Australians with Rooftop Solar Panels Could Soon Be Charged for Exporting Power into The Grid

Soon Be Charged for Exporting Power into The Grid

Most likely put off a lot of people considering Solar.

Just want to see what others think ?

Comments

  • +48

    That change we've seen over the last 10, 15 years is a two-way flow … now power is not just going to your house, but power is coming from your house.
    "The system hasn't been set up to deal with that."

    The Australian Energy Market Commission says surplus solar electricity generation is causing "traffic jams" in the grid

    Wow, these people don't even know how electricity works.

    What that means is it's not really an equitable system at the moment

    Translation: we arent making enough money.

    • +3

      Oh, so how do you think power electrics works? Power transmission is a difficult problem.

      • +25

        It's not a magic one way street. If grid voltage gets too high, inverters turn off. There is no "roadblock".

        • +1

          If grid voltage gets too high, inverters turn off.

          Perhaps inverters turning off is the road block?

          • +2

            @Euphemistic: Not sure how it could be. The grid still works, power still gets to the house, inverter starts inverting again when grid voltage drops again.

            • @brendanm: With inverter turned off, don't we have to pay for electricity from grid while the sun is shining above our panels?

            • @brendanm: Maybe it’s the substations that go offline if they go over voltage or current or whatever it is that trips them out.

        • -2

          The voltage shouldn't be changing, but more power input into the system would affect frequency…

        • +2

          No, the inverters just increase the voltage and cause the grid to go over spec in that region. Go to some outer suburb with lots of solar panels in the middle of a sunny day and check the voltage, it's going to be on the high end. There's also problems with frequency stability by these problems.

          The quote was for some journalists to explain it in layman's terms, not an actual description of the problem's that are occuring.

          Also any improvements that are the result of excess solar generation should probably be paid for by those generating the electricity.

          • +3

            @Zephyrus: It's a problem more of cowboy installers adjusting inverters outside of prescribed limits and inverters just not meeting standards they claim to by the sound of it. AS4777 should ensure your inverter doesn't feed back to the grid once the voltage gets too high. In the worst case you will have a voltage slightly higher than AS3112 would allow but only by a few volts.

            Sounds like the wonderful electricity distribution companies love getting discounted solar but also want those lovely folk who give them discounted energy to also pay for transformer upgrades so they can have more leeway to adjust local grid voltages down further to maximize their discounted energy. If you don't get my drift I think it would be criminal to expect people with solar to pay to give their energy away and I hope government don't allow this to happen. If AS4777 needs revision or enforcement of standards by fines is required then that's what should happen.

      • +1

        Well we know when many people use their air-conditioners in summer, there is inexplicably not enough power for everyone; now homes can add more power to the grid and suddenly there is too much…

    • +23

      "The system hasn't been set up to deal with that."

      So all the "gold plating" of power grid has done is push up prices, but does not set up the system for the expected solar energies?

      • +8

        Two different problems.

        Gold plating was political slander for creating redundancy after regular Sydney CBD blackouts. This was duplicating transmission lines and switch gear between power plants, switch yards and substations.

        Local voltage rise, swell, or instability is a problem with distribution networks. Distribution networks are power lines between between substations and consumers.

        Voltage drops off along a power line. It is highest closest to the voltage source (power plant, switch yard or sub station) and is lowest at the last house, or if a loop, the mid house of the line. Thinner cables have bigger drops. Home supply cables are significantly smaller than power lines.

        If you add a power plant, like solar, to a distribution line (like the three or four in front of your house), it causes local voltage swell near the plant. This normally isn't a problem unless more power is generated than authorised.

        If you add two or more (solar) power plants to a distribution line, and that power is not being used locally, their voltage swells can interact and increase the voltage rise out of spec, to the point it can damage hardware like fridges and air conditioners. Because solar inverters are behind an unknown amount of tiny supply cable, they need a signal from some sort of monitor to tell them what they need to do.

        This problem is stupidly easy to solve. All we need is for solar generators to install new, thick power generation cables between their inverter and power pole at a cost of around $10k to $15k for most homes in a suburb. Then every house on a street can have solar.

        Instead, we add a far cheaper control signal to distribution networks that can tell inverters to change their settings so they stop damaging your fridge (often internal to an inverter). But this limits how many solar installs we can have on an individual power line.

        Fixing this issue 'properly' with thicker cables would truly be gold plating the network, unlike adding redundancy, which is needed for national security, economic, psychological and health reasons.

        • -2

          thick power generation cables between their inverter and power pole at a cost of around $10k to $15k for most homes in a suburb

          $10k to $15k per house? So cables are more costly than solar panels?

          • +4

            @nfr: Yes.

            Tier 1 solar panels can start around $250 wholesale for smaller, generics. In this case, power cables needed to see a 0.2% voltage drop can easily cost $50+/m. Five metres would cost more than one panel, and you would likely need ~25m for an ex housing commission style house.

            The longer the run, the larger the load/generation, or the lower the voltage drop required, the thicker the cable needed and the more expensive a cable is per metre. Some houses may need $500/m cables for such a ridiculously low voltage drop. Cheap, large, Tier 1 solar panels cost less. Yes, a metre of cable can cost more than a large panel if we over engineer, or gold plate, the network. One metre of over engineered cable can cost more than a large panel.

            This is all before engineering, earth works, installation hardware and labour costs. In reality, minimising swell with cable could be $30k+ for houses further away from the supply point.

            We could also fix this by raising the voltage supplied to homes. Voltage drops are related to current, not voltage (surprisingly). Transmission lines run at very high voltage, but very low current, so the cables can be surprising small. But that would make electricity significantly more dangerous.

            • @This Guy: Thanks very interesting numbers. I was wondering about the size of the transmission lines and you answered my question without me asking haha. Personally I don't mind gold plating my own cables, at least I'd see what I'm paying for.

              • @nfr: I guessed that was your next question.

                Losses are costed into the prices you pay, and you are only charged for the energy that goes though your meter. A saving before you meter will not help you.

                If you install a solar system please just use a modern inverter. Generally you will get a cable one size larger than the math suggests. Using a cable 10x the diametre or more is a waste of money you will never see a financial benefit.

    • Nice one. Here's to climate change.

  • +12

    Proposal is to manage uploads at times of heavy network congestion by charging a fees, which will reduce the benefits to households by about $30 to $100, which is still less than 10% of what the households save. It would mean longer pay off period. Still it would be beneficial to have solar panels. Headline of the article is an effort at grabbing eyeballs.

    • +18

      This is a tough one. The spot price of electricity is what the generators get and it does go negative when there is an oversupply. In that sense, it makes sense for household generators to also get negative prices when there is a surplus, but then they should also get more when there is a shortage. Make it fully flexible, why cap the amount they can be paid for feed in.

      On the other hand, will promote batteries more and people will look to go completely off grid, which will make it more expensive for those still left on the grid.

      • +14

        Make it fully flexible, why cap the amount they can be paid for feed in.

        That would just disadvantage the big boys who want to make more money.

        • +15

          You've nailed it right there. Pure greed.

        • +1

          If you go too far, you'll end up like texans paying 'market price' and then when it shoots through the roof….

      • No one sane who is on grid would leave it. You'd be spending tens of dollars to save hundreds. It make zero sense.

      • Inverters go offline when the grid voltage is too high - ie demand on the network is low, which I assume is correlated to low it negative spot prices ( if they meet the mandated standard AS4777 and haven't been adjusted outside of spec by cowboys). So it's not comparable.

        • I would much prefer inverter goes offline and I get $0 FiT instead of having to pay xx cents to keep feeding in.

          Also, I used to have issues with inverter going offline regularly. Called CitiPower; they moved our house line from the middle cable to the edge cable and have not had an issue of overvoltage since. I get that as more people get solar; grid overvoltage becomes more of an issue - but isnt the daily supply charge supposed to cover infrastructure?

          I would much rather get batteries and have the power diverted to that during peak periods or the inverter goes offline rather than pay.

  • +25

    That and taxing EVs, COALition regressive polices make me surprised we still have running water.

    • +19

      EV tax proposed in SA and in VIC are proposed by labour governments though…

      AFAIK there is no specific fed EV Tax other than the standard luxury car tax..

      • +3

        Yeah, slightly more complex on why they want to tax EVs. We get taxed on petrol consumption using INDIRECT Tax. This pays for, among many things, the roads on a 'per use' basis. So, essentially, the more you travel as in, use the roads, the more you pay in terms of the indirect tax via fuel consumption to pay towards those very same roads. EV's dont use petrol but we still need to collect the same tax to pay for roads.

        I think its a fair solution.

        • +1

          Although, I wish to buy an EV car someday, I agree with you. EVs are fast becoming common placed and the prices are coming down. These now need less government support and need to participate and contribute to the community assets and services. This is no different to what happened in the solar world, as the prices came down, the government support has come down. STCs are now calculated at 10 year generation, it used to be 15. Victoria is probably bit different. But again, they were looking to reduce their reliance on the coal fired powerhouses.

          • @spal:

            Although, I wish to buy an EV car someday,

            I don't but there'll be no choice soon enough.

            • @pharkurnell: As in do you specifically dislike electric vehicles and only want to drive cars that use petrol? or do you mean you are impartial and you don't wish to buy one because you don't want to spend money?

              • @Bjingo: Nearly every EV looks like shit… but then most modern cars/bikes look like crap to me.

                I like my current smooth very nicely powered V8 and also my diesel 4b.

                • @pharkurnell: oh that makes sense do you prefer the more boxed look they used to have?

                  • @Bjingo: much nicer than the new merc's that look like a dog shit pointy at both ends and fat in the middle. similar to most cars.

                    • +1

                      @pharkurnell: Yeah I am not a fan of the new mercs they look a bit poncy

        • -1

          I agree with you.

          I think it’s fair too

        • +3

          whilst I understand that then tax can be perceived as 'fair', it is a poor solution.

          The taxes are a deliberate artificial disincentives towards electrification and EV uptake.

          This is an example of the state gov identifying taxes that will be met with low community resistance, because they are considered 'fair'.

          A 'fair' tax is not always a subset of a 'good' tax, this is just a tax grab.

          • -4

            @BlueGlass: Hmm, agree to disagree. I think it is a good tax considering the use of it is being paid 'per km' almost.

            Instead, why not remove the GST on EVs? That is a great example of a bad tax that is hampering the uptake. Keep the indirect tax. 10% discount seems like the ideal marker for most people to afford these EVs.

        • +1

          I disagree, tax fossil fuels higher to cover the EVs entering the market.
          Tax the past not the future.
          When there is no fossil fuels left to tax, then implement something then.
          pay per kilometer registration perhaps, I don't know.
          But don't stifle the uptake of EVs

          • +2

            @giftcardinspector: Just to clarify, you are suggesting that we let EVs (currently only afforded by the rich) be untaxed for road use to assist with uptake? I rather a 'one-off' subsidy to discount the EVs over untaxed mileage. I think everyone should pay for the roads that they use as they use them. Seems fair on everyone else.

            Subsidizing the EVs will have 2 major benefits, they will get cheaper and as a consequence increase uptake and also enable the costs of the road on an ongoing basis to be covered for maintenance. This is acceptable as it won't cost the tax payer more than the subsidy which can be budgeted as a "one-off".

            • @ShoeJunkie: I am all for the widespread adoption of EVs.
              Taxing them is the most ridiculous idea.
              I am all for subsidizing EVs, and yes, I agree that they are out of reach for the average person.
              IF a tax has to be introduced, then it should be on fossil fuels.

              • +3

                @giftcardinspector: What do you propose will fill the revenue gap from fuel excise when everybody is driving an EV?

                The problem is people think fuel excise is a tax on the fuel itself. It's not. Fuel consumption is just a simple proxy for road use. Similarly EVs should be charged for road use.

                Poor people should not be subsidising road use costs of predominantly wealthy people driving mostly expensive EVs just because they can't afford to make the transition.

                I mean everyone claims to drive one because it's better for the environment. That should be reason enough. I think a lot of EV drivers thought it would essentially be "free" or low cost driving - charge from your own solar and pay nothing else. That is the primary motivation for a lot of people, hence the degree of whinging about cost.

                • @lunchbox99:

                  Poor people should not be subsidising road use costs of predominantly wealthy people driving mostly expensive EVs

                  that's not correct. Poor people aren't subsidizing anything - they also benefit from the availability of the roads just as much as anyone.

                  The roads are a commons, and should be paid for by everyone via taxation (rather than using a fuel exise as a proxy for a pay-per-use model). We already have a progressive tax model, and that model is good enough a proxy. In fact, you can argue that the poor, having to pay for car transport to their work, that they pay even more under the fuel excise model, vs a wealthy person who could telecommute or not have to travel for work!

                  • +1

                    @sangohan: Well except none of what you said is actually true. Currently people driving ICE are subsiding EV road users because they are paying a huge amount of additional tax to drive on the road, and EVs are not. Spin it any way you want, that's the facts.

                    This is a basic economic argument of the distribution of the cost. One group of users is not paying anything beyond their registration. It's time that changes.

                    • @lunchbox99: I'm not describing what the current system is, i'm describing what the system should be.

                      Taxing EV to make up for their lack of fuel excise is a policy mistake. It replicates the current system. I am describing a better system - taxation of everyone on the commons, via the same progressive system that fund other commons such as the military.

                      Taxing EV is just doing more of the same today. I don't see it as an improvement.

        • +3

          Fair solution would be remove tax on fuel, and tax all cars base on millage.

      • +4

        EV tax proposed in SA and in VIC are proposed by labour governments though…

        South Australia is governed by the Liberals.

        • Really?! hahah, I’m a dumb Victorian over here. I thought every state in Australia was now labour governed.

          • +2

            @cloudy: South Australia, (actually a minority Liberal government) Tasmania and New South Wales all have Liberal governments.

      • +1

        S.A. has a Liberal government.

      • No SAs stupid idea comes from the blue team.

    • +2

      Vic labor are pushing the EV tax….

      SA libs too

    • +3

      “We have no targets, no significant incentives, no fuel efficiency standards and in Victoria we even have a new tax on non-emitting vehicles,” he said.

      “There is simply no sugarcoating it at this point — Australia has marked itself out as a uniquely hostile market to electric vehicles,” added Jafari.'

    • +1

      Why is it bad to have a road usage charge based on the amount a vehicle uses the roads ?

      Fossil fuel vehicles pay it via fuel excise

      As others have suggested maybe a better way is to reduce sales taxes and stamp duties on EVs to make them more affordable ? At the moment the cheapest Tesla is around $70K (I would like to buy one if I could afford it)

      • +3

        its called rego

        you're already paying the cost, including paying tolls

        Its just a money grab. Taxing EVS per km has to be the dumbest idea after tony abbot suggested copper was better than fiber

        Look where we are now. Shitty internet and pretty much having to spend more to upgrade to fiber anyway

        you already pay luxury car tax, stamp duty and rego. There should be no tax

        Look at the countries around the world where they will pay you an incentive to buy the car.

        • +2

          Just to clarify there, rego doesn't JUST go for roads. However it isn't nearly enough to pay for bridges and infrastructure. Hence the tax on fuels. It definitely isn't a tax grab. We need the monies to pay for roads.

          Taxing EVs per km is essentially the best and fair outcome as a consequence. Otherwise how will we backfill the hole that the excise taxes pay for?

          Remember, if they aren't paying for their fair use, then we the taxpayer are essentially subsidizing them. It also means, a shortfall in tax revenue that can be allocated to roads.

          https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/registration/registration-fe...

          "The registration and license fees we collect are paid into something called the Government’s Consolidated Fund (GCF). The money in this fund is put back into a range of Government services like road programs, transport, education and health services, which help Victorians each day"

          As for the countries you refer to that are subsidizing EVs, they are doing it via other means. For example Norway subsidizes them using their sovereign wealth fund which is funded by their petroleum monies and natural resources.

          https://freakonomics.com/podcast/how-can-tiny-norway-afford-...
          https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidnikel/2019/06/18/electric-...

          • -4

            @ShoeJunkie: thats a load of crap and you know that

            Where does the tax you pay go to? Have a look at the breakdown of your tax bill. Its more than enough.

            The government and oil suppliers are in it together to make it harder for the locals to get EVs

            It's also the government's fault for selling out tolls to private companies.

            Essentially the government is saying, you pay to save the planet. No incentive whatsoever.

            Just like our old pm, "coal is good for humanity"

            • @lltravel: Institutional bias against EV is definitely there in the government. Your comment about government and oil suppliers is unfortunately also true.

              However, completely disagree with your comment around taxes. the breakdown is obvious and absolutely correct. Including the rego monies being spent.

              Finally, I agree that EVs need to be incentivized in Australia. Where I disagree is HOW we go about it.

              I believe, if we instead spent some monies giving cheap loans to electrifying the roads, aka Tesla or private charging networks AND maybe subsidize purchase of EVs UNDER 50,000 AUD, you will find that Tesla, VW and everyone else will MOVE their price targets to match the subsidy. This has been done before by California among other countries. Therefore, you wouldn't have to pay luxury tax, stamp duty would be minimal and rego.

        • +3

          Rego isn't usage based though.

          I could have the identical car to my neighbour, I drive 100,000km amd they 5,000km p/a.

          Our rego bill would be the same.

    • EV km taxes are about adding government trackers to cars, not revenue. If this was about paying for roads, they would tax energy consumption, either from fast chargers or on the vehicle's charging port, as it would incentivise more efficient vehicles and usage.

  • +2

    My system is small enough due to roofspace that I'm more concerned with self consumption than export. I think the days of huge systems with high FIT are gone and systems should be sized according to household usage. Also this sort of thing only makes the ROI on battery systems more attractive.

    • in WA the labor government recently introduced a sizeable disincentive to adding batteries….or doing anything really

      • I haven't heard about that, whats the disincentive?

        • It's back to the FIT. FIT is only at full rate at peak times 6-00pm to 9-00pm which is encouraging people to install panels facing west to produce power during those peak times. Again the era of big systems with high FIT and high ROI are gone. Systems need to be right sized for self consumption.

          • +1

            @dirtybigbjelke: I found it its moved to DEBS instead of REBS pretty much as you said except its 3pm - 9pm at 10c then 3c all other times compared to 7.13 all the time as it is currently.

            I understand their reasoning a tonne feed in when no one is using it then suddenly none when everyone is using it is certainly less effective, and would lead to higher usage of coal and other fossil fuels.

            Surely there would be a better way of doing it, even if you just adjusted the tariff numbers so west facing panels generated slightly more ROI than REBS previously did and non west facing generated less to encourage people placing it west facing.

            According to

            https://www.infiniteenergy.com.au/faq-how-the-latest-rebs-ch...

            for a 6Kw system with no battery with a 50/50 use to feed in ratio, there will be a ROI decrease of $230 annually.

            Assuming they cost $12k and their return rates on the above link are correct it would take an extra year before you are in the black on them with this change.

        • +1

          reduced rates if you add or change your installation including adding a battery…

  • +4

    ABC has quoted the Australian Energy Market Commission; it is the recommendation from that industry body that is discussed.

    Industry bodies have an interest, obviously. They push out these recommendations to lobby government / regulators on behalf of their members (in this case, energy retailers).

    • +1

      Is there a customer body for energy?

      • +8

        There isn't really a customer body for anything.
        In theory, our elected representatives are supposed to represent the general population in their electorates. Enough said.

    • +2

      A 'recommendation'.
      Like when your boss 'asks' you to stay late during a time of heavy layoffs.

    • +1

      The AEMC is not an industry body, it's a government department. This is a draft recommendation from them.

  • +3

    Well that sucks. Might be time to get into something that consumes a lot of power, like mining crypto or having a grow house.

    • +3

      Is your surplus power level over 9000?

  • -2

    Under the AEMC proposal, households with small solar systems would lose about $30 per year on their feed-in tariffs

    Oh no.. bank broken. Sky is falling.

    • +1

      I have a pretty standard 6.6kw system and 5kw inverter. Last quarter feed in was approx 2100kwh. So that's near $200 a quarter.

      • +1

        That's the point that is being made. In the worst case if this industry proposed solution actually got up, you'd still get back 200-30 = $170. You won't lose all of your feed in credit, you'd just lose a small amount in very peak times when they say too much is being put back.

        Note I don't support this proposal, I think we should be storing this energy on various different scales from huge to local, not just stopping feedback to as a quick fix.

        • How would they possibly know how much I've put in at what time? We don't have smart meters here.

          If they want to do this, I'll just get batteries, and not buy their power at all. Lots of other people will probably do the same, and those without solar will end up paying more at the end of the day.

          • +1

            @brendanm:

            We don't have smart meters here.

            Your place, or you speaking in general?

            • @avoidfullprice: My place, and this whole Energex area as far as I know.

              • -2

                @brendanm: Solar Panel requires smart meter.
                If you have solar panel then you have smart meter.

          • @brendanm: Then you definitely don't have a "pretty standard" system - the standard is definitely to have a smart meter that can tell how much you are consuming / feeding in at what time. Especially for future installs which is what they are worried about.

            Purely out of interest can you monitor you system production?

            • +2

              @trialex: Standard electric meters happily monitor power both ways. A smart meter also monitors the time of day it's being consumed etc.

              Of course I can monitor production, the inverter has that information.

              • @brendanm: A digital meter records consumption in intervals, which is how TOU tarrifs work. Newer smart meters record exports. You got them the other way around.

                Out of curiosity I looked up if QLD has different "standard". Turns out you don't have a QLD standard setup.

                https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-owning-home/energy-wat...

                You will also need to have a new digital meter installed to measure the solar power you export to the grid. This is required before you connect to the grid. This may mean you need to have your existing meter modified or a new meter installed.

                Or maybe you don't actually live in QLD like you said in your profile.

                • @avoidfullprice: I'm not on tou, and the meter isn't set up for tou.

                  My house had a digital meter installed when it was built. Did you notice they said "digital meter" and not "smart meter".

                  Also, when I referred to it as a "standard setup", I meant the size and likely feed in, to point out that the "$30 worse off" was bs.

            • +1

              @trialex: @trialex @neutralname. Nope. Smart meter not standard. We don't have smart meter or tou meter. Just a regular one that records total use and total export. Live in qld. Problem solved

  • +1

    I think all the subsidies from all levels of government to encourage solar was well meant but clearly poorly thought out.

    The truth given the price of power solar never needed any more subsidies for the last 5+ years. The ROI for most was already exceptional before additional subsidies like the 50% Vic government one (which I availed). My in law had a ROI of just two years (After 50% subsidy) when I was doing his numbers. That’s just crazy.

  • Wouldn't be happy, but no big dollars

    "For a medium-sized system, we're still modelling you'll have a $900 return per year and a small reduction of $70," Mr Barr said.

    The report shows people with a large rooftop solar system earning more than $1,200 a year could see their benefits slashed by about $100.

    Those with a smaller system of 2kW to 4kW — which is most households with rooftop solar — could lose about $30 a year.

    They would still earn about $645 per year from feed-in tariffs.
    .

    • +2

      It is like a coffee a week tax cuts. Just messing around at the edges and actually really doing nothing. We're still going to have grid problems. It isn't like the money given to those without solar are going to be invested in some grid lock solving measures.

    • Can only speak for Victoria here but people's ROI's have already been hit hard as the FIT has gone from 12c in 2019 to 6.7c this year. For those that are low consumption high export this type of change combined with a decreased FIT has significant impacts on the ROI of a system.

  • solar system earning more than $1,200 a year could see their benefits slashed by about $100.

    You know its going to be the otherway around..

  • Even before the solar energy boom, the electricity network aged so much we been paying heaps to sustain that network through higher supply charges. For financial reasons, the distributors did not upgrade, future proof the network, or install enough (if any) local battery hub to create micro electricity network.

    Now the problem is unmanageable, so again household is paying the price for their decision. Instead of penalising us for exporting, why not just charge us extra to build those damn facilities to solve and future proof the problem.

    • For financial reasons, the distributors did not upgrade

      I take that to mean upgrading leads to no/little financial gain.
      Given they have shareholders can you blame them for not investing money in an area which leads to insufficient returns?

      Instead of penalising us for exporting, why not just charge us extra to build those damn facilities to solve and future proof the problem.

      I think the problem is there is not really a fair way of charging those costs, but i do agree with you in principle.

      Do you charge everyone solar or not for extra cost of infrastructure upgrades? or just those who have solar now? the investment now is basically a fixed cost, so if you charge those who have it now, does that mean people who add solar in the future get a freebie? If you charge everyone this charge this isn't fair for those who choose not to install solar.

    • Nope.

      Supply charges are a simple way to charge lower users more and pay small to medium generators less. Nothing to do with maintenance. Upgrades to switch yards has been consistent over the last decade and is usually generator funded (as they are the ones causing the need for the upgrade).

      Solar and wind generation is significantly cheaper than large plant to roll out as it can be installed in sections so most investment over the last decade has been slower and on going. SA started needing battery support five years ago and paid though the noise for it. Other regions are starting to catch up now and can take advantage of a halving in price of battery storage since SA's install.

      Installing pad mount batteries (local battery hub…) outside of substations is adding another point of failure, not adding redundancy. You would not use them for storage, but network stability. And you couldn't anyway. In a padmount form factor you might have enough density for a house or two, not a neighbourhood.

      As for penalising solar generators - it is solar generators converting too much energy which is risking grid instability and pushing the spot prices negative. Why should small solar generators get a free pass when most aren't willing to upgrade their meter or inverter to reduce this problem. Yes, some people entered in to ludicrously good deals and would be stupid to give them up, but these people have the oldest, most problematic systems.

      The problem is not unimaginable. SA had this issue 5 years ago. Renewables is at the point in much of SE Aust. that they are starting to create economic reasons to start shutting down coal plants. Installed renewables are getting to the point that they have paid back their installation and the better ones may only cost around $10/MWh to $15/MWh. There is plenty of money in the system to cover these capital expenses and their would be more if short sighted politicians didn't privatise many of these money printing systems.

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