Batteries set to enter NSW market in 2020

December 2019

Batteries set to enter NSW market in 2020


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RenewableCube: Up to date, detailed, and comprehensive database of solar, wind and storage assets in Australia, India and SE Asia

Renewable product updatesIn November 2019, 10 Australian assets developed by 9 companies were added to the RenewableCube, accounting for 1433 MW of capacity. Of the 10 new projects, 3 are solar, 5 are storage and 2 wind. Data for another 75 projects was updated, representing 10081 MW.

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Batteries lining up for NSW Emerging Energy Program

The clean energy transition in New South Wales (NSW) is about to get a boost from the state government’s new Emerging Energy Program. The grant-based scheme will award A$75 million to accelerate the deployment of dispatchable generation or storage. Several technologies were shortlisted for funding, including lithium ion batteries, pumped hydro, conventional/biogas, Virtual Power Plants (VPP) and Concentrated PV. The majority of capital up for grabs will likely be awarded to lithium ion battery projects, which make up almost half of the projects on the short list.

Draft MLFs for 2019/2020 show some relief for PV and Wind developers

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has recently released draft marginal loss factors (MLFs) for the 2020-2021 Financial Year (FY). This provides an early indication of which assets will be most impacted by MLF downgrades in the coming year, and to what extent. The current FY (2019-2020) saw significant downgrades, particularly for solar PV farms; six PV farms saw MLF reductions of more than 10%. All of the top five most impacted solar assets in 2019-2020 will see MLF reductions in 2020-2021 FY according to the draft update, although to a much smaller extent. These assets are all located in close proximity to the western border of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW), where the connection points are far from the regional reference nodes (RRN), and where transmission infrastructure is relatively weak.  Conversely, the draft update indicates that all of the top five most impacted wind assets in 2019-2020 will see MLFs improve in 2020-2021, with the exception of Silverton Wind Farm. The developers most impacted by the MLF draft update include PARF (Silverton Wind Farm and Broken Hill Solar farm) and Neoen (Griffith and Coleambally).

2019 - The year of change for the utility PV inverter

As the solar PV industry has grown in Australia, so too has the utility PV inverter, increasing in size and scale to reduce logistics and installation cost. However, in 2019, two critical events have changed the focus of the technology: the implementation of new generator technical performance standards pertaining to grid connection, which came into effect in February, and over 13 gigawatts of proposals to use lithium ion batteries with new solar capacity in the country’s National Electricity Market (NEM).

In light of these two events, the role of the inverter must fundamentally change as inverter technology must be able to integrate batteries within the structure of traditional solar farms (and so too within wind farms). Enticed by the promise of an emerging niche, new entrants will undoubtedly enter the inverter market. However, the likelihood that these newer players will succeed remains in question, as the two established giants (SMA with 59 % market share and Ingeteam with 24% market share) in the inverter space will not easily forfeit market share.