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Localised forecasts to improve renewables management

24 June 2020

An innovative project that will better predict the weather allowing for more accurate forecasts of renewable energy generation is getting a boost thanks to the Morrison Government. 

Solcast’s Gridded Renewables Nowcasting Demonstration project aims to provide high-accuracy weather forecasts to help better manage the intermittency of renewable energy and provide more accurate information for grid operation. 

This will give networks and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) more information to help them manage electricity supply, storage and demand. 

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said more data to help manage the grid is important to maintain a secure and reliable supply to Australian families and businesses. 

“This project aims to better equip the energy sector with the information it needs to tackle one of the significant challenges renewable energy generation presents to the National Electricity Market,” said Mr Taylor. 

“The information will provide a greater real time awareness of the electricity supply, helping them to maximise the value of existing renewable energy, stabilise the grid, avoid sudden disruptions and keep the lights on.” 

The project will supplement the current weather forecasts provided to the electricity market, and will enable generators to track events such as cloud cover and wind as they change throughout the day.

Weather forecasts will be in five-minute increments up to six hours ahead, and across a gridded area of 1-2 kilometres. 

The project will be trialled in South Australia over 12 months with potential for a future national roll-out. 

Solcast is an Australian-based company made up of meteorologists, scientists and engineers that develops the tools to better operate and manage renewable energy systems across the world, and provides data to AEMO. 

Solcast will receive $994,685 in grant funding for the trial from the Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). 

This project is Solcast’s second project to receive Government backing through ARENA, following $780,000 announced in March last year for eight stand-alone self-forecasting trials on rural solar and wind farms across the National Electricity Market. 

Media Contact:

Minister Taylor’s office - 02 6277 7120