I gave a talk this week in which I raised the question of whether traditional rooftop PV should be discouraged. This might sound strange coming from someone who has dedicated a whole career to renewables!
Right now in Australia we are adding rooftop PV at an unprecedented rate – 93MW last month in a comparatively small national grid.
We considered it a huge market event closing Hazelwood, a 1.6GW brown coal generator in March.
This solar boom will push rooftop solar toward 7GW within 12 months – surely much more momentous in our wholesale market.
Huge electricity price rises due out tomorrow will further fuel this market. Grid parity used to be seen as a distant point on the horizon – but we blew past that pretty fast here in Australia and the gap widens as panel prices plummet.
It is now crazy not to have solar in this country.
It’s great – but all this does pose challenges for our system operator AEMO and for our networks which must deal with the reverse power flows.
Traditional PV systems are essentially invisible to our networks and our markets. For a small cost, a gateway can be installed on these solar systems which makes them visible to both the market operator and to the network.
These gateways can also dynamically manage feed-in, ramp rates, and power factor to help the grid via a Virtual Power Plant interface. And they make the site truly battery ready.
Whilst we still have time to avoid the next energy mess, should consider incentivising consumers to choose a gateway with their solar – given the cost of doing so is modest?
Disclaimer: I of course work for Reposit which produces gateways and a VPP interface – which I hope speaks volumes about how important I think this topic is!
Source: Linkedin. Reproduced with permission.