Solar and wind generation breaks record in the NEM

3 min

Yesterday a new record was set for variable renewable energy (VRE) across the National Electricity Market (NEM) with 11.7 gigawatts (GW) from large scale solar, wind and rooftop solar PV recorded, contributing 46.5% of total energy used for those 30 minutes.

The previous record was 11.3 GW back in November 2019.

Graph showing VRE record in the NEM

AEMO Chief System Design and Engineering Officer, Alex Wonhas, said that this new record reflects the rapid generation transformation underway across the National Electricity Market.

“Yesterday’s new record of instantaneous renewable generation highlights the changing supply mix throughout the electricity market,” Alex said. In the last six months, we’ve commissioned five new wind and solar farms with a generation capacity of 580 megawatts (MW) that are feeding into the NEM, and another seven committed projects working towards construction of a further 1,785 MW."

This new record comes hot on the heels of AEMO’s recently released 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP), which forecasted that more than 26 GW of new VRE is needed to replace coal-fired generation, with 63 per cent of coal-fired generation set to retire by 2040.

The 2020 ISP stated that the least-cost transition of the NEM will be a highly diverse portfolio consisting of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and VRE and supported by multiple dispatchable resources. 

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