Flexible exports let the sunshine in

Energy Networks Australia (ENA) has congratulated SA Power Networks on its world-leading trial to enable solar customers to export more power into the state’s grid.

ENA Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dillon said the project, introducing flexible exports limits, had far reaching implications for solar customers across the country.

“This is the future –a smarter, more flexible power system. It is fantastic news for South Australian customers,” Mr Dillon said.

“South Australians have been strong adopters of solar panels, and while this is good news for the environment and customers’ hip-pockets, it creates congestion on parts of the grid and in some cases that means limits to solar exports have to apply.

“Until now, the problem has been that in order to manage voltage and stability issues that occur only some of the time, networks around the country have had to impose exports limits that apply all the time.”

SA Power Networks plans to change this, offering small solar customers a fixed export of 1.5 kilowatts or a flexible option allowing up to 10 kilowatts 98 per cent of the time.

Mr Dillon said the uptake of rooftop solar nationally presented challenges and opportunities for Australia’s electricity system.

“SA Power Networks believes widespread adoption of this technology will help it double the amount of solar on its network by 2025,” he said.

“Networks are adapting to make the electricity grid smarter so it can support increasing amounts of rooftop solar and storage, giving customers greater choice about how to manage their energy use.

“The SA trial will have implications not only for the rest of Australia, but internationally.”