16/06/2020 - 12:07

Rooftop solar easing demand pressure

16/06/2020 - 12:07

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Peak electricity demand is forecast to fall in Western Australia across the next 10 years for the first time, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Rooftop solar easing demand pressure

Peak electricity demand is forecast to fall in Western Australia across the next 10 years for the first time, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator

AEMO annual review of the state’s power market said peak demand on the network would be 3,937 megawatts in the 2030 financial year, down from more than 4000MW anticipated in the year ahead.

The levelling off of the peak would be driven by increased uptake of rooftop solar generation, uptake of batteries, energy efficiency improvements and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rooftop solar capacity could roughly treble in a high case scenario from more than 1 gigawatt in 2019, reducing the level of demand from the grid.

Rather than a growing peak, AEMO warned that troughs in demand WOULD scrape below safe levels as early as the 2024 financial year.

That will happen at times when solar output is high and demand from centralised sources is low.

“Consistent with findings released in 2019 and assuming there are no major changes to committed capacity, the report forecasts sufficient capacity will be available over the 10-year outlook period despite the staged retirement of Muja C units in the coming years,” AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman said.

There are only two major generation units set to be retired in the next 10 years, both at the Muja C coal plant.

The first of those will be closed in the 2023 financial year.

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