South Australia has made an iconic achievement by meeting its total power demand from solar energy.
South Australia is an entire state situated in Australia that covers an area of more than 980,000 km2. The state once used to have problems with power supply but, on October 11, 2020, it became the first major state in the world that is totally powered by solar energy for a significant amount of time.
Solar power derives from 2 networks:
When it comes to residential systems, around 288,00 South Australian houses have solar panels installed on their rooftops and 36,000 more are going to be installed in 2020 and 2021.
According to experts, the new additions will make this milestone achieved more frequently as more solar power will be generated. Nevertheless, there is a defect in the process as too much generated power would lead to problems including blackouts.
To address this issue, facilities to store power in batteries have been constructed. Moreover, excess power is exported to Victoria State through an interconnector.
In any case, since August 2020, authorities in South Australia have the jurisdiction to switch off rooftop solar panels in extreme circumstances when excess power would lead to the aforementioned problems. Nevertheless, locals are not discouraged by this decision and completely comprehend the reasons behind it. "I understood that it was actually about managing the grid more effectively and I wasn't concerned about it, so it didn't impact my timeline for making a decision," Jackie Thomson, who lives in the city of Adelaide, South Australia, and recently installed 20 solar panels in her house, stated.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) suggests that people should gradually begin installing batteries in their houses so they can store more solar energy. "The grid needs to become increasingly like a set of lungs. During the day, the lungs would breathe in and excess energy can be stored and then in the evening when the sun's gone down, that energy can be fed back," Tony Chappel, AEMO's chief external affairs officer, mentioned.
Another vast solar project is underway in Newcastle Waters, Northern Territory, Australia. A former cattle farm is going to be converted into the world's largest solar farm. The property covers a large area (10,000 km2) and the large facility will be developed at a cost of $20 billion producing 10GW.
2/3 of the total power produced will be directed to Singapore via undersea high-voltage cables covering around 20% of the country's total electricity demands.
When completed, the solar farm will be visible from space.
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