What is Load Following Curtailment?
One of the issues affecting solar homes across Australia in 2023 is negative feed-in tariffs for solar exports at times. FiTs turning negative is a price signal from the energy market that there’s a lot of renewable energy in the grid in the middle of the day, and not enough demand for it (people to use it at that time). When there’s more renewable energy trying to enter the grid than is needed at that time, negative feed in tariffs mean you get charged to export.
There are a number of steps we’re taking to limit the impact of negative FiT for our customers - and there’s a bunch of ways you can increase your chances of ending up better off too.
Solar curtailment is one of these options. It involves Amber limiting the solar energy you produce during periods when FiTs turn negative, to restrict the amount you export at these times.
Who does Load Following Curtailment apply to?
Any SmartShift customer with the following:
- Tesla Battery or SolarEdge battery with a SolarEdge inverter with a consumption meter;
- AlphaESS DC-coupled battery
- Single Hybrid Sungrow inverter
(Note: On/off curtailment is available in the case that you have multiple Sungrow inverters, one Sungrow inverter AND an inverter from another brand, or an AlphaESS battery AND a solar inverter from another brand. Learn more about On/Off Curtailment).
How does Load Following Curtailment work?
When your solar inverter is compatible with Amber for load-following curtailment, SmartShift will ask your inverter to look at how much you’re exporting during periods of negative FiT and reduce your solar generation by that amount, matching generation to your household consumption.
So if you’re generating 10kw of solar energy, and your house is consuming 8kw and exporting two, your generation will be reduced to 8kw when you enable solar curtailment.
Note: Curtailment will only start once your battery is fully charged.
Getting enrolled for Load Following Curtailment
To have your SolarEdge inverter configured for curtailment, email SmartShift@amber.com.au once you’re onboarded onto Amber for Batteries and say ‘please enrol me for solar curtailment.’ Provide your SolarEdge serial number starting with 7 (visible in the panel layout screen of your Mysolaredge app or on the side of your inverter).
To learn more about negative feed-in tariffs and why they occur, head here.