How come they got this far and found out that the grid was set up to serve a finite number of reliable providers. Now the connections to the grid have become the missing links in the green energy transition.
The Australian Energy Market Operator has already warned of a mismatch between the levels of renewables and a grid that is unprepared for them.
The generators, buoyed by the government’s Renewable Energy Target which encouraged more projects, are running the risks of becoming stranded or useless.
Wind farms in western Victoria and south-eastern Queensland and solar farms in western NSW are particularly at risk.
One potential project, the $8 billion, 2000 megawatt Star of the South offshore wind farm off Victoria’s coast – which could provide more power than the closed Hazelwood coal-fired power station – has no way to provide power to the grid yet is still rolling ahead.
AEMO executive general manager for planning and forecasting, David Swift, said while western Victoria has become a hotspot for renewable generation due to wind and solar resources in the region, it lacks the infrastructure to connect it all.