the head of AEMO’s Future Energy Systems.
“When offline or decommissioned, synchronous generators can no longer provide the critical system stability capabilities that the grid relies on, requiring these capabilities be provided by different technologies.”
Davies says that AEMO has been working with stakeholders to understand the potential of so-called grid-forming inverters to address many of the challenges facing the future power system.