Western Australia’s energy landscape is undergoing a remarkable transformation. The biggest game changer is the rapid installation of rooftop solar at homes.
Western Australians have embraced rooftop solar. Currently one in three households enjoy the benefits of solar, a trend that is expected to rise to one in two by 2030.
At certain times of the year, as much as 65% of electricity consumption on WA’s main electricity grid, the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), comes from rooftop solar. We know solar take-up and generation will continue to grow and play a key role in our energy future, and this will help us to decarbonise our network.
However, it can be challenging to keep the power system stable during this green energy transition – especially due to the small population spread out over a very large area, and our network is completely islanded from the rest of the country.
Australian Energy Market Operator is responsible for managing WA’s electricity system and Western Power is responsible for management and operations of the network.
We’ve been working with the WA Government, Energy Policy WA, AEMO and Synergy to address these challenges of rooftop solar, particularly as its exceeding forecasts, we have had to prepare for conditions where rooftop solar generation exceeds levels that system demand can safely balance.
If critically low levels of system demand occur, AEMO will trigger an extreme Minimum Demand event.