South Australia’s electricity grid will be strengthened
after a project to install synchronous condensers received final
regulatory approval from the Australian Energy Regulator today.
ElectraNet Chief Executive Steve Masters said final
approval means the first two of four planned synchronous condensers will
be installed at the Davenport substation in mid-2020. The second two
will be installed at the Robertstown substation by the end of 2020.
“Today’s news is a positive step forward in strengthening
South Australia’s electricity network to accommodate the increase in
renewable energy entering our electricity grid,” Mr Masters said.
“The change in generation sources has created a shortfall
in system strength and inertia within the network, which can make the
power system less secure, and increase the risk of supply interruptions
Synchronous condensers are large machines that work in a
similar way to large electric motors and generators. They spin freely
and manage changes in system strength, inertia and voltage control to
deliver a reliable power supply.
Mr Masters said as well as supporting the transition to
more renewable energy sources entering the grid, the synchronous
condensers will avoid the need for costly compensation payments to be
made to gas-fired generators to meet the system strength shortfall.
This should deliver a net cost saving of $3 to $5 per
year on a typical household electricity bill and correspondingly more
for larger customers.