Why Australia's power prices are going up?

 
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
That link to Tas wind farms killing birds.

They dont actually say the wind turbines killed the birds, rather the power lines to the wind farms. We have had over head power lines for over a century and now they are protesting them?

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  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Much of the cost with Nuclear is at the waste disposal and decommissioning end of it.  It's huge.

But if industry, households, and Electric powered transport needs reliable baseload, then it might be necessary as a replacement for coal.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
That link to Tas wind farms killing birds.

They dont actually say the wind turbines killed the birds, rather the power lines to the wind farms. We have had over head power lines for over a century and now they are protesting them?
RTT_Rules
The key word was anecdotal.
Those transmission lines are all over the country. Most Wind Farms are located close to the existing grid in any case. Also most electricity is delivered by above ground power lines.
Birds don't get fried unless they happen to straddle an isolator and they do seem to like using the wire as a perch.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I can't find the relevant thread from nearly three years ago, but I was right, I distinctly recall mentioning here that misbehaving wind turbines (and over reliance on such) were much of the cause.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-07/regulator-legal-action-against-energy-companies-over-sa-blackout/11390400
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Towers fall over and they are blaming wind farms?

Looking forward to how the wind farms are to blame.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Towers fall over and they are blaming wind farms?

Looking forward to how the wind farms are to blame.
RTT_Rules
They shut them down due to too much wind; the allegation is that there was no need for them to do that, especially on top of the failure of the inter-state interconnector and absence of any other significant supply. It's going to court anyway so we'll see in due course.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes ok, too much wind, farms shut down. However a few things dont make sense.

1) all 4 farms suffered same issue at same time. How far apart are they? More than 100km and I would think wind would be different. The turbines shutdown individually in response to over speed then restart automatically when wind drops below I think 80km/h.

2) they said it was software settings, which have since been changed and wont happen again. Well this isn't wind as the wind turbines mechanical loads is fixed.

3) Also, do all the wind farms use the same supplier? Unlikely, so why are their "settings" the same?

4) the power took hours to restore. The gas plants should have restarted within 30min and partial reenergisation of Adelaide should have followed suit. Yes black starts are complex but you have a feeder from Vic to supply 650MW and sync off. 1000MW or more should have been available within 30 to 60min tops.

5) the "settings", where approved by the regulator according to AGL. Apparently they have since been changed to prevent a repeat as negotiationed 3 years ago following the initial investigation.

Just seems like a witch hunt.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes ok, too much wind, farms shut down. However a few things dont make sense.

1) all 4 farms suffered same issue at same time. How far apart are they? More than 100km and I would think wind would be different. The turbines shutdown individually in response to over speed then restart automatically when wind drops below I think 80km/h.

2) they said it was software settings, which have since been changed and wont happen again. Well this isn't wind as the wind turbines mechanical loads is fixed.

3) Also, do all the wind farms use the same supplier? Unlikely, so why are their "settings" the same?

4) the power took hours to restore. The gas plants should have restarted within 30min and partial reenergisation of Adelaide should have followed suit. Yes black starts are complex but you have a feeder from Vic to supply 650MW and sync off. 1000MW or more should have been available within 30 to 60min tops.

5) the "settings", where approved by the regulator according to AGL. Apparently they have since been changed to prevent a repeat as negotiationed 3 years ago following the initial investigation.

Just seems like a witch hunt.
  allan Chief Commissioner

An interesting week in the power supply business in SA. It seems that many (?)NEM records have fallen: highest and lowest demand, highest and lowest price, and highest and lowest contribution from renewables.

I guess as that emphasises the volatility in both demand and supply...

https://opennem.org.au/#/region/sa/energy
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The high wind at the moment is sending SA power prices into negative territory.

When the NSW - SA intertie is built, this will come to an end as the extra generation will be lost into the much much larger east coast grid.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
They may or may not have used the same supplier for certain parts of the system, you can buy a Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung TV, put them in the same room or locate them some distance apart, set them to the same channel and they will display effectively the same picture. Set them to the right channel and they’ll all show you your favourite program, set them all to an incorrect channel and all of them will fail to show it. Do they all have the same hardware and software? Who knows?

It doesn’t matter one failure at four locations or or four locations with a failure the result is the same.

I don’t think this is/was about ‘too much wind’ that I think can generally be throttled for, this is how the turbine’s link to the grid (which is likely software controlled for the record) behaves in a sync loss event.


Of note is that it is only four locations in the firing line, which seemingly implies that the other ‘not those four’ had it right.

That gas and other energy tech couldn’t come to the ‘rescue’ in time is understood (not by reneweconomy - who incidentally still referenced this yesterday as a ‘voltage event’) when what their ‘rescue’ role is, which is not to replace the combined output of four four wind locations going from almost full rated output to exactly zero output within the very smallest of fractions of a second.

Had these four locations stayed connected with some railing of performance as the wind speed went out of spec gas (and northern if it was functional) and even other wind locations would have likely filled the void in time.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I'll look up the physical locations of the wind farm later but if they are more than 100-200km apart it's unlikely that they were all exposed to excessive wind at the same time.

As for the settings on what ever it was that was wrong.

4 had on setting, others didnt. So how did four separate wind farms have the same or similar "wrong" settings. Sounds more like either poor regulation or at least supervision.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Again, this is not about too much wind, this is not about where the turbines are located or how close together they are or how far apart they are.

This about four power generation facilities of unimportant location operating at near full generation capacity and reacting exceedingly poorly to some rapidly repeating sync loss events.

They went from probably > 90% of rated capacity to exactly 0 output in fractions of a second - not due to the prevailing wind, this was not recoverable by the rest of the grid.

Excluding rooftop solar the state likely has 50+ key energy generation sites, the majority (like 70% perhaps) of those would be wind, solar was offline at the time so we will likely never know how the solar at the time would have coped.

This is not about a lack of regulation or supervision on behalf of the regulator this is about individual commercial energy producers who chose not to, or other failed to ensure that their equipment ‘played nicely’ and behaved as expected with the rest of the grid.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...Just seems like a witch hunt.
RTT_Rules
Blame it on the wind which collapsed transmission line towers.
Regardless of the generation source you still need wires to get it to the end-user!
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
You do need the electron conveyance in place, but the production was lost BEFORE the significant infrastructure loss. Adelaide and some rural areas could have kept functioning with the transmission lines down (perhaps with some suburban load shedding) as referenced by power being largely restored without the lines being reestablished. The state wide blackout was due to the induced grid instability from at least the four sites named in the regulators legal action.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
So what did these 4 wind farms actually do wrong? I have yet to see this anywhere.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
So what did these 4 wind farms actually do wrong? I have yet to see this anywhere.
RTT_Rules
You’ve presumably seen it, you’ve just chosen not to read it.

this [referring to the causation] is how the turbine’s link to the grid (which is likely software controlled for the record) behaves in a sync loss event.
Aaron
This about four power generation facilities of unimportant location operating at near full generation capacity and reacting exceedingly poorly to some rapidly repeating sync loss events.
Aaron
This is not about a lack of regulation or supervision on behalf of the regulator this is about individual commercial energy producers who chose not to, or other failed to ensure that their equipment ‘played nicely’ and behaved as expected with the rest of the grid.
Aaron
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
So what did these 4 wind farms actually do wrong? I have yet to see this anywhere.
You’ve presumably seen it, you’ve just chosen not to read it.

this [referring to the causation] is how the turbine’s link to the grid (which is likely software controlled for the record) behaves in a sync loss event.
This about four power generation facilities of unimportant location operating at near full generation capacity and reacting exceedingly poorly to some rapidly repeating sync loss events.
This is not about a lack of regulation or supervision on behalf of the regulator this is about individual commercial energy producers who chose not to, or other failed to ensure that their equipment ‘played nicely’ and behaved as expected with the rest of the grid.
Aaron
Aaron, probably not best to assume. No I did not see it and flicking back on my phone 2 pages I still could not see it.

Your comment that its a "sync loss event", is the first time I've seen this anywhere and they certainly have not mentioned it in the media. When my "wind farm hating" dad mentioned this to me last week, we got into an argument on this because I asked him 3 times what they did wrong and he said 3 times just quoting the limited info in the media without actually say what they did wrong.

I'm carefully supportive of wind where it works financially and practically, however I still feel this is a witch hunt. The event was 3 years ago, long time to raise a court case. Surely with the well known issues of wind  in both and solar on a grid and SA's rapid rise these issues would have been monitored to ensure compliance? If its them doing a VW to try and make more money or save cost, fair enough, fine them.

I'm still curious why these four were "allowed" by the regulator to operate outside the rules for so long.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I mentioned the cause of this action three times maybe more just in this thread alone. At the time of the blackout I made a post about the the wind turbines lack of ability to cope with a loss of sync.

You of course won’t be seeing this mentioned in the press, it’s a technical problem and the press caters for a distinctly non technical audience. As I mentioned, it was referenced in Reneweconomy as a ‘voltage event’ now Reneweconomy would like to consider itself a technical source, BUT it’s staffed by a bunch of people with a bias toward wind and solar who have finally demonstrated they don’t actually understand the grid stability issues at all.

You can spot a witch-hunt because they occur quickly and generally have no need for evidence. This action has taken some time precisely because the regulator has taken the time to source evidence to a standard at which it thinks will satisfy a court.

A witch-hunt would have been to just issue a regulatory notice and some financial penalty to the operators based on the regulator’s charter and granted powers. This action is being taken through the court process, the regulator is going to set about PROVING operator’s errors rather than just alleging an error and issuing its own penalty.

Once again, and I have posted about this before. These locations were never ‘allowed to operate outside of the rules’ for any length of time, long or otherwise. They’re given a set of parameters with which they need to comply, and they didn’t. I am not convinced it was a deliberate non compliance, the operators likely thought they were in spec, it wasn’t until the failure circumstances came together that their non compliance became the problem.

You don’t drive a long distance above the speed limit, then get picked up by the police after that long distance for exceeding the speed limit and argue that they never policed your speed earlier... ‘Why did they let you get away with speeding for so long?’
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Aaron, thanks for your reply.

I work in heavy industry and one that uses alot of power and we took a year to make a finacial claim against a supplier it would be along time. So no I dont convinced.

On the settings issue, it's a software setting. Is there a financial advantage in using a different setting? If not then why would they do it differently? Obviously it's not in the wind farmers best interest to put the grid stability at risk.

The recovery time not affected by the actual towers seems also excessive. SA backbone of power is gas and a HV connection to the text. Both of which have a fast black start capacity. We have had black starts at work and 1 to 1.5h is about normal for gas. Maybe it was shorter for CBD and inner suburbs but not reported well.

We can agree to disagree on the above  but I think there is more too it than meets the eye.

From the SA govt side, their mad rush into RE at any cost is already well established so why for now I'm yet to believe its 100% a wind farmer issue.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Might be of interest to some, on Sat SA achieved for a brief period just on 85% wind and solar. Probably higher as they exported about 8% of the total power at the moment.

43% Roof top PV
5% industrial PV
35% Wind

and the price during this glut of power was very low at $12/MWh, but of course either side before the sun came up or down the price was over $100/MWh. In fact even before the sun was at its peak the price dropped below -$110/MWh briefly due to a glut of RE everywhere, pity there is no magic bullet to store it.

Now if they could just work how to make it sunny and/or windy 24h a day, the ideologists would have a point.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
May be of interest to some

Comparing Fin Year just past with previous Electricity by source

SA
_______________2017-18__2018-19
Net Demand(GWh)    14.8            15.0
Roof Top PV               7%               9%
Commercial PV          0.1%          2.2%
Wind                       37.8%        37.6%
Battery                     0.2%          0.3%
Total RE                 44.9%       48.7%
OCGT                        3.1%         2.6%
CCGT                       26.4%       26.2%
Steam Gas               18.6%       17.1%

Import                     6.7%         5.1%
Import Price           $130/MWh  $124/MWh

Export (GWh)              1.1          1.3
Export Price            $65/MWh    $81/MWh

A few comments
- The base load gas plants of Pelican Point etc are being protected and sustaining output. During the last year of Northern and following their output was down to 17%.

- The growth of solar is at expense of high cost peaking gas and import and steam gas, some of which will be closed next year.

- Wind generational growth has not realised more power in last 12mth

- Import power requirements is decreasing thus reducing the price, however export power is increasing and generating more income per MW.

Next Fin year,
- Roof top PV should be around  11-13%
- Commercial PV around 4-5%
- Wind 37 - 40%
- CCGT 25- 26%
- peaking gas, steam gas and import lower

Now the big question, is this RE going to start pushing down power prices? The AEMO 2020 future price is expected to be $77/MW, the lowest in 4 years by a long shot. However this is on the back of changes interstate more than in SA.

SA is seeing more periods of very low and negative power prices due to gluts in wind and/or solar, the NSW intertie will kill this.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
When the sun peaks, my solar panels (and my parents with even more solar) go into full production (or what passes for full production in a non tracking system) we get paid 40c/kWh ($400/MWh) meanwhile the ‘market’ sells that energy for in the order of -$100/MWh who’s really paying for that? Thanks neighbours!
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

When the sun peaks, my solar panels (and my parents with even more solar) go into full production (or what passes for full production in a non tracking system) we get paid 40c/kWh ($400/MWh) meanwhile the ‘market’ sells that energy for in the order of -$100/MWh who’s really paying for that? Thanks neighbours!
Aaron
Best I can get in Sydney is 27c/KWh. Good luck to you.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
That’s a figure that goes back to when we had a properly stupid, (and bordering on clinically insane) ALP government that wanted and hence contributed to the higher level of subsidy.

Yesterday my credit card company called me to offer me a subsidy on (they didn’t call it that, because it’s RE and RE doesn’t need subsidy) a Tesla wall battery thingo. $6k off the product price if I paid for it on my credit card.

The girl on the phone couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t take it up. Simple economics dictate that I won’t spend money to store my own excess of expensive electricity, instead of selling it and just buy back cheaper electricity when I need to.

I wonder if the government wasn’t in some way paying off part of that battery subsidy in the hope that storage would reduce my gross feed in, and hence lessen the impact of the tariff.

The fact is assuming you’re grid connected, unless someone literally pays you, as in they install the battery AND hand you cash, then you are ALWAYS going to be economically worse off installing a battery.

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