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A leading independent power producer has been given approval for self-forecast generation by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Vena Energy has announced that the 95MW Tailem Bend Solar Project in South Australia has been granted approval, after an eight-week assessment period by AEMO. The approval makes Tailem Bend the first semi-dispatched renewable energy project in the National Electricity Market to switch from AEMO’s forecasting tool to the self-forecasting model.

“Self-forecasting has the potential to garner significant benefits to the wider management and operation of the market and renewable industry,” Anil Nangia, Vena Energy Australia Managing Director, said.

“This includes greater industry capability and responsibility to the communities being serviced by renewable generation, improved system security and stability, reduced Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) costs of the generators and more efficient market outcomes.”

The Tailem Bend Solar Project achieved its commercial operation date in April 2019. Vena engaged forecasting provider, Proa Analytics, to install the necessary hardware and software – including on-site equipment such as sky cameras and pyranometers – that would pave the way for self-forecast generation.

The installation was completed by mid-June, and Proa Analytics was able to start submitting generation forecasts on behalf of Vena Energy for the Tailem Bend Solar Project in July.

“We believe that self-forecasting for renewable generation is a significant step forward for the Australian energy industry and are delighted that the Tailem Bend Solar Project is the first to achieve this milestone,” Matthew Jeppesen, Proa Analytics Managing Director, said.

The Tailem Bend Solar Project is one of the largest in southern Australia, capable of generating 200GW hours of renewable energy per year, which is able to meet the annual electricity demands of up to 40,000 homes.

Vena Energy is progressing over 2,400MW of renewable energy projects across the country including Tailem Bend Solar Project Stage 2 and a Tailem Bend Battery Energy Storage Project.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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