Has rooftop PV in South Australia recently been curtailed with these low points for demand?

With new lowest points for demand* being seen on Saturday 16th September and Saturday 23rd September then lower still on Sunday 1st October 2023 (i.e. yesterday) we have fielded some questions from people who are asking whether

* no matter whether referring to  ‘Market Demand’ or ‘Operational Demand’

For instance, on this post for 23rd September, there’s a comment by Observa as follows:

‘Saturday 30th Sept appears some rooftop solar owners in Adelaide were being curtailed-
(not my 6kW 3 phase producing 39kWhrs for the day)
A bright sunny day hitting 30 plus degrees but homes were still too cool for aircon so you could easily see why in some areas.’


(A)  Isolated examples?

That comment above references this Whirlpool forum page on which people have been discussing problems they have been seeing with their own particular rooftop solar systems over the weekend just past – here’s a sample of some of the comments to which they pointed:


No doubt this is being discussed elsewhere as well…


(B)  Official Sources

Back in November 2022 when SA was frequency islanded for a period of ~7 days the situation was such (i.e. without access to the ‘Keeping the Lights on Services’ provided via the Heywood interconnector) that some rooftop PV in South Australia needed to be curtailed over most of those days.

However in the case of the 16th Sept and 23rd Sept and 1st Oct 2023 are different (as those articles show) in that the Heywood interconnector is up and running and so AEMO has access to other options for contingency should some large contingency event occur in South Australia.

So from official sources:

1)  I have not seen anything from AEMO (e.g. in its Market Notices or Media Releases or News Updates) to suggest that there’s been a coordinated action since that time.

2)  Nor have I seen anything from SA Power Networks (e.g. in its New Updates or via LinkedIn here or in its Twitter feed)

They would be, I would think, the two official sources if something like this would happen on some sort of coordinated basis.


(C)  Localised causes?

Possibly there are some issues relating to higher network voltages in particular locations tripping off individual systems … but I don’t have any real data to understand if that’s happening.

Perhaps some of our more learned readers who have access to these systems could comment?

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

7 Comments on "Has rooftop PV in South Australia recently been curtailed with these low points for demand?"

  1. G Dawson (smokiedawson) | Wednesday, October 4 2023 at 1:42 pm | Reply

    Received this from SAPN –

    Hi Genevieve, I have received an update from the team who were looking into this issue. I can confirm that we have conducted a series of tests on behalf of “Smarter Homes” with the primary objective of ensuring the capability to disconnect these inverters in emergency situations, thereby reducing potential risks.
    These tests were thoughtfully scheduled during the time of least solar output, which is after 6 PM on Fridays, to minimise any potential solar energy loss.
    It is important to note that following the completion of these tests, the system should have automatically reconnected. If this reconnection did not occur, the responsibility for addressing this issue now lies with either the Inverter Manufacturer or the Solar Installer.
    Our findings indicate that all other inverters successfully reconnected, except for SolarEdge and Goodwe inverters. This observation suggests that the issue may be attributed to these specific inverter manufacturers. Periodic testing will continue to be a part of our ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and reliability of our network. As such, we strongly recommend initiating contact with these manufacturers to collaboratively resolve the issue.

  2. I don’t understand why I, as a customer of a PV sales company, needs to deal directly with Goodwe, my inverter’s manufacturer, for guarantee issues and/or the installer, whose contact details I never received.

    My commercial arrangement is with the seller.

    Until now, I believed that the seller is, under federal consumer law, able to suggest that I communicate with his suppliers and installers, but that required my prior permission.

    Any comments?

  3. Re that Whirlpool post ‘smokiedawson’ posted today Sunday 8th Oct at 4:40pm the following-
    “Mine went off again today 1030am – 1230pm….so annoying and no notification. At least it reconnected.”

    Checking my Goodwe 6kW 3 phase inverter tonight showed exactly the same and it’s the first time I’ve noticed throttling since a new install in December 2022. I still managed to generate 38.3 kWhrs today with 6.64kW nameplate panels and I was heading for a perfect bell curve output at 4.6kW until 10:30 then zero for 2 hours then on again at 5.87kW at 12:30. It’s not the Goodwe inverter problem here as I’m on TOU with those 2 white Dalek communicators on top of the power box

  4. I should add I’m all electric with Origin and 2 TOU meters one for general 3 phase and the other for CL1 for HWS and hence the 2 Dalek communicators presumably.

  5. yes its very frustrating, and I find the lack of transparency and communication not acceptable. Trouble is, I think all the complaining will make no difference at all, as sapn do as they please.

  6. There’s no lack of transparency from those tasked with dancing on political eggshells whilst struggling technically with the growing fallacy of composition problem-
    You just have to read between the power lines.

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