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Australia solar output overtakes wind power in September for first time

By Giles Parkinson / RenewEconomy / 1 November 2018

Australia’s rapidly growing fleet of rooftop and utility-scale solar power plants reached a major milestone in September, overtaking wind for the amount of electricity generated in the month.

According to data provided by Dylan McConnell from the Climate and Energy College in Melbourne, which puts together the OpenNem live data feed, solar produced a total of 935.9GWh in September versus 913.9GWh from wind (see table below).

The solar numbers were made up of 174.9GWh for utility-scale solar, and 761.0GWh for rooftop solar, and together accounted for a little less than 6 per cent of total generation across the National Energy Market in that month.

According to McConnell, wind retook the leading mantle in October as wind speeds increased, but given the huge pipeline of solar projects it won’t be long before solar more regularly becomes the largest source of renewable power in the country.

September saw some other significant milestones that reflect the growing influence of solar power.

As we wrote at the time, solar is overtaking brown coal in capacity output in day-time hours, and keeping prices down (as Marija Petkovic from Synapse Energy confirmed this week, and it has also become the largest single energy source in the middle of the day in South Australia.

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