Rooftop solar sends minimum demand to record low in coal dependent NSW
Another spring day, another milestone in the transition of Australia’s electricity grid.
The latest record comes from the state of NSW, where the growing share of rooftop solar pushed minimum operational demand to a record low of 5,065MW at 12.30pm on Saturday afternoon (Sept 10).
According to the Australian Energy Market Operator, this is nearly 100MW below the previous minimum low of 5,157MW, set on Boxing Day way back in 2013.
That’s a significant new benchmark because it comes in the state with the biggest fleet of coal generators (installed capacity of more than 10GW), which are the major victims of the plunging demand because they need to adjust their output to deal with it.
According to AEMO, rooftop solar reached 35% of total energy demand and all renewables reached a peak of 62.7 of total demand on Saturday.
Records have been tumbling across the grid in recent weeks, thanks to the increasingly sunny weather, mild temperatures and moderate demand.
These include new record lows for operational demand in Western Australia, for the national grid as a whole, and predictions that the South Australia grid could see rooftop solar deliver the equivalent of 100 per cent of state demand some time this spring.
There have also been multiple record lows for the highest share of renewables generation and minimum coal generation too.