14/06/2018 - 23:19

WA rooftop solar to triple: AEMO

14/06/2018 - 23:19

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Rooftop solar capacity across Perth and surrounds will nearly triple in the next decade, to be about 2.3 gigawatts, as the Australian Energy Market Operator confirmed current capacity and demand side management was sufficient to meet forecast demand on the South West Interconnected System power network.

WA rooftop solar to triple: AEMO
Households and businesses are installing solar panels on their roofs.

Rooftop solar capacity across Perth and surrounds will nearly triple in the next decade, to be about 2.3 gigawatts, as the Australian Energy Market Operator confirmed current capacity and demand side management was sufficient to meet forecast demand on the South West Interconnected System power network.

In its annual Wholesale Electricity Market electricity statement of opportunities report, to be released today, AEMO said about 170 megawatts of household rooftop solar had been installed in the 2017 financial year.

More than 800MW is currently installed.

“Rapid uptake of rooftop photovoltaic continues to reduce peak demand and operational consumption,” the report said.

“Rooftop photovoltaic installations are forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 8.7 per cent over the outlook period under the expected growth scenario.

“AEMO expects 134 MW of rooftop photovoltaic to be installed annually on average, resulting in 2,273 MW of total installed rooftop photovoltaic by 2027-28.”

At that point, they would be producing 13 per cent of total expected demand, AEMO said.

The report also found this summer’s peak demand level was 3.6GW.

Existing capacity and demand management processes will be enough to meet predicted future demand across the network, AEMO found.

AEMO executive general manager WA Cameron Parrotte said it was expected that consumers would take increased control over consumption as solar installation costs fell.

“The reserve capacity target for the 2020-2021 capacity year has been determined as 4,581MW, which is a decrease from the 4,660MW target in 2019-20,” Mr Parrotte said.

“The decrease in the target is due to a relatively flat outlook for peak demand (an expected annual increase of 0.6 per cent); it also factors in the increased levels of rooftop solar generation, together with forecast lower economic and population growth compared with the previous year’s forecast.

“While there have been recent retirements of some fossil-fueled generators, new renewable generation capacity is enabling the target to be met within the defined reliability standard, and with significantly lower excess capacity than historically recorded.”

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