Dumb & Dumber: Wind Power Output Collapse Leaves South Australians & Victorians $400m Poorer

The price of ‘green’ virtue: the lights go
out across Victoria with another mass outage.

 

If the consequences for health and human safety weren’t so deadly serious, watching wind powered Victoria and SA plummet into North Korean darkness every time the wind stops blowing would be hilarious.

Hot weather in Australia leads to a spike in demand, as householders and businesses crank up their air conditioners; it also coincides with breathless, still days and nights.

In Victoria this summer – which last year axed its 1,600 MW Hazelwood coal-fired power plant to squeals of delight from its lunatic fringe (which includes all members of the Labor government and its gormless Premier, Daniel Andrews) – businesses have been unceremoniously dumped from the grid and hospitals ordered to shut off lights and air conditioners, simply because wind power ran out of puff.

On the Sunday night of the Australia Day long weekend, 28 January, some 50,000 Victorian homes became a victim of their Premier’s green virtue signalling, as temperatures rose and wind power output in Victoria fell, spiked briefly and collapsed:

Spooked by that very possibility, SA’s Premier, the vapid Jay Weatherill threw $550 million of taxpayer’s money at 276 MW of diesel-fuelled jet engines ($400m) and Elon Musk’s 100 MW mega-battery ($150m). Jay and his fellow eco-Nazis danced a jig when his last coal-fired power plant at Port Augusta was blown up last year.

That all this is deliberate and calculated, probably makes it criminal. It’s most certainly the dumbest show on Earth.

Terry McCrann has a field day with the latest turn of events in SA and Victoria. STT has thrown in a couple of pics taken from Aneroid Energy to help him make his point.

Terry McCrann: Useless wind’s $390m power bill
Herald Sun
Terry McCrann
30 January 2018

VICTORIANS and South Australians didn’t just swelter through two consecutive days of 40 degree heat on Thursday-Friday two weeks ago, they also had to pay an extra — and hidden — $390 million to keep their air conditioners and lights on.

The reason is that, at critical times through the two days, all those wind turbines scattered across the two states just stopped turning or slowed to a dribble of power generation into the grid.

When it really mattered, in the heat of the two afternoons and into the early evenings, all the turbines which are supposed to be able to generate a massive 3200 MW of electricity — that’s equal to two of the now-closed Hazelwood coal-fired station — produced as little as 200MW or so.

[Output from all 35 wind farms in Victoria and SA, with a combined notional capacity of 3,214 MW]

The much vaunted turbines of SA Premier Jay Weather-dill’s fantasies were actually the more hopeless.

At one point they were pumping out all of just 55 MW or so as compared with their supposed 1800MW total “capacity”.

[Output from all 19 wind farms in SA, with a notional capacity of 1,698 MW]

We — apart from Weather-dill & Co — already know that “when the wind don’t blow the power don’t’ flow”; what we should increasingly understand is that the wind in SA and Victoria also tends not to blow when we need the power most; when it’s hot.

Also, do the maths: Weather-dill’s even more vaunted 100MW Tesla battery wasn’t going to make up much of that missing 1750 MW or so — even for the minutes it would be able to supply.

The lights and air conditioners only stayed on — saving both SA and Victoria from going all “North Korean Dark” — by Victoria importing massive amounts of electricity from NSW and Tasmania and passing much of it on to SA.

NSW was, in turn, only able to supply that extra power by importing electricity from Queensland — from Queensland’s coal-fired plants.

Yes, when the heat — literally — went on, the east-coast network “worked” to feed power around and avoid blackouts. But only because there were coal-fired stations still operating which the Labor premiers, Victoria’s Daniel “the bird-killer” Andrews; and Queensland Anna Palaszczuk, want to follow Weather-dill in closing.

And it “worked” only at the cost of a massive hike in price.

On both days the wholesale price in Victoria rocketed to over $10,000 a MW hour. In SA it did that only on the second day, going “only” as high as around $3000 on January 18.

The wholesale price is usually less than $100 a MW hour — and before we started embracing useless and destructive wind turbines, the coal-fired network consistently delivered power at around $50 a MW hour.

Tom Quirk and Paul Miskelly, who crunched these numbers and supplied them to me, calculated that Victorian users paid $294 million for electricity over the two days instead of the $26 million or so they would “normally” pay (at the already doubled “normal” prices).

SOUTH Australians were even more heavily hit, paying $128 million over the two days instead of the “normal” $8 million or so two-day bill.

Quirk, a nuclear physicist, was a founding director of (Jeff Kennett’s) Victorian Power Exchange and Miskelly was an engineer at the Lucas Heights nuclear facility.

They know what they are talking about; and calculating.

Now, this extra $390 million across the two states didn’t feed directly and immediately into consumer power bills.

It would probably be better if it did; then consumers — and voters — would wake up to the fact of just exactly what the mad rush to useless and — what’s actually worse, unreliable — wind (and increasingly also solar) is actually doing to wreck the electricity network and send costs of power soaring.

But that absolutely doesn’t mean consumers won’t end up paying the bill for that two-day madness two weeks ago, and the madnesses to come.

Right now, the power companies have had to pick up the tab. But consumers will get the bill when electricity prices are hiked, again, next January.

And it is only going to get worse, as more turbines and solar panel blot the landscape and the coal-fired stations progressively close.

Plus, there’s also the added “ benefit” of even these coal-fired stations — which have generally served Australians reliably and continually 24/7, 365 days a year for 50 years or so, also becoming progressively more unreliable as the power companies don’t want to “waste” money on maintenance and rejuvenation.

Malcolm Turnbull wants us to be the “clever country”. I’d say we are dumb and getting dumber.
Herald Sun

Jay Weatherill & Daniel Andrews: still
puzzled by wind power’s routine failure to perform.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovensky says:

    SA’s powering ahead into darkness. Brownouts are as common as the lies we hear from our intensely desperate sounding Premier and his minions in political ‘power’ at present.
    The fixes roll of their tongues as if they have lapped up too much of the Musky water found in their bowls.
    All the while this State fades into oblivion.

  2. Just as in Ontario: if the voters keep voting the same way, the electrical supply system will keep failing the same way . How bad does it have to get before sensible people take back the reins?

  3. We've recently seen Daniel Andrews and Jay Weatherill spinning the line that renewables did just fine during the recent hot spell, with absurd claims " there was no power shortage".  The reality is very different, firstly there's the direct impact on the wholesale electricity price caused by the power shortages, as ably explained by Terry McCrann, and there's also the little matter of AEMO paying large industrial manufacturers $50 million for them to stop using power.  Obviously this is a clear admission that the subsidised renewables madness is not working, which should be a warning that as more reliable base load generators are forced to shut down this situation will only get worse.  Expect to see more of these costly AEMO "Heath Robinson" schemes as the renewables train wreck unfolds.

    The Labor/Green lot just love to have their cake and eat it too.  These "climate" Kool Aid drinkers have for years been trying to pass off the devastating cost impact their mindless obsession with renewable energy has imposed on Australian electricity prices, with claims that the price increases are because of evil transmission/distribution companies "gold plating" their infrastructure assets.  Now, when it becomes blatantly obvious that much of the distribution system is not adequately rated ("gold plated") to cope with what were by no means abnormal summer temperatures, it seems the likes of Daniel Andrews still seek to blame those evil distribution companies.  Presumably this time it's a case of not enough "gold plating"?
     

     

    Labor's preoccupation with "Gold Plating"

    Mark Butler (Labor Shadow Minister for Environment Climate Change and Water) claimed in Parliament in March 2017:

    Prices have already been an issue in this country for more than 10 years because of the gold plating of the networks that goes back to the Howard era. Gold plating of the networks, which has seen, particularly, the coal-fired states of the eastern seaboard see the largest price rises, as The Australian newspaper helpfully pointed out a couple of months ago. The largest price rises are in Queensland, then Victoria and then New South Wales. But now we see wholesale prices spiking under this government. They have doubled under this government. Wholesale prices have doubled under this government because of their inability to deal with the supply crisis.

     

     PM Julia Gillard was determined to stamp out "gold plating" back in 2012:

    While the details of the package of reforms were yet to be released, Ms Gillard said she wanted to stop state governments "gold plating" the electricity transmission networks, and tighten regulations.

    "This is about changing, going through from the top – at the moment, a perverse incentive to gold-plate, more investment in poles and wires – changing that so these things are set more independently," she said.

     

    PM Gillard interviewed by Sanbra Lane, on ABC AM in 2012:

    Lane: Following the logic of your argument you seem to be suggesting here that Australia does have a gold plated electricity system. You say that that's not absolutely essential. So are you proposing then that more brown-outs are acceptable to Australia, a first world country, and specifically Australia which experiences so many days where the mercury pushes 40 degrees?

    PM: We're a smart people, a very innovative people. And I think we can do better on questions of reliability and meeting peak demand than doing the equivalent in electricity of building a 10 lane freeway where two of the lanes only get used one weekend a year. We don't do that in our road system.

    I think we can find better ways of meeting peak demand, keeping reliability, but doing better on prices than we are now.

    This is making a big difference for families; $11 billion of investment in the network to meet peak demand, an impact of around $500 per year in family bills. I think we can do better than that. We can get smarter than that.

    Lane: But if there's lower investment in the poles and wires and not the gold plated system, Australia might face more brown-outs.

     

    Finally Jay Weatherill at a COAG Press Conference in 2012:

    I also want to add my voice to the remarks that were made by the Prime Minister concerning the national electricity market, the interconnected electricity market in the Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. We have seen a dramatic escalation in electricity costs, the lion's share of which has been driven by what we regard as gold-plated investments in relation to infrastructure.

    We think that is a consequence in part of the regulatory system, and we believe that the regulator can take steps to ameliorate the growth in those costs which are driving the lion's share of the growth in electricity prices.

  4. This is realy what is happening in Australia as STT is trying to tell us how it is!. Dumb & Dumber: Wind Power Output Collapse Leaves South Australians & Victorians $400m Poorer
    And then you get this PR story in this letter sent to me.

    Hi Andreas

    South Australia has a great history as a visionary, inclusive and innovative state.

    From giant batteries and big solar, to millions of rooftop solar panels, we’ve led the way on smart environment policy.

    But for all our ingenuity, our beautiful home is under threat from gas and oil mining, nuclear waste and rogue irrigators upstream stealing water from the river Murray.

    That’s why as we head to the polls next month, candidates need to see that tens of thousands of South Australians care about our air, water and wildlife. Then they’ll know they need to get serious about these issues to get your vote!

    Will you pledge to vote for a party that will stop polluting fuels, champion clean energy, and protect and respect nature?
    PLEDGE YOUR VOTE

    We’re pushing all parties to improve their policy commitments on nature and climate change in our beautiful state.
    And before polling day, we’ll send you an independent scorecard showing how the major parties stack up so you can use your vote wisely.
    Together, we’re calling on all candidates and parties to commit to:
    • Repower South Australia with 100% clean energy
    • Stop companies digging up and burning climate-wrecking fuels like oil and gas
    • A healthy Murray River
    • No nuclear waste dumps
    • Respect and protect nature – with proper funding and policies to value and properly care for the beautiful state we call home.
    This election, we can choose clean energy, not climate-wrecking gas or oil. We can vote for candidates who will make our beautiful state – and all the pelicans, people and whales who live here – thrive.
    Will you pledge to vote for a thriving South Australia?
    Thanks,
    Paul
    Paul Sinclair
    Campaigns Director

  5. Crispin Trist says:

    Cape Bridgewater. 7th February 2018

    Some recent diary notes to self…

    Blackout!

    Portland West and surrounding areas.

    Weather. Hot!

    Powercor contacted, to report no power.

    Cause… Unknown!

    2PM approx. 07/02/18

    No wind! Turbines doing nothing.

    Hope there isn’t a bush fire! Would be very hard to fight it with no power.

    House. Hot!

    Searched for recently purchased blackout kit. 2 battery powered fans in box. Supplied batteries were AAA. The fans take AA!

    Found some old batteries. One fan doesn’t work! So much for the blackout kit!

    This is the second major blackout in Victoria this summer that I am aware of. There was no wind power at Cape Bridgewater on that date as well. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Power on at 3:38pm. Phew!

    End of notes.

  6. Australia definitely needs more smart Lawyer Bankers like Turnbull to fix the electricity problem. ROFL

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