This report presents a case study of one example of an Australian electricity grid with increasing levels of photovoltaic (PV) power system penetration. The grid considered is the electricity supply system for the Alice Springs township in the Northern Territory, Australia, which is owned and operated by the Northern Territory Power and Water Corporation (P&W).
The case study has been undertaken as part of a broader Australian research project titled “Support for Australian participation in an international RD&D collaboration on Photovoltaics – IEA PVPS Task 14: High Penetration of Photovoltaic systems in electricity grids”. This project is being co-ordinated by the Australian Photovoltaic Association (APVA) in conjunction with the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM) at the University of New South Wales, and with funding from the Australian Solar Institute (ASI).
The broad aims of the overarching research project are to:
- enhance understanding of the technical, economic and regulatory requirements needed to achieve high levels of PV penetration in electricity grids in Australia; and
- support Australia’s active participation in the International Energy Agency’s Photovoltaic Power Systems Program Task 14 (IEA PVPS Task 14) which provides a forum for all IEA countries to share knowledge and experiences on the integration of high levels of PV into electricity grids.
The specific objectives of the case study are to identify and communicate P&W’s key experiences to date with increasing levels of PV penetration on the Alice Springs electricity supply system, from a technical perspective, and to identify areas that may require further investigation and/or study.