Load following curtailment - who it applies to and how it works

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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:

  • AC coupled batteries paired with a SolarEdge or Sungrow inverter with a consumption meter
  • SolarEdge batteries
  • AlphaESS DC-coupled batteries
  • A single Hybrid Sungrow inverter
  • A single Grid Sungrow inverter listed here with a consumption meter*

*An exception is the SG5K-D and SG8K-D Models. We can only control those with a Red DC isolator. Those without cannot be curtailed by SmartShift, for either load-following or on-off curtailment.

If you have a solar inverter we can control, please enrol it via the 'Devices' tab in you Amber app. If you're already on SmartShift with your battery, enrol another device in 'SmartShift Settings'

(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  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

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Comments

2 comments
  • Can I please confirm my understanding? There are a number of different FAQ Articles now regarding Negative FiT on this site. Does the load following curtailment also reference the purchase price of electricity (as well as the FiT) to enable 100% solar curtailment when the IMPORT cost of electricity is NEGATIVE? - I have a Sungrow Hybrid 3 Phase inverter.

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  • @Mark Brooks

    Not at present but we are looking into it. It will only be possible on certain solar and battery setups. At present the best way to take advantage of a negative grid price is to maximise your consumption and manually charge your battery from the grid.

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