Australia invests $9.4m in short term solar and wind energy forecasting

The trial aims to provide valuable information to the market on delivering forecasts on a five-minute basis

A total of 11 projects have been granted funding to trial short term forecasting at large-scale solar and wind farms across Australia.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $9.41 million (£5m) for the projects, which aim to enable further capability development and provide valuable information to the market on delivering forecasts on a five-minute basis.

Forecasting technology and factors that affect the accuracy of forecasts in different weather and operational conditions as well as geographies will also be explored.

The programme is being delivered in partnership with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), which is currently responsible for forecasting how much electricity will be generated by wind and solar farms, the output of which varies depending on the weather and time of day.

If these supply forecasts are wrong or generators can’t meet their targets, they can result in power system instability and higher operating costs.

The trial comprises of at least 45% of the National Electricity Market’s (NEM) registered wind and solar capacity, which collectively provides a total of 3.5GW of renewable electricity generation in Australia.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said: “Working with AEMO, we’re supporting these trials to help avoid generators being unfairly penalised for inaccurate forecasts while also supporting system security by better matching demand with anticipated supply from variable renewable generators.

“Much like traditional energy generators, we’re aiming to show that renewable energy is now capable of providing accurate measurement of energy output.”

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