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South Australia grid poised to become first to run on renewables only

September 15, 2022

Renew Economy:

South Australia – already leading the world with its share of wind and solar – is poised to become the first grid of its size to operate without synchronous generation within the next few years, according to a new planning document from the market operator.

South Australia leads the world with the penetration of wind and solar in its grid, and has averaged more than 64 per cent over the last 12 months.

It regularly reaches levels where wind and solar produce more than 100 per cent of state demand – in fact it set a new record of 146 per cent of state demand from wind only on Wednesday morning – but this excess is exported to Victoria through its transmission links.

Even when wind and solar have produced much more electricity than is needed in the state at any one time, it has always had to have some synchronous generators, and always gas fired generators in South Australia, running to ensure some of the principal grid services can still be delivered.

This requirement was last year reduced from four generators to two generators after the installation of four synchronous condensers that are spinning machines, but do not burn fuel, and can deliver many of those same services as synchronous generators.

[Giles Parkinson]

More: “Remarkable:” South Australia may soon be first big grid to run on renewables only

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