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TasNetworks – Solar System Limiters

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Tags: TasNetworks, Rooftop Solar

Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, I attended a very exciting launch of students' and teachers' work at Tarremah School in Huntingfield. They've just self-funded a 70-kilowatt solar array. It's great news for the planet and obviously fantastic for the school because they'll be able to save money on their power bills.

We need to build a distribution network for the future that can accommodate the increasing uptake of solar. I understand TasNetworks is planning to update its embedded generation guidelines to better align with the National Distributed Energy Resources Grid Connection Guidelines. These have been developed by Energy Networks Australia, the national peak body for transmission and electrical distributors.

Solar users in Tasmania would be concerned to hear that these industry guidelines want to limit solar photovoltaic export into the grid to five kilowatt volt systems.

Minister, will you commit to not limiting solar systems in Tasmania, as other state transmission companies are seeking to do, and instead, design our distribution networks to have the capacity to manage and increase in solar uptake.

Mr BALCOMBE - I might make a brief statement. This is quite a technical matter, so I will hand over to Wayne.

My understanding is we limit in the export capacity at 10. I am happy to be corrected on that. I also understand that 10 is the highest export capacity in the country. So, we are leading, not following in that regard. With regard to the installation of solar on the network - it presents many challenges. It is one that we are happy to step up to, but we need to manage it carefully. We need to manage that we still end up with a robust network. We also need to ensure that we provide value to those customers we are connecting.

I will hand over to Wayne with regard to many of the things we are dealing with, with solar connections.

Mr TUCKER - That is certainly one area where we differ to the national guidelines, in that threshold. I suppose the key thing is, for us, that is really a trigger to undertake further investigations and work with the customers who are connecting. It is not a blanket 'no'; it is just what we would do in terms of liaising with customers with regard to connecting generation to the network.