South Australia was able to provide all of its energy demands (and more) through wind power last Sunday.
Thanks to strong winds, wind power exceeded energy requirements for a total of roughly 10 hours on Sunday, even hitting 120% of demands in the early morning hours. Although wind energy was able to provide enough electricity to the whole of South Australia for one day, the percentage normally sits around the 40% mark.
Since South Australia has strong swings in electrical demands, energy prices are typically volatile and have traditionally been the highest in all of Australia. However, in mid-May prices have actually fallen below Queensland’s for more than a week.
It’s also been an incredibly great month for the state as they powered down their last coal-fired power station, the 520MW Northern brown coal power generator. The power station was shut down thanks to falling wholesale prices from an increase in renewables like wind energy and solar.
Wind power projects in the state pipeline are expected to double current capacity. If surges in wind continue to happen as they have this month, there will be a need to connect the grid to other states in order to share surplus energy in the future.