JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Fever-priced in South Australia today: Ten hours forecast above $10,000 a megawatt…

Market traders will be sweating. Today in the green-star renewable state of South Australia there won’t be much wind blowing, they’re weeks away from the lowest solar insolation of the year, and the extension cord to the coal plants in Victoria is limited for some reason.

This below is the remarkable AEMO prediction for South Australian for wholesale electricity today.  Note the scale on the left hand side. The flat tops on the price peaks mark the cap at $15,000 per megawatt hour. The sheer width of those spike predictions is awesome — potentially nearly ten hours of the day above $10,000. Demand is only 1,500 – 1,800MW but that’s still a bill of $15 million dollars an hour for a small state.

SA Predictions for May 12th, prices, demand, South Australia. AEMO.

Note the size of those peaks…

The first peak is forecast from 6.30-10am, and the second batch pretty much stretch from 6pm to midnight. Wow.

The AEMO is handing out LOR (Lack of Reserve) notices. Watch the Market Notices here.  Watch prices here.  For those so inclined.

9.6 out of 10 based on 57 ratings

123 comments to Fever-priced in South Australia today: Ten hours forecast above $10,000 a megawatt…

  • #
    b.nice

    6:50am Adelaide

    Price $578

    Interconnects 600MW (Victorian brown coal.)
    Gas 522MW
    Diesel 283MW
    Wind 103Mw.

    How’s those “renewables” working out down there ! 😉

    340

    • #

      That is a heck of a lot of diesel! Very expensive.

      221

      • #
        Rafe+Champion

        Yes they are burning a heap of diesel in the SA right now!

        200

        • #
          Dennis

          Add the Road Train fuel transport diesel consumption for deliveries and returning to loading facilities hauling three to four tanker trailers.

          191

        • #
          Graeme#4

          That’s an interesting Widget Rafe. Thanks for the link.

          10

      • #
        Mantaray Yunupingu

        Got a question which is kinda O/T, but since “avoiding the Climate Catastrophe we face” is the rationale of all this RE stupidity, here it is….

        How is a “Once in Five Hundred year” flood or floods, or even once in a hundred, determined? Even possible?

        Bearing in mind that records accurate, continuous records for Oz weather events are no more than about 150 years old, any new ‘record event” cannot be more than once in 150 years. What’s the go?

        BTW: Here’s the Moron from The Shire on the subject: “The flood of Lismore is a one in five hundred year flood, we haven’t seen anything like it since Jimmy Cook turned up in Australia,” Mr Morrison said. WTF!

        21

        • #
          Terry

          ‘The flood of Lismore is a one in five hundred year flood…’

          So, at best he can really only claim a one in two-hundred and fifty year flood allowing for some kind of recorded observation or experience, and not just a proxy guess.

          Of course, the entire premise is based on us having no modern engineering capability to mitigate and manage flood risk.

          Imagine if even a small proportion of our wealth, sacrificed at the altar of Gaia for absolutely no discernable benefit, had been channeled towards actually making our lives better.

          This, before we factor in the opportunity cost of not capturing and using all of that wasted water. Absolutely criminal.

          40

        • #
          RickWill

          How is a “Once in Five Hundred year” flood or floods, or even once in a hundred, determined?

          Probabilities are based on statistical analysis of the available data. Rainfall is easier to analyse than flooding but the rainfall has to be over a nominated period. For example, select a 24 hour period and look at the available historical data. That will enable the creation of a probability distribution. Once you have the distribution, it can be extended beyond the bounds of the existing data.

          Flooding is more complex because other factors like soil moisture, tides, tidal surge and the surge capacity within the watershed can come into play.

          11

    • #
      Hanrahan

      ATM SA is dependent on BassLink for their imported power.

      Just checked, Tas has 2.27 GW hydro capacity and is generating 1.7 GW so they have a lot of taps open.

      This is no way to run a grid, no margin whatever.

      140

    • #
      David Maddison

      That a supposed advanced industrial country like Australia has to produce grid-scale power with diesel generators is an appalling situation.

      350

      • #

        This sounds very much like PNG! Reliant on diesels due to regular grid issues…

        10

      • #
        Graeme#4

        Some of the warmest commentators at The Australian keep saying that the diesel generators in SA have been replaced in SA with gas generators. Yet diesel appears to be in fairly high usage in SA right now. Has SA fired up some diesel generators that were shut down?

        30

      • #
        Russ Wood

        Well, in ‘advanced’ South Africa, our monopoly energy supplier, Eskom, has at least one generator ‘tripping’ (such an innocuous word) every day, and sometimes quite a few go out. And then some “just break” and probably stay ‘broken’ for months. I don’t include the almost new generator that some klutz blew up and destroyed when flushing hydrogen. So We have a 2 hour ‘load shedding’ at peak time every day, and it is expected that the 2 hours may have to be increased to 4 or even 6. The sheer cost of diesel today precludes the heavy use of open-cycle turbines. Oh yes, and our one-and-only nuke at Koeberg is going down completely for heat exchanger replacement (that is, if the operators can get organised!)

        20

    • #
      liberator

      didn’t someone on here tell us once that SA sold their diesel generators?

      10

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    If there ever was an an argument to place electricity back under state control this is it. I can see no reason for a market, when this is considered normal. By that I mean, create a scarcity, raise prices, give the ceo a pay rise, and investors a nice fat dividends

    916

    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      Peter,
      It is governments top to bottom that have forced renewables upon this once-fair country.
      An open market would not have touched them.
      15 years ago we had cheap reliable electricity and were attracting diverse industries.
      We could return to that ina couple of years. We know how to.
      But governments are preventing it.
      Not private enterprise. Geoff S

      271

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        So why didn’t the energy companies commission new coal generation in NSW and VIC, 15 years ago? They knew a lot of the plant was nearing end of life. Remember that the generators and the grid was privatised for cents in the dollar, meaning there is no real profit in building a brand new plant at full cost.

        Note, this is not about renewables- it suits business to point to them to cover their own failures, in short, you are being duped

        218

        • #
          David Maddison

          It is 100% about unreliables Peter.

          The more unreliables there are the higher the cost to consumers in whatever country is stupid enough to have them.

          The Government has given an incentive and encouragement for companies to install unreliables and they have to charge high prices because unreliables are intrinsically expensive.

          Companies are also not allowed to build proper power plants, which are also forced to subsidise the unreliables.

          If free market conditions were allowed to prevail, the market incentive is to sell as much power as possible, as cheaply and reliably as possible (due to competition).

          The cheapest and most reliable power is coal, gas, nuclear and proper hydro (not SH2, a white elephant).

          In a free market, no one would be stupid enough to install unreliables, unless they could sell the defective product to people like you at high prices. That can actually be done via smart electricity meters.

          Give people or companies perverse incentives, and they will utilise them.

          240

          • #
            Kalm Keith

            The current system of separating generation from distribution and then having a mixed basket of electricity marketeers was designed for maximum profit, not reliability and low cost.

            Services like getting from the street front to your home is now a two stage deal with the property owner now required to provide an intermediate, on property, pole at own expense.

            Another rort occurs when building work requires shutting off power to disconnect/reconnect.

            Then there’s the road safety person with the stop/go sign: it all mounts up.

            Just pay up, they have to earn a profit.

            KK

            90

          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            some examples would help your argument, otherwise you are parroting a line fed to you by industry

            06

            • #
              b.nice

              Says PF, who never gives any evidence of anything ! 🙂

              Talk about a dupe.. he is a walking Mr Gullible.

              60

        • #
          b.nice

          “So why didn’t the energy companies commission new coal generation in NSW and VIC, 15 years ago? ”

          Anyone with a brain in their head knows that this should have happened.

          Unfortunately with society being brow-beat and pummeled with the AGW fallacy at every opportunity, the political will would not allow it.

          Imagine the manic uproar from the far-left, the ABC , the MSM, if even the suggestion had been made.

          Even now, with all the supply issues coming to a head, anyone making that suggestion would get totally jumped on by the ignorant woke virtue-seeking and yelping crowd.

          The whole problem with supply has come about because of the anti-CO2 agenda that people like you have continued push like the crazy they are.

          100

    • #
      Robert Swan

      Peter Fitzroy,

      and investors a nice fat dividends

      Yes, great return for investors. Here’s AGL’s share performance. Click on 5yr to see the massive returns the lucky owners have seen. A 2% dividend doesn’t make up for a 66% loss of capital value in five years. Change “agl” to “wes”, say, or “bhp”, take your pick. You’ll not find many that’ve done worse than AGL. Origin Energy (org) hasn’t been much chop either, but at least it’s only down 10% or so over 5 years.

      50

  • #
    Pauly

    Some very insightful discussion about these high prices here:
    https://wattclarity.com.au/articles/2022/05/12may-forecast-lor3-sa/

    This was forecast four days ago. These high spot prices are consistently occurring whenever solar and wind output drops across the NEM, as the following article clearly shows:
    https://wattclarity.com.au/articles/2022/05/03may-review-bidstack-qldandnsw/

    The problem appears to be lack of generation capacity – at any price. Perhaps triggered by a number of unplanned outages like Callide B, but this time of year is when generators plan to do maintenance, because demand is usually low. Unfortunately, renewable nameplate capacity appears to be disguising the growing lack of dispatchable generation capacity:
    https://www.aer.gov.au/wholesale-markets/wholesale-statistics/annual-generation-capacity-and-peak-demand-nem

    160

  • #
    Rafe+Champion

    This site got a run on Stop These Things yesterday with the post about the full cost of RE plus firming which completely destroys the absurd perception that RE is cheap compared with conventional power.

    As for the achievement of South Australia, it is quite easy to check regularly and observe that whenever the wind is lower than average after sunset the windleader imports coal power from Victoria. When the wind is near zero they import even during the day. How much more evidence is required to demonstrate the failure of the energy transition?

    Curently both SA and Victoria, the wind leaders, are deep in wind drought.

    290

    • #
      Ronin

      I’m just waiting for the RE clowns to really start to back hydrogen as a viable RE energy, this will spell the death throes of the Aust Energy Grid.

      140

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      And current policy** is building the interconnector to NSW (which is a net importer of electricity). Perhaps the loonies hope that Mad Matt’s scheme for a giant renewables park will generate a surplus (although they apparently haven’t realised that if renewables aren’t operating in one State they aren’t going to be operating in the other).

      **Wished on us by the previous useless mob, not the fault of the current mob who haven’t had time to prove they are equally useless.

      The State has gone from Coal and gas (cheap and reliable) to renewables (unreliable and costly).

      140

      • #
        James Murphy

        If the build the SA side of the interconnector downhill from NSW, then maybe the electricity will always flow to SA?

        seems as logical a strategy as trying to power the country with wind and solar…

        90

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          I think the “logic” was something like when the wind blows South Australia (which cannot power itself) will send power to NSW (at least 8 times the demand) until the wind blows there. What happens when it doesn’t in either State hasn’t yet been considered. Nor, apparently, what to do it blows strongly except perhaps to power the new hydrogen gas plants.

          “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
          ― George Carlin

          “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”
          ― Napoleon Bonaparte

          “If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then Greens are the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting ‘All gods are bastards!”
          ― Terry Pratchett, The Color of Magic (slightly altered)

          60

        • #
          another ian

          At a Birdsville Races years ago a group from SA was telling of some road problems that would be better going home because “It was downhill all the way”

          “All the way! All the way!” was the echo from the Queenslanders in the group

          10

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Perhaps the term “firming”, or making stiff, is the cover up wording to hide the fact that renewables produce Direct Current electricity, usually in an out of the way location.

      The process of turning that “electricity” into something useful at the users front door requires rectification of the d/c current to a/c and transportation to user.

      Rectification and transport are costs dumped on the coal fired generators and hidden from the public.

      This is beyond ugly and people should be in gaol over the rorrrt.

      KK

      70

      • #
        RickWill

        Rectification and transport are costs dumped on the coal fired generators and hidden from the public.

        This is not correct. All the intermittent generators send out AC power.

        The coal power stations do not get anything dumped on them. Those remaining have even managed to overcome the worst of the intermittency through negative pricing of blocks of energy to stay dispatched. Dispatchable generators get paid for the stability services they provide and there is already a reliability payment that will become more detailed and coded in 2025 for dispatchable capacity – so paid to sit idle.

        None of these costs appear in the wholesale price. Some of the FCAS payments to the coal plants and batteries is “dumped” on the intermittents but the consumers pay the bulk of the additional charges. Wholesale price is a small part of the total retail cost.

        02

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          What.
          An.
          Incredible.
          Mish mash.

          10

        • #
          b.nice

          Actually, since a wind turbine is a rotating magnet, it produces AC

          Solar produces DC.

          Wind turbines generally use a dual converter so they can go AC -> DC -> synchronised AC

          Solar just needs one DC -> sync AC converter

          Either way there has to be a strong, solid AC signal to sync to.

          20

        • #
          Kalm Keith

          I have misused the term rectification; it actually describes the process of turning d.c. into a.c., but my intent should have covered that.

          As b.nice and others have described, the problem is to synchronize the localised a.c. from the renewables into something that matches the main circuit.

          Whatever; there’s a cost and problem with integrating the sporadic, irregular little renewables contribution with the prime electricity generators.

          KK

          00

      • #
        Lucky

        I could be out-of-date but:

        Rectification- the process of converting electrical power AC to electrical power DC.

        For converting from DC to AC, households can buy suitcase size equipment to power computers from batteries. At the megawatt scale it is done by machines- a motor generator set with DC power for the motor that is connected to an AC generator.
        The usual voltage, frequency and synchronization conditions need attention.

        10

  • #
    Eng_Ian

    If I owned a couple of FF generators, I’d be turning them off now, leaving just one or two small turbines running.

    Why….? Because why would I bid $30/MWHr and get paid maybe $350/MWHr, (being the established price per unit set by the dearest generator required to be used), when all I have to do is turn down my generators until the really dear units are required. That way, I can bid $30/MWHr and be paid $15,000/MWHr.

    I love the AEMO system, so easy to scam it and earn a fortune. Hell, If I knew that an expensive generator WILL be required, I could even bid negative numbers just to show how generous I’ve become toward this great big green dream.

    Now what could go wrong?

    230

    • #
      Ronin

      It seems that may be happening right now.

      110

    • #
      David Maddison

      I love the AEMO system, so easy to scam it and earn a fortune.

      And isn’t that also the purpose of the Big Batteries which are used for power price arbitrage, NOTHING to do with stabilising the grid?

      140

      • #
        RickWill

        The batteries are making more money from FCAS services they provide than price arbitrage.

        11

    • #
      RickWill

      Now what could go wrong?

      The price often goes negative so you could very well be the price setter and get taken up on your offer to pay AEMO for them to take your energy.

      Bidding negatively priced blocks is based on the knowledge that they can recover any losses by selling at a higher price when the price rises. A diesel will cost about $700/MWh to generate so you can only make money when price exceeds that. It is not very often. Coal generators can make money every day because their marginal cost of generation is about $30/MWh.

      21

  • #
    LDJones

    It’s amazing how expensive it is to be stupid. The question is how long the masses will stay blind before breaking out the pitch forks.

    120

    • #
      GreatAuntJanet

      Preference the freedom friendly minor parties. No preferences to the majors.
      1. Topher Field video explaining with marbles for your friends who need picture
      2. http://www.majorslast.com for your own electorate’s how to vote card

      60

      • #
        another ian

        GAJ

        My take on that is that you put your “worst worst” major party candidates in the last places. Then your “least worst” major party candidate just above them – just in case your next ratings by chance happen on the day to threaten a catastrophe. And then the “Family Friendly” rated ones in your order up to “1”.

        Application varying somewhat for House and Senate.

        20

        • #
          GreatAuntJanet

          That’s how I see it Ian. The how to vote card is handy though, gave me time to look through the various minor parties policy statements and promote/demote some according to my own whims. It will give me great satisfaction to do it, and a little hope for some change.

          20

    • #
      Terry

      The denizens allowed their pitchforks to be confiscated. In any case, they’ve forgotten how to use them long ago.

      There will be no epiphany once the lights go out; just massed wailing against the evils of Coal-fired power and how if only we’d had more renewables…

      Yes. The population, on average, really is THAT stupid.

      #toostupidtosurvive

      30

    • #
      Brad

      Too bad you had to give up your firearms…

      00

  • #
    Dennis

    Don’t forget, as Opposition Leader Albo keeps saying, renewable energy is cheap and getting cheaper.

    /sarc.

    161

    • #
      David Maddison

      Gosh, at this rate it will soon be so cheap that they’ll be paying us to use it…

      120

  • #
    Neville

    And the tiny King island S & W inputs are running on ZIP as per usual + a FLAT battery as usual and the Diesel running flat out and covering their backsides as usual.

    https://www.hydro.com.au/clean-energy/hybrid-energy-solutions/success-stories/king-island

    160

    • #
      RicDre

      I see Wind and Battery are really helpful @ 6:31PM EST Wind -13KW, Battery -5KW (and the sun must have come up or the clouds went away, Solar 5 KW!)

      40

      • #
        Neville

        Rick things really jump about with this crazy system,just noted that wind dropped and Diesel jumped up top 100% AGAIN. This at 8.57 am AEST.
        So how can you supply a country’s energy system with such a chaotic mixture and at what COST to industries and jobs.?

        100

    • #
      David Maddison

      Thanks for keeping an eye on it and keeping us up to date Neville.

      The solar, wind and battery system doesn’t even work for the one type of situation it might possibly be useful for.

      70

      • #
        Neville

        David it amazes me how people are so easily conned by the con merchants and never seem to wake up.
        BTW at 9.15 AEST Diesel is still at 99%.

        30

  • #
    David Maddison

    Note to South Australiastanis:

    YOU JUST NEED TO BUILD 150,000 MORE WINDMILLS!

    LoL !!!

    80

  • #
    • #
      David Maddison

      So true. And that candle will provide a ready ignition source for Leftist Trotskyist rioters to burn down what remains.

      The dictatorship of the Communist Party is maintained by recourse to every form of violence.

      Leon Trotsky

      71

  • #
    Ronin

    SA @ 08:30, is importing 41% and burning 15% diesel, 0% solar, I’d say that’s a portrait of a system in trouble.

    120

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      It is overcast and no wind. As distinct from the previous 2 days when there was no wind but it wasn’t overcast. I think it has something to do with WEATHER but once we reach Utopia that will be abolished.

      100

      • #
        RickWill

        It is overcast and no wind

        This is now deemed “unsafe” climatic conditions because it interrupts utopian power supplies.

        If we can convince China to stop burning fossil fuel, the climate will return to its “safe” state where it is always perfect. Sunshine 24 hours per day. Steady breeze 24 hours a day. Rain without clouds (climate models can do that so the real world will follow). All utopian weather and no more Climate Change.

        40

    • #
      Dennis

      A wise decision by a majority of SA voters to bring back a Labor Government, the “experts” and pioneers of the transition to “renewable energy” in Australia.

      71

      • #
        MP

        So four years ago they voted out Labor and installed Libs and got……exactly the same thing, no difference.

        50

        • #
          RickWill

          Libs gave SA a green hydrogen plant but they shelved the Aurora molten salt solar project (or was it the proponents went bust)

          20

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            The Aurora molten salt plant went bust, like all other plants of this type when the subsidies don’t flow.

            I assume the green hydrogen plant is the same as the one Labor has also endorsed (after winning). It is supposed to be in Whyalla where the Steel Works are to become “carbon free”. Where the de-ionised water comes from I don’t know, but Whyalla is at the end of a pipeline from the Murray river. Otherwise it might be made from seawater using those “cheap renewables” which will run the Green electrolysis plant.

            40

            • #
              b.nice

              Seems there aren’t many “renewables” in South Australia….

              A fair percentage of the time, SA runs on electricity from gas, diesel and brown coal.

              30

        • #
          Dennis

          Really, so the SA Liberals didn’t tear up the contracts and issue orders for removal of wind, solar and back up support?

          They were indeed slow.

          00

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            “slow”? Wasn’t what people called them in my State electorate where the (previously) safest State seat was lost by a margin just over 3 to i over the Liberal candidate.

            00

  • #
    Leigh

    The King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP) provides a glimpse of what’s achievable in renewable energy.

    So true

    170

  • #
    Graham Richards

    The green policy will be known as the “great self flagellation”

    80

  • #
    Ross

    If in fact this actually become a news item in the MSM, some intrepid journalist might actually ask a question of the newly elected SA Labor government. Maybe query the government about those high market prices or even the failure of wind power. But they’re Labor, so today they will probably go all quiet and not even issue a press release. If cornered, they will blame the Federal government, previous Liberal government or even the ” unreliability” of coal. It will be everyones else’s fault. Well, at least that’s what Vic Labor did during our last Summer blackouts.

    140

  • #
    David Maddison

    Even by the low standards of Australia’s obsession with unreliable energy, SA is an especially egregious case.

    Perhaps SA is the experiment Australia and the world had to have.

    Let them build more windmills, solar and Big Batteries and let them “live the unreliables dream”.

    110

  • #
    Robber

    Meanwhile, those old “fossil” generators in Vic have been churning out a reliable 3,900 MW from a nameplate capacity of 4,700 MW, and Vic has been delivering up to 578 MW to SA to supplement the 200 MW they have been getting from their “emergency” diesel generators. Gotta love these climate catastrophists wanting a quick shutdown of all fossil generators to be replaced by????

    140

    • #
      Rafe+Champion

      They don’t have the full 4,700 on deck at present, so they would be running near 100% and that is steady as a rock of you look at the last few days on this display. Untick black coal and you can see the brown as a solid band at the bottom of the chart.

      30

  • #
    Vlad the Impaler

    Cue Peter Fitzroy with his, ‘ … proves that coal is unreliable; wind and solar are the cheapest form of generation … ‘ meme in 3 … … … , 2 … … … , 1 … … …

    131

  • #
    Neville

    BTW Willis is checking the temp datasets since 2000 and finds a lower trend since about the end of 2015.
    And he didn’t choose the starting point, but I think his guess about “urban heat island effect” is probably a good guess for the land based data trends.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/05/11/the-recent-decline/

    40

  • #
    rowjay

    The ACT Govt wants to phase out natural gas – mainly used for domestic heating. The Evoenergy – GN21 draft plan 2021-2026 (Box 3.1) shows that in 2018:

    (annually) gas provides over 40 per cent of Canberra’s total energy needs. In winter, this increases to
    between 55 and 60 per cent—providing more energy than electricity

    So the ACT will have to more than double its winter renewable energy sources, right at the time when they are at their most unreliable, and tell them “no thanks” during the summer months when they are (theoretically) producing the most energy. It must make sense in new world thinking, but I just don’t get it.

    90

  • #
    David Maddison

    To demonstrate the insanity of the SA system which as b.nice pointed out above was producing 283MW by diesel, the link below is for what is said to be the world’s largest diesel generator which produces “just” 4MW. So you would need 71 of those. Most diesel generators are considerably smaller.

    The problem with the Green/Left is that they are scientifically and technical/engineering illiterate (and in other ways) and have no sense of the huge scale of grid electricity or the size and capability of proper power stations when compared to puny windmills.

    https://www.generatorsource.com/Cat-C175-20-Generator-Set.aspx

    80

    • #
      Ronin

      “The problem with the Green/Left is that they are scientifically and technical/engineering illiterate”

      Albo is their poster boy, he has no idea of the harm that will be done if he gives everyone a 5.1% pay rise, but watch, it’ll happen.

      70

    • #
      James Murphy

      if I recall, they are the same generators as used in Port Moresby.

      The SA ones were supposed to be converted to run on gas, looks like that was yet another lie.
      GE marketing material on the purchase and generator type is here:
      https://www.ge.com/news/reports/ge-tm2500-for-south-australia

      30

      • #
        David Maddison

        Ok, if that’s what they use they are gas turbines running on diesel with 34.6MW output so they would need over 8 of them. And a huge supply chain of road tankers to supply them with an endless supply of diesel.

        The turbines are based on GE engines of the 747.

        40

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Supposedly these start on diesel and when hot switch to natural gas. Claimed that this results in reduced emissions.

        And David both might apply, as there are quite a few OCGTs which would be running now the wholesale price is above $300 per MWh but might have switched to diesel fuel given the recent price rise for gas.

        50

      • #
        Dave

        They are TM2500 GE generators that run on Gas or Diesel.

        PNG just sold their two TM2500’s because of the expense of diesel!

        The SA ones were going to be gas, but no one has converted them over.
        So they’ll be using a few Semi Trailer tankers for all 9 of them very hour.

        There are more than 9 I believe, or how else do they get above 300 MWh?

        30

  • #
    John in Oz

    SA is, apparently, awash with solar power.

    This from my retailer (Discover Energy) who is about to lower me $0.01c/Kwh FIT (my bold):

    As of the 14th of May 2022, we are changing our solar feed-in tariffs in line with wholesale market variations.

    Reductions in feed in tariffs are being driven by ongoing low wholesale prices in the National Electricity Market during the middle of the day.

    The prices are being driven down during this period due to the large amount of solar being exported to the grid from household roof tops and solar farms.

    Frequently, the volume of energy available to the market during peak sunlight hours exceeds the volume of demand at the time. Wholesale prices respond to supply and demand, and the current volumes of supply during the peak solar generating hours will often see the wholesale prices become negative because there is too much supply.

    50

  • #
    YallaYPoora Kid

    Slightly off Topic: During our recent caravan travels we visited Biloela in Qld which is next to the Callide Power Stations. My interest is due to my previous E Eng life around mining and electrostatic precipitation. Due to today’s politics and demonising of interest in coal power the lookouts onto the lake and mine are in a dreadful state of neglect as is of course the road leading to them.
    The most intriguing thing was approaching the lookout no evaporative condensate was emitted from the cooling tower a C site but 30 minutes later condensate was visible. I assume this was due to the start up of the generators which could have been a maintenance event or part of the standby nature of generation today. I read in the meantime that one unit at C is under repair (at cost of 200 mil.) following an explosion in. 2021. Just illustrates the value of coal generation by justifying such expense to repair the unit.
    Unfortunately I did not get to see the draglines in the mine pit which are fascinating machines with amazing engineering behind them.

    40

  • #
    David Maddison

    Where’s a resident green to tell us how incredibly cheap and despatchable the unreliables are?

    50

  • #

    Has anyone thought that there might even be a reasonable reason why all of this is happening. (Hint – Normal scheduled maintenance on coal fired power Units)

    And then from that, use it as an indicator to what the future looks like without coal fired power……. Expensive and erratic.

    And if this doesn’t show you EXACTLY what the future will be, then I guess nothing will.

    There are currently fourteen coal fired Units off line, and right now I can see Peter Fitzroy quite literally foaming at the mouth, squealing on about the unreliability of coal fired power. Let him do whatever he wants to, but really, this is nothing out of the ordinary. They always do their maintenance at this time of year.

    You may all know that I have been detailing wind power for three years now on a daily basis. Before that, I did a year and a half on all electrical power generation on a daily basis, and before that I did a year and a half on the Base Load, also on a daily basis. On top of that, and also on a regular basis, I have been watching power generation here in Australia for years before that as well, across the whole AEMO coverage area.

    So, add all that up and I now have many years of looking at all Australian power generation on that daily basis, so I have a pretty good handle on just what is happening.

    As I have mentioned often enough, the two main Seasons for high power consumption are Summer and Winter, and during Spring and Autumn the weather is much more benign. Power consumption in Spring and Autumn is much (did I mention the word MUCH) lower than in Summer and Winter, so those coal fired power plants schedule all of their maintenance for those two mid Seasons, and in fact most of it is done in the Autumn, and all those coal fired plants are most often in use in the Mid Winter, when those evening Peaks get high, as you can see from the daily Load Curves for power consumption, when those coal fired plants can ramp up as high as 19000MW PLUS at the evening Peak, same time every evening, around 6PM. So that’s why it’s a case of ‘All hands on deck’ at that time of the year.

    These now are the more benign Months, when those coal fired plants may only need to provide 14000MW or so, which they regularly do.

    There are 49 Coal fired Units (well, 48 now that Liddell 3 no longer functions) with a total Nameplate of 23000MW, (22500 without Liddell 3) and at times I have seen them delivering 20,000MW during those Peaks,

    Currently there are ….. FOURTEEN Units off line, 2 in Victoria, five in NSW and 7 in Queensland, and that has taken 6800MW out of the Nameplate total, so the ‘active’ current Nameplate is 15700MW. There were fifteen of them off line, but last night (and still now running up) Vales Point Five scrolled back up after its maintenance.

    Right now, they have just rolled off the morning peak and are winding back to the usual mid afternoon low point, and right now, those 34 operational units are delivering 14000MW. (from a Nameplate of 15700MW)

    So, the left leaning Greenies can ‘rabbit on’ all they like about how unreliable coal fired power really is, but this is ….. nothing out of the ordinary, just plain old scheduled maintenance. It has happened each and every year, and will continue to happen. Oh, and each and every year at this same exact time, as they undergo maintenance, those rabid greenies trot out the same hackneyed ‘unreliable’ phrase, every year, same old same old.

    Fourteen and fifteen Units off line I have seen a few times before, and when you only have 48 of them to use, that’s a fair whack off line. In the old days, there was rolling reserve (old coal fired plants which kept a Unit or two ready for the occasional use like this) which TOTALLY covered ALL of this scheduled maintenance. You could watch as the rolling reserve Unit rolled up, and the active plant scrolled down back to zero, and then at the end of the maintenance, the opposite. Those rolling reserve Units were kept ready, and the schedule for maintenance was known, so the Units would always be ready to take up the loss, now handled by gas fired Units.

    Okay then, now notice that the cost for electricity has literally skyrocketed.

    Note that is ….. BECAUSE there is LESS coal fired power, hence the reliance on other forms of power generation oh, including renewables like wind and solar.

    LESS coal fired power ….. INCREASE cost for electricity.

    However, no one needs to listen to me any more, as I have the three strikes. Old White Male, so what would I know, eh!

    I’ve seen all of this before. Years ago there was rolling reserve old coal Units for this EXACT purpose, and power costs NEVER spiked like this.

    There may be a couple of Units with failures not related to maintenance (like Callide in Queensland and the ongoing problems with ancient Liddell) but all this loss of coal fired power is maintenance, like it has been every year at around this same time.

    Tony.

    260

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Coal fired = cheap and reliable.

      Renewables = expensive and unreliable.

      80

    • #
      Ronin

      Thanks very much for your vigilance Anthony, well done.

      100

      • #

        Ronin, no biggie, but it’s Anton, and allow me to go off topic for an explanation.

        All my life I went through being called so many variations (and pronunciations as well) of ….. Anton. (Anthony Antony Antone and on and on and on)

        I loved the name, because no one else had it at all. I had to wait until I was almost eighteen before finding someone else with that same name, and he was an Australian who arrived as a baby with his parents from Europe.

        The derivation of ….. MY name was given to me by everyone who had an opinion, and how hard is it as a young teenager telling your English teacher she was mispronouncing my name. She thought I was actually being impudent.

        Years later, many years later, I asked Mum where the name came from. She had two Christian names and Dad had three. He said that no child of his would be lumbered with three Christian names, so the five of us children had just the single Christian name, and mine was Anton.

        I was the first born in 1951. Mum was 21 when she married, and she fell pregnant immediately, and Dad was 22.

        No TVs back in 1950, and just the radio, and a stereogram.

        So, Mums and Dads did a lot of reading. Dad loved those pulp Science Fiction magazines, paper, and comic sized but with a number of SF short stories in them. Mum liked them too, and would read them after Dad got his copy each Month.

        Dad was reading one SF short story, as quickly forgotten with the last word and turn the page to a new story.

        The main character in one short story was called ….. ANTON. Dad asked Mum in bed beside him what she thought of the name, as the time for birth was evidently only days away, and she liked the name as well.

        THAT’S where my name came from. Nothing as poetic as a European background or anything at all like that. Just a character out of a totally unimportant SF short story.

        It’s a truly unique name, one I just love.

        Tony. (it’s what everyone calls me and saves the myriad of mispronunciations. I introduce myself always with this phrase ….. “I’m Anton, but everyone calls me Tony!”)

        160

    • #
      Rafe+Champion

      Thanks Tony, priceless commentary.
      If only the journalists and commentators who cover these issues would learn from your ongoing records and tell their readers about it.
      This information is all available in plain view, it is not a secret and it is not rocket science, just a lot of arithmetic.
      It also comes from the AEMO so nobody can claim it is biased by vested interests or climate deniers.

      110

    • #
      Paul Miskelly

      Hi Anton,
      Thanks yet again for a very complete, readily understandable statement of the present, parlous, state of the grid. As PF does not seem to understand, the supposed “unreliability” of coal-fired generation used to be dealt with by using redundancy: one might fail, but another could start up in its place. Can’t do that so easily with S & W: they suffer from what engineers call: common-mode failure. Peter doesn’t seem to understand, or perhaps doesn’t want to accept, that a common-mode failure is a far, far worse form of unreliability. Here is the significance, and for wind, if we were to rely on it during this Autumn season of the year, it is a double whammy.
      Let me explain: as I showed in a technical paper published in 2012, wind generation in Australia suffers its most extensive “calms” during Autumn, and to a lesser extent, during Spring. These are the times when what the meteorologists call the “sub-tropical” ridge is on the move over Australia, moving north and south, respectively. This ridge is the zone of the earth’s atmosphere at our latitudes where the greatest number of high pressure systems are likely to occur. High pressure tends to result in calm weather, hence the widespread occurrence of, you guessed it, no wind. Both Anton and Rafe can confirm that, even with far more wind farms now spread across the same Eastern Australian grid, these calms still result in prolonged periods of little or no wind generation. As David M says elsewhere, it doesn’t matter how many wind farms are built in the region, zero wind gives zero output, hence the source of the common-mode failure.
      Double whammy: this maintenance downtime for coal-fired plant is precisely the time that the forms of generation that policymakers that is supposed to substitute for coal should be fully functional. Solar will always fail at night and as for wind generation at this time of the year, well, too often it is becalmed. Result: policy failure, big time.
      Now, I wrote about this stuff 10 years ago, in a properly peer-reviewed paper. Have our policymakers taken note? Apparently not.
      Regards,
      Paul Miskelly
      P.S. Anton, re names: seems like you and I might have had similar experiences at school with our respective “odd” names! For those interested, my “boy-named-Sue” kind of surname is an Irish name, a contraction of a “Mc…” anglicised Celtic name. I guess the continual taunts toughen one.

      50

      • #
        Ross

        Anyone who has lived in Western Victoria for any amount of time knows that Autumn is usually the least windy time. You very often get the conditions called an ” Indian Summer” when very benign conditions can sometimes extend well into April or May. How could the managers at AEMO not know this? How could you be relying on wind/solar to back up a system when the coal generators are doing maintenance. Its just slack management and terrible planning. Sure, we haven’t had any blackouts (yet?) but those prices are enough to kill any big users of electricity. The system is being gamed by the electricity companies – there’s no other reason.

        50

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      Nice commentary as always Tony. With reference to PF (and his fellow travellers) the two constant blatherings are that:
      1. coal unreliability is the cause of increased prices; AND
      2. the sooner all coal power is shut down and blown up the faster prices will fall.

      A rational mind would see the problem instantly.

      40

    • #
      Stuart

      Thanks for your work Anton, I often wonder why the likes of Mike Cannon-Brookes cannot do simple maths and add up the numbers like you do, (or even look at data collated like you do)he made his money creating software so he cant be a total idiot, and yet he wants to totally shut down the fossil fuel energey plants as quickly as possible.
      I guess being a graduate of the WEF he needs to pay back the “help” he got after his indoctrination. but he cant be so blind as to not know the ramifications of his proposed actions at AGL, or can he?

      10

  • #
    Rick

    So… erm… when do we see all this “free” power from renewables that was so much talked about when all this solar/wind/fairy-dust was first foisted on us?
    After hundreds of billions of dollars spent on it, they should be paying us to use more power.
    As always, it’s all politics and it’s all BS.

    100

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Just looking at the generation mix and supply versus demand for South Australia and I notice even though they are solely reliant on the extension cord into Victoriastan, they seem to have been able to charge the battery ! So if your short on power to run the grid how do they manage to steal some to charge the battery ? Makes me think it’s Brown coal from Victoriastan that’s charging the battery .

      40

  • #
    another ian

    Politics – but O/T this thread

    How many more governments?

    “BREAKING: Justin Trudeau caught funding the World Economic Forum with tax money

    https://thecountersignal.com/justin-trudeau-funding-world-economic-forum/

    50

    • #
      David Maddison

      The WEF is a private organisation and Herr Klaus Schwab pays himself a US$1,000,000 salary from its coffers…

      I haven’t been able to yet establish if Herr Scwab has a private jet like most Leftist Elites. But he probably doesn’t need one. The Elites fly to him in their private jets.

      70

  • #
    David Maddison

    Few countries are as fanatically committed to unreliables as Australia. The competition may have been Germany and Once Great Britain but even they are starting to see (un)common sense. There is no sign of that in Australia.

    80

  • #
    b.nice

    7pm Adelaide.

    Price $3975

    Gas 812MW
    Interconnect 600MW (80% fossil fuel, plus some hydro..basically no wind)
    Diesel 320MW
    Wind 133MW

    FOSSIL FUELS RULE… yet again ! !

    50

  • #

    There are some odd system management decisions playing out in the SA power market
    Whilst they are using 300+ MW of diesel generation ,..800+ MW of Gas, and 600+ MW of support from Victoria,….
    …at the same time they have another 1000+ MW of gas generation standing idle ?..
    I guess this is a result of the crazy price bidding system that dictates which suppliers generate power, but how can it be sensible to run expensive diesel generators ( and OC gas generators ), whilst cheaper , more efficient CC gas generators stand idle ??

    00

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Chad:
      I am not aware that SA has any CCgas generators. Thought they were all Open Cycle GTs or gas fired boilers or diesels. Can you give me any info? A later article notes that projects in SA seem to be very slow to happen.

      This is out-of-date but interesting costs wind v others.
      https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Planning_and_Forecasting/SA_Advisory/2017/2017_SAFTR.pdf

      00

      • #

        G 3,..
        I just use data from…..
        https://anero.id/energy/fossil-energy
        …which lists Pelican Point (478 MW) , and Osborne (180MW) , as both being CC gas generators,
        And using NemLog it seems SA are reluctant to use them often ?

        00

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          What a mess!
          CCGT Osborne 360MW from one gas turbine feeding one steam unit.
          CCGT Pelican Point 497MW from 2 gas turbines feeding 1 steam turbine.
          Torrens Island (1280MW CCGT from 8 turbines) being progressively shut down as Barker Inlet comes on stream.
          Barker Inlet 12 gas or diesel machines for 210MW. (it seems the second part isn’t going to be built as a 250MW battery is being installed which won’t replace them) “The new generating units have a fast response time of five minutes from startup to full capacity, enabling a quick response to reductions in wind and solar power generation. The power station can be stopped in less than a minute, enabling rapid response to increase of renewable energy production.”
          The “Temporary” diesels seem to have been retained for emergency use (as in 2019 heat wave)
          North 154MW 5 generators
          South 123MW 4 generators

          Coopers Brewery also has a CCGT but only 5MW for internal use. And there is a 3MW hydro station.

          I have not been able to find any reference to Heath Robinson as the designer.

          10

          • #
            b.nice

            “Coopers Brewery also has a CCGT but only 5MW for internal use.”

            Gotta look after the important stuff 😉

            00

  • #
    Robber

    Over the last 24 hours, from a nameplate capacity of 8,500 MW across the entire AEMO grid, wind delivered just 1,300 MW.
    All we need is 15 times as many windmills to keep the lights on.
    While at last night’s peak demand in SA, diesel was providing 230 MW, wind just 91 MW, with 563 MW coming from Vic.
    And in Vic, wind today has been providing less than 30 MW from a nameplate capacity of 3,100 MW.
    Solar has also dropped generation due to some cloudy days, across the entire AEMO grid delivering a midday peak of just over 3,000 MW, compared to 7,000 MW earlier in the week.

    10