Solar farm output burdens national grid, sparking alarms for an accelerated transmission

solar farm Australia

An oversupply of solar energy has cast a focus on an overwhelmed national power system, causing a dramatic shift in Australia’s electricity network.

Rooftop solar panels are becoming a national pastime, and solar farms are springing up all across the country, so renewable energy output surpasses transmission capacity.

“With all of this capacity coming online, we’re running into grid congestion concerns,” said David Dixon, senior analyst at Rystad Energy.

According to a survey by the research firm, there were a total of 900 hours of negative electricity price in September during daylight hours across five states, with a mix of coal, solar, hydro, gas and wind power creating an oversupply of 25% of the time.

As a result, the Australian Electricity Market Operator (AEMO) has ordered some solar farms to reduce production.

Solar power capacity in the National Electricity Market has quadrupled from roughly five gigawatts in 2017 to 16 gigawatts in 2021, according to Mr Dixon.

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