South Australia is on course to continue as the national leader in the cost-effective transmission grid connection of renewable energy sources, with commercially profitable development opportunities identified, according to new analysis by independent market analysts ROAM Consulting.


This new study has found that up to 1050MW of additional new wind development is likely to be commercially profitable (approximately 2300MW in total) if connected to the existing electricity transmission network in areas with high-quality wind resources and available transmission network capability (eg. the Mid North region of South Australia).


The modelling includes a minus five per cent by 2020 carbon price trajectory (similar to the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future policy proposal) and was found to be relatively robust to changes in the level of the carbon price and variations in peak demand.


The capacity of commercially profitable wind would increase further under a high-energy growth scenario (including developments such as the Olympic Dam expansion project or other mining loads), with up to 1400MW of additional wind capacity (approximately 2600MW in total) likely to be profitable.


The study reveals that the most significant other factor that would act to significantly increase the potential for additional profitable wind generation in South Australia is increased interconnection capacity between South Australia and Victoria.


Additional retirement of coal-fired generation and energy storage technologies in South Australia would also increase the potential for more wind generation.


The ROAM Consulting study report is available from ElectraNet's website.