Energy Networks Association (ENA) CEO, John Bradley, said high applications of renewable energy are stretching the resilience of Australia’s energy systems.
Mr Bradley’s comments come after the release of a joint study by Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and ElectraNet, which aim to identify the limits to the secure operation of the South Australian power system.
Mr Bradley said, “This study places Australia at the frontier of managing large scale system security issues.
“We are seeing an increasing fleet of intermittent, renewable generators, lower levels of conventional generation, and a load profile on distribution networks that is becoming less predictable due to solar panels.
“The study’s findings show there is still a lot of analysis required to manage the compound effect of these seismic changes.”
Mr Bradley said the study highlights the importance of a considered and efficient transition to a smarter, more resilient grid.
He said that AEMO and ElectraNet are responding to the South Australian system security issues with an appropriate mix of short term measures and review of long term options.
“The findings of the South Australian study will be relevant to other jurisdictions and to areas that are ‘fringe of the grid’.
“We need to better use the new ‘tools’ of the smart grid to bolster system security.
“Transmission network-connected battery storage and the network of power electronics and smart inverters at consumers’ premises could be used to support power supply reliability.”
Solutions to support energy system security are currently being explored by the ENA as part of its 18-month Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap project conducted jointly with CSIRO.
The project is due to report in late 2016.