If you have been looking into solar power recently, you may have heard that the network providers are making it a requirement to install a “Generation Signalling Device (GSD)”. What is this and what does it mean for your solar power system.
The short answer is that it won’t have much effect on your system but will help maintain grid security.
The long answer?
All new solar power systems from February will need to have this GSD installed if they are 10kW or higher.
As more and more solar power gets added onto the network everyone can take advantage of the clean, renewable energy this provides. If you are not using all your solar power as it is being produced it gets pushed back onto the network grid for your neighbours and community to draw on. This is a great win for green energy and Climate Change, however, without investment into batteries this excess power still needs to be used when the sun is shining.
Since Australia’s unemployment rate last year was 3.5% we can assume that most houses are not using all of the solar power produced. In this case the excess power then goes onto the National Energy Market to be fed into other states to power their needs but what do we do if we get disconnected from the National Energy Market?
This exact thing is what happened in South Australia a couple of years ago and they had the massive blackouts. The excess solar power was being fed into other states but then with the flooding and fires and everything that was going on, they got disconnected from the National Grid. All of a sudden, they can’t use the power on the network and everything shutdown to protect the infrastructure.
This is the time that the GSD would be activated. In those worse case scenarios with no other option but to limit our solar power production and keep the lights on and businesses running.
My initial thought was, what’s going to stop Ergon and Energex from just using it whenever they want to? Well, it’s not actually up to them. The AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) is a government body to help protect the stability of our power supply all around Australia and to set the rules that are in place.
They are the ones who give the say to use this or not. Not the network providers or retailers simply because they don’t want you to send power back. It is legitimately a worse case scenario to limit any power outages.
If you want to find out a bit more follow this link.