8.1 Industry workshop on Renewable Generation Intermittency

The CSIRO, Energy Networks Association (ENA) and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) hosted a day-long industry workshop on the effects of renewable generation intermittency on Australian electricity networks. The workshop was held at the AEMO premises in Melbourne on 4 April, 2011, and brought together 40 industry experts from various organisations around Australia. These include the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA), ElectraNet, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET), Fotowatio Research Ventures (FRV), BP Solar, Pacific Hydro, AEMO, Western Power, Powercorp, the Clean Energy Council (CEC), Power & Water Corp, SP Ausnet, ActewAGL, Jemena, Energex, Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy. The main goal of the workshop was to understand the issues that are being faced due to solar intermittency and the ramifications and concerns Australian utilities, power system operators, large-scale renewable system operators and other industry players hold. The workshop was based around the need to understand and characterise solar intermittency from the perspective of system planners and operators to avoid unnecessary barriers to the rapid development and uptake of large-scale solar power. The workshop generated considerable discussion on the topic and featured a number of excellent presentations were by workshop speakers. The workshop focussed on:

  • actual effects of intermittency currently experienced in Australia
  • likely impacts and concerns about large-scale penetration of solar power
  • state of progress in Australia and overseas
  • technologies to address the issue of intermittency.

The corresponding topics covered at the workshop include Renewable Resource Characterisation, Network Issues and Concerns at both the transmission and distribution levels, and Grid Events and Variability Management. A copy of the detailed workshop program can be found in Appendix A. Photos from the industry workshop held in Melbourne can be seen in Figure 81.

Figure 81 Scenes from the intermittency workshop held in Melbourne