Electrical energy costs throughout the grid fall to zero as renewables attain 44% share



You don’t get to see this fairly often – when the spot value of electrical energy on all of the state-based grids in Australia’s fundamental wholesale market hit zero at the exact same time.

The incident, captured on this display screen shot of the Australian Power Market Operator’s knowledge web page by Macquarie Capital’s Brian Morris and posted on his LinkedIn account, occurred at 1.15pm on Sunday.

This was when cloudless skies and good breezes – mixed with low demand – pushed the share of renewables to greater than 43 per cent. On the time of the zero pricing, wind was offering 12.three per cent of provide within the Nationwide Electrical energy Market, whereas the mixture of rooftop photo voltaic and utility-scale photo voltaic was offering 22.5 per cent. (Graph at high, courtesy of OpenNem.org).

About half an hour earlier, the full output from renewable power was 9931.64MW , or round 44 per cent – nicely forward of complete black coal 9014.85MW and practically thrice the output of brown coal 3426.06MW. This appeared like a significant milestone however the truth is just isn’t the primary time renewables have nudged out black coal – it did it in April.

The zero pricing mirrored only one 5 minute dispatch interval, so the precise settlement value for that half-hour interval (primarily based on the typical of the six dispatches) was not zero – it was $6.44 per megawatt hour in Queensland, $7/MWh in NSW, $6/MWh in Victoria, and $5.39/MWh in South Australia.

However over the previous 48 hours, South Australia and Victoria have skilled a number of settlement durations of destructive costs as a result of massive quantities of wind era (within the early hours of the morning), and as a result of mixture of excessive wind output and robust photo voltaic output in the course of the center of the day.

As Morris stated: “You don’t see this too usually. How a lot will photo voltaic be value sooner or later? Wind vs Photo voltaic PPA’s?” (A PPA is an influence buy agrreement)

Certainly, as RenewEconomy has famous earlier than, some utility-scale photo voltaic farms discover themselves being switched off if it seems to be like wholesale costs are going destructive for a prolonged interval.

The responses to the submit by Macquarie’s Morris pointed to the alternatives in demand response, battery storage and hydrogen.

“Unfavourable costs (Tas) at 13:15 on a “winter” day,” famous marketing consultant Martin Gill. “Think about if this was summer time and all of the deliberate massive grid scale photo voltaic farms had been on-line. Highlights future Demand Administration schemes should contemplate rewarding customers keen to each enhance and reduce their electrical energy use.”

“It’s nevertheless a boon for storage whether or not it’s massive scale battery, pumped hydro or home storage,” wrote Craig Duggan, the CEO of Optimum Group Australia.

“Equally it creates the chance to make use of zero or destructive costs electrical energy to make hydrogen and retailer that’s our present big storage networks, our pure gasoline networks.

“Photo voltaic and wind will fare nicely on this market as they’ve a zero price of gas. They will run via these low priced occasions and decide up when the value swings up. There us additionally a spot of pure gasoline or biogas to gas peaking gasoline fired energy stations when the market value is true.”

The occasion was additionally picked up by analysts at Watt Readability, who present the information for the favored NEMWatch widget.

“We’ve been considering via particular circumstances like this, and extra typically “what occurs when power is free” for some years,” it notes.

“In our Generator Report Card, we invested important time and power in investigating the widening hole between Service 1 and Service 2 within the NEM – and the implications for what this implies for the success (or in any other case) of the power transition.  Dispatch Intervals like this are half and parcel of that distinction.

“Many will level at cases like this as demonstration of the necessity for storage – and, while that’s true to a sure prolong, we’re cautious of any specific ‘resolution’ being held up as a magic wand.”



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