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The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has observed record production of renewable energy, with rooftop solar at times representing a majority 50 per cent of the National Energy Market’s (NEM) total fuel mix.

At 12:30PM on August 23, rooftop solar recorded a new winter minimum operational demand record of 14,159MW, down 34MW from the previous record.

On the same day, new winter records for rooftop solar were set in South Australia at 359MW and Victoria at 2,951MW.

By contrast, black coal-fired generation has recorded its lowest second-quarter output since 1998 when the NEM was introduced, and has been driven by outages, bidding changes and fuel supply constraints.

AEMO Manager of Operational Forecasting, Mike Davidson, said the records demonstrated the changing nature of the NEM’s fuel-mix.

“Clearly there is a fundamental shift in fuel mix occurring in the NEM. Identifying, quantifying and projecting trends in the NEM enables AEMO to accurately forecast minimum demands as they occur, but also to plan for and manage security and reliability for the future energy system,” Mr Davidson said.

“Almost 3,000MW of rooftop solar was installed across the NEM in 2021, which outshone the previous high of 2,532 in 2020.”

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