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Rooftop solar puts the state’s whole local network under negative load for four hours

South Australia‘s grid has established yet another global first for a gigawatt-scale grid, with the local distribution network registering “negative demand” as a result of rooftop solar production for four hours on Sunday.

It’s not the first time the local network, controlled by SA Power Networks, has suffered negative netload, but it’s the deepest and longest to yet, indicating the quick transition from a one-way grid to a two-way network.

Rooftop Solar – The Gamechanger

It is critical to explain two aspects here. The same day, the Australian Energy Market Operator established a new “minimum need” of 188MW for the South Australian system.

However, that figure includes both the distribution (or local) network and the state’s primary transmission system, run by ElectraNet, which has direct clients such as BHP’s Olympic Dam and other large industrial users, adding to the overall load.

The SAPN encounter indicates a massive solar duck curve. In the half-hour ending at 1.30 pm local time, the highest negative load was – 69.4MW (1 pm grid, or eastern standard time)

Rooftop Solar

The local grid suffered a negative load for the 4th straight in the month of October. It had occurred the previous weekend in late September for the very first time. Usually, the SAPN network has an average load of 1.5GW, with summer peaks reaching up to 3GW.

“Rooftop solar is helping to decarbonize our energy and cut energy prices,” said SAPN head of corporate affairs Paul Roberts in an emailed statement.

“In the not-too-distant future, we anticipate seeing South Australia’s energy demands (all of them) frequently provided 100 percent from rooftop solar throughout the middle sections of the day.” (According to AEMO, this might happen in spring, when temperatures are mild and demand is still relatively low.)

Electric vehicles that could charge during the day, according to Roberts, may help produce load and reduce the stress caused by negative demand.

“Longer term, we aspire to see a transportation system in which the majority of vehicles are powered by renewable-sourced electricity, including solar rooftop PV,” he added.

“It’s wonderful to think that South Australia is driving the globe in this shift, and there’s so much potential for us as a State to make it happen as soon as possible.”

It is one of a series of significant milestones accomplished in South Australia in recent months, that has maintained a world-leading 62 percent of wind and solar (percentage of local demand) over the past year.


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Things to Consider When Buying a Solar Panel Powered Home

Buying a property with solar panels already installed might be a dream come true – or a nightmare. Here are some suggestions on what you should look for.

Lots of solar power systems have been put on the roofs of Australian homes too far.

This also means that green elements such as solar panels are increasingly being included in homes for sale. It’s a great concept that your new house may save you money on energy costs from the moment you walk in the door by gathering solar energy from its rooftop.

But, unfortunately, not all systems installed in Australia are of high quality, and when combined with age.

This can mean you may be on the hook for the cost of repairing the system sooner than you anticipated – or putting your family at risk owing to electrical safety concerns. It’s also possible that a solar system just isn’t matching your demands.

With that in mind, here are some topics to consider regarding the system as part of your due diligence before purchasing a home.

Between 2001 and 2009, around 85,100 small-scale solar power systems were deployed in Australia. In 2010, there had been 198,000 installations, while in 2011, there had been 360,745 installations.

This indicates that there are more than 500,000 units out there that are 10 years old or older. It’s a good idea to discover out how old the system is, as this knowledge influences other factors.

In a Nutshell: Solar Panels

Solar panels made by reputable companies should last for decades. However, Australia has a fair amount of non-compliant rooftop panels. It might be difficult to determine the brand of solar panels simply by looking at them as:

  • They’re on the roof, which isn’t the safest place to be digging around.
  • Brand identification will not be visible on the panel face; labelling will be located on the bottom.

Figure out what kind of panels were placed and then read evaluations of the company — not just to see whether the panels are excellent, but also to see if the firm is still in business and has an impact on The Australian economy to support them.

Solar Panel Home

Determine the total capacity of the solar panels as well. Older solar power systems may be relatively modest, and upgrading them may be prohibitively expensive or impossible.

The same is true for solar inverters, however, this element should be much important to discern. The inverter will most likely have a logo on the face and a label on the side indicating the brand, model, and capacity. Acquire data and then research the inverter brand’s ratings.

The age of the solar inverter is also an essential consideration. Because it is the system’s mainstay, its lifespan will be lower than that of solar panels. If the inverter is more than 10 years old, a renewal may not be far away, and it might cost between $1,400 and $2,000, based on the manufacturer and capacity selected.

Warranties and Documentation

Determine what kind of paperwork will be offered to you – user instructions, electrical safety certifications, and any warranty papers are very crucial.

Many high-quality solar manufacturers enable the residual warranty on equipment to be handed to a new owner, as long as the components are not relocated. However, there is another thing to confirm.

However, the guarantee on the installation and configuration may not be transferrable – verify with the installer on this.

Purchasing a property may be a stressful time – there is a lot to think about and several questions to ask; nevertheless, make sure that getting specifics about the home’s solar system is on the agenda.