Another minimum operational demand milestone was reached yesterday, and another record was broken in the state - for the third time in a month.

Yesterday at 13:30pm, Sunday 10th November, our operations teams confirmed that a new minimum operational demand record was set in South Australia of 458 MW, replacing the previous summer minimum record set on 22nd December 2018. It’s worth noting that major industrial businesses were at typical operating loads throughout yesterday.

As we reported last month, this is yet another minimum demand record recently set in South Australia and a strong signifier of how rapidly Australia’s power system is evolving.

Figure above demonstrates demand/generation levels in South Australia yesterday

Increased rooftop solar PV (photovoltaic) is lowering the middle of the day operational (or ‘grid’) electricity demand. Both minimum and maximum operational demand are now shifting to later in the day, driven by increasing contribution (and consumer take-up of) from rooftop PV.

While these new records are certainly attention grabbing, that does not mean they’re without challenges. The increasing contribution of behind-the-meter resources to our power system has meant that managing key system requirements, such as frequency and voltage, can become more difficult.

AEMO continues to work closely with energy market participants, partners and stakeholders to understand and manage the impact of Solar PV proliferation on the network and how that is creating demand peaks and putting pressure on the electricity grid.

As our industry continues to rapidly transform, we’re expecting more broken records (not just in South Australia) and further developments within our power system. It’s an eventful time for our sector!

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