AEMO given $3 million to expedite grid connections for new renewables before next summer

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Connecting energy projects to the grid is notoriously difficult in Australia as it has some of the most stringent standards in the world. To help expedite the process for renewables, Commonwealth and state energy ministers have agreed to provide the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) with an additional $3 million (USD 2 million).

Federal energy minister Chris Bowen said the additional resourcing would be made available to ensure Australia has “maximum capacity in the lead up to next summer.”

“There’s a lot of investment into our grid, a lot of good work occurring in renewable transmission, but some of it is encountering delays in being connected to the grid, receiving approvals to connect to the grid,” Bowen said.

“So we’ve agreed to increase resources jointly between the Commonwealth and the states for AEMO now to get that work done more quickly, particularly over coming months.”

Australia’s strict grid connection standards were introduced following the 2016 blackout in South Australia, where it was discovered weather-related disturbances on grid led wind farms to switch off – an unforeseen reaction that ultimately contributed to the blackout.

“The whole connection risk has become a topmost risk for developers and investors,” Rajesh Arora, the technical director of power and industrial at global infrastructure consultancy AECOM, previously told pv magazine.

AEMO has been working with the Clean Energy Council to streamline Australia’s grid connection process for new energy projects.

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