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The record for variable renewable energy (VRE) across the National Electricity Market (NEM) has recently been broken thanks to large-scale solar, wind and rooftop solar PV.

For 30 minutes on August 20, 11.7GW of energy was generated from large-scale solar, wind and rooftop solar PV. This was equivalent to 46.5 per cent of total energy used for those 30 minutes, beating last year’s record of 11.3 GW.

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

“Yesterday’s new record of instantaneous renewable generation highlights the changing supply mix throughout the electricity market,” Mr Wonhas said. 

“In the last six months, we’ve commissioned five new wind and solar farms with a generation capacity of 580MW that are feeding into the NEM, and another seven committed projects working towards construction of a further 1,785 MW.”

The new record comes hot on the heels of AEMO’s recently released 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP), which forecasted that more than 26GW 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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