Hitch Your Power Needs to Sunshine & Breezes – Get Ready for Regular Disappointment

Hitch Your Power Needs to Sunshine & Breezes – Get Ready for Regular Disappointment

June 26, 2022 by stopthesethings 6 Comments

Weather-dependent wind and sunshine-dependent solar are the prime cause of Australia’s electricity pricing and supply debacle. So much is obvious to anybody who bothers to go beyond the drivel pitched up by the MSM and the politicos responsible for the disaster.

Over the last decade, STT has laid it out in pictures, such as the one above, made possible by the boys over at Aneroid Energy – the one-stop shop when it comes to understanding where our electricity actually comes from.

In this case, the output delivered by Australian wind power outfits and every one of their wind turbines connected to the Eastern Grid (with a combined notional capacity of 9,854 MW) so far this month.

While purported energy pundits rant about “coal outages” – referring to either scheduled maintenance or unscheduled repairs to one or two units among several within a coal-fired power plant – they never talk about the sudden 5,000 to 6,000 MW collapses in wind power output that occur every few days or so. Rarely is their total output more than about 60% of nominal capacity; often it’s less than 6%. Not that you’d know it if your only source of information was the mainstream press.

Of course, solar output follows a similar trend on a daily basis, apparently linked to sunset, or so we’re told.

The resulting chaos in the power market has driven wholesale power prices into orbit and retail power prices are following close behind.

The grid manager has been reduced to issuing hysterical warnings about grid collapse and, to prevent that inevitable consequence of our ludicrous dependence on the sun and wind, cutting power users from the grid, rationing what’s left of the reliable stuff. As to which, we’ll cross to the team at Jo Nova for a rundown on recent weather-driven events.

Welcome to a weather-dependent nation — whether you can use your dishwasher depends on the wind
Jo Nova Blog
Jo Nova
17 June 2022

For energy-nerds following the Australian experiment, today is a big day. On the up-side, three coal turbines have rebooted adding another 1200MW to the grid. On the down-side, the wind has slowed and 3000MW has disappeared. On the hope-side, another 4 coal turbines may possibly get back in gear by Sunday, and you never know, the wind might pick up. Though it doesn’t look good.

It doesn’t matter how many wind farms we build when one High Pressure cell arrives to sit on them all

This is where all 76 Australia NEM grid wind farms are which could, in theory be generating as much as 9.8GW but are turning out 10% of that now.

Ninety percent of Australians are being asked to be careful with their electricity today while we wait for the wind to start blowing again or the weather to warm up. And millions of dollars is being burned in electricity bills (assuming people have electricity) because we shut down too many brown coal plants and didn’t maintain any of the coal fleet as if our quality of life depended on it.

The AEMO has issued LOR3 (highest risk lack of reserve) announcements for SAVictoria, and New South Wales for today. These are updated often and it is hard to keep up.  LOR3’s are a kind of “Blackout watch”. Potential shortfalls of megawatts 18 hours in advance of the 6pm evening crunch time did look ominous: In Victoria the maximum forecast load that may be interrupted was 1400MW from 5pm to 1am. In South Australia it’s 273MW from 5pm to 9pm.   In New South Wales the maximum “interruptible” load is a whopping 3007MW between 5pm to 2.30am. That’s potentially one third of the total demand in New South Wales. All of these may be resolved just in time, but somebody is sweating tonight sorting this out.

These notices linked above were 98212 (Vic),   98211 (SA), 98200 (NSW) – but which have been updated. Just for the tenor of what could theoretically go wrong, note the size and multiple problem times for one NSW update (copied below). I suspect the updated LOR3 notices 98223, 98225 and 98226 are still active. But curiously the Administered price period in NSW has ended. So the spot market is back in NSW?


Jo Nova Blog

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