Business Becalmed: Australia’s Wind ‘Powered’ States Paying Businesses Tens of $Millions to Shut Down When the Wind Stops Blowing

The self-inflicted renewable energy chaos playing out in South Australia and neighbouring Victoria is as costly as it is insane.

Both states are headed up by neo-Marxists; and both states have energy policies designed by lunatics.

Rocketing retail power prices (SA’s are already the highest in the world, with worse to come), routine load shedding and mass blackouts are now par for the course.

It’s power consumers, both households and businesses, that bear the brunt of a runaway, ideological crusade.

When wind power output inevitably collapses during warm weather (which coincides with high demand) Australia’s grid manager, AEMO has taken to ordering energy hungry businesses to shut down, to prevent yet another mass blackout. Hospitals, too, are being buffeted by the winds of change; what zealots refer to as the ‘inevitable transition’ to nature’s wonder fuels, sunshine and breezes.

On just two recent occasions, these Soviet-era dictates delivered shutdown ‘bonuses’ of $50 million to those businesses in Victoria and SA which were given the chop.

Big firms get $50m in bid to keep lights on
The Australian
Ben Packham
12 February 2018

Energy users paid $50 million in total to buy back power from major manufacturers so as to keep the lights on in Victoria and South Australia on two occasions in the past three months.

The Australian has learned that the Energy Market Operator was forced to activate its “reliability and emergency reserve trader” mechanism on November 30 and January 19 as supplies to retail customers came under threat.

The $50m price tag includes the cost of signing up businesses, standby fees and activation payments, Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s office confirmed.

The bill to households and businesses will rise if the RERT is activated again this summer.

Businesses had previously been placed on standby under the reserve trader mechanism, which has existed since 1998, but none had been required to surrender power prior to November 30 last year.

That event coincided with moderate temperatures — in the mid-30Cs — in SA and Victoria, but the contribution of wind to the energy grid that day fell to just 16 per cent of total capacity in Victoria.

On January 19, temperatures hit 41C in both Melbourne and South Australia.

Mr Frydenberg said the mechanism had been required because state governments in Victoria and SA had failed to ensure sufficient despatchable power in their grids.

“Their encouragement of the closure of the Hazelwood and Northern power stations, and the rapid uptake of wind and solar, particularly in South Australia … have contributed to their problems,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“It is in this context that the market operator has been left with no choice but to contract for reserve supplies, the cost of which is ultimately passed on to families and business.”

The Australian Energy Market Operator contracted 14 businesses to supply more than 1000 megawatts of reserve power during extreme peaks in 2017-18, by stopping or winding down ­operations, or switching on diesel generators.

Participating businesses include Alcoa Portland Aluminium, BlueScope Steel, Visy and Australian Paper.

Power networks in Victoria and SA are also part of the scheme, agreeing to implement demand management measures when required.

The AEMO purchased a total of 32MW of electricity from contracted businesses on November 30. It said it was unable to report how much power was returned to the grid on January 19.

Neither event required the ­activation of generators, the AEMO said.

The incidents come as the Turnbull government tries to get agreement from the states and territories on its National Energy Guarantee, which ties energy ­security, price and environmental goals in a single plan.

Mr Frydenberg said the ­reliability and affordability issues experienced in Victoria were the types of problems that would be addressed by the NEG.

“It’s time Labor listened to the experts and got on board,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“Under the National Energy Guarantee, Australian households will not only have a more stable energy system than they do today, but be $300 a year ­better off.”

Labor energy spokesman Mark Butler said the government needed to end its “obsession with coal power”.

“Coal power stations are closing because they are old, increasingly unreliable and expensive to run,” he said. “We urge the Turnbull government to … deliver a credible energy policy that will support the investment in new renewable generation and storage we desperately need.”

Labor is promising to deliver 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030; the NEG is a technology-neutral plan.

SA and the ACT remain hostile to the National Energy Guarantee and are undertaking their own modelling of its effectiveness compared with other clean ­energy policies.

In September, the AEMO provided advice to the commonwealth that showed there was up to a 43 per cent chance of blackouts in Victoria and 33 per cent in SA this summer.

Victoria’s 1600MW Hazelwood power station was closed last March.

SA’s Northern power station provided 546MW into the grid until it closed last May.

The Minerals Council of Australia said the government should focus on policies that reduced ­energy costs instead of paying businesses to stop using power. “Asking large Australian companies to stop using energy every summer is not sustainable,” an MCA spokesman said.

“Over the past decade, Aus­tralia has moved from having some of the lowest to some of the highest energy costs in the developed world.”

He said a “technology-neutral ­approach should be adopted for all low-emissions ­energy sources where no one technology is favoured to the ­exclusion of ­others”.
The Australian

Mark Butler: Big Wind’s most Useful Idiot.


For those that don’t know Labor’s Mark Butler, they might assume that he’s some kind of parody. He hails from SA, the place that’s become the butt of international jokes, thanks to a ludicrous attempt to power itself on the weather.

While Butler reckons that ‘coal is dead’ and that his opponents should stop obsessing about it, he ought to be careful what he wishes for. His state – an economic backwater, with a shrinking and ageing population (the best and brightest head east or west as soon as they can commandeer a Commodore) – would be plunged into Stone Age darkness in the absence of the coal-fired power which it draws across two interconnectors (Heywood and Murraylink) every single day; reliable power that originates in Victoria and New South Wales.

Victoria’s Labor government rejoiced when its 1,600 MW Hazelwood plant shut its doors last year; SA’s Labor government wept with joy when is last coal-fired plant was dynamited in December.

But what’s politics without liars and hypocrites.

Butler keeps ranting, with a maniacal zeal, that wind power is our future. So, let’s take a look back in time to see what caused the economic debacle laid out above, courtesy of Aneroid Energy:

What’s depicted above is the combined output of every wind turbine connected to the Eastern Grid and located in Victoria and SA, comprising 35 wind farms with a total notional capacity of 3,214 MW.

Up and down like a proverbial yo-yo, the total output across both states exhibits the kind of behaviour that grid managers dread. Rapid surges and precipitous collapses occurring over time spans measured in minutes, and in magnitudes of anything between 400 to 800 MW. Grid killing stuff.

But, to combine the wind power output of SA and Victoria is to flatter it. While those interconnectors we mentioned earlier allow power to flow between both states, the volumes are necessarily limited and power generally tends to flow in one or other direction, according to demand. So, here’s the output of each state in isolation, starting with SA’s 19 wind farms and their 1,698 MW capacity:

If anything, what’s depicted above demonstrates, with even greater clarity, what an utterly meaningless generation source wind power is. Here’s what Victoria’s 16 wind farms and their 1,516 MW capacity were up to that day:

Again, chaos: and an inverse relationship to the increase in demand that comes as the weather heats up over the course of the day. Leaving dozens of businesses powerless.

We’ll wind the clock forward now and take a look at 19 January, and the ‘performance’ in SA:

And here’s the effort in Victoria that day:

No one in their right mind would ever claim that wind power is capable of delivering power as and when power consumers need it.

Thanks to the chaos dished up every day, as depicted above, Australian power consumers have been forced to simply do without it.

Some might think that paying businesses $50 million to cease their operations for a couple of days when the wind stops blowing, is a small price to pay. However, those keen to throw $millions at businesses to stop producing stuff, making money and employing people aren’t talking about their money, it’s yours that they’re all set to squander. Which, in principle, is the same as demanding endless subsidies for a ‘technology’ abandoned centuries ago, for pretty obvious reasons. The wind industry wouldn’t have got past first base without mountains of other people’s money.

Once upon a time, Australians took their electricity supply for granted: it was cheap, it was reliable, and it was always available.

Now, this Country is starting to look more like Cuba or North Korea, every day.

Welcome to your (occasionally) wind powered future!

State of Disaster: SA’s Premier Lunatic and friends.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. I see that STT have posted a link to this in their World News section top left.

    The article from Canada was also forwarded to me recently.

    Article below.

    And I quote…

    Loyalist Township halts work on Amherst Island energy project

    By Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
    Friday, February 23, 2018 4:52:19 EST PM

    The company building a wind energy project on Amherst Island has been issued a stop-work order by Loyalist Township.

    The order was issued last weekend and was confirmed again in a letter from the township to Windlectric Inc. on Thursday.

    Heavy construction vehicles had caused significant damage to haul routes, including deep ruts on South Shore Road, Lower Forty Foot Road and sections of Front Road.

    “The ruts from the previous night’s heavy traffic had in fact not been smoothed out by the Windlectric grading crew, and the road surface was a continuous series of deep ruts, which had frozen hard,” township chief administrative officer Robert Maddocks wrote in a letter to Windelectic on Thursday. “These ruts were several inches deep and would be very difficult, if not completely impossible, for a smaller car to pass without significant damage, and potentially a serious safety issue if someone hit them at normal speeds.”

    The road use agreement between the company and the municipality allows the township engineer to stop work if damage to the roads leaves them unsafe for the general public to travel upon. The order can be lifted once the roadways are repaired.

    “The Township has a legal and moral duty to protect the public and must act accordingly,” Maddocks wrote.

    In a response to the municipal action, Homer Lensink, vice-president of development for Windlectric’s parent company Algonquin Power, said the company “respectfully but strongly disagrees with this instruction.”

    “The Road Use Agreement and the Operations Plan only allow the Municipal Engineer to stop work in the event of immediate danger to life and health, and public safety. This is clearly not the case today,” he wrote in a letter on Feb. 17.

    Lensink wrote that the company has repaired roads damaged by the construction vehicles and the township’s stop-work order came just before forecast heavy rain and unseasonably mild temperatures.

    “As you know, we are at a critical stage of the construction progress and any delays to the project construction have a cascading effect,” he wrote.

    “Windlectric objects to the stopping work order days in advance of a forecasted rain event whose impact cannot be predicted nor quantified.

    “Stopping this work days in advance of an unknown rain event’s impact is completely arbitrary, directly impacting the project schedule,” he added.

    Maddocks’ reply Thursday accused the company of being more interested in the project’s construction schedule rather than its impact on the island’s roads.

    “The comments in your letter continue to demonstrate that Windlectric is concerned with timing regardless of the impact on island residents,” Maddocks wrote. “Your comments are inaccurate and offensive based on the observations of February 17. It is unfortunate that the corporate head office is not better informed of the actual conditions on site.”

    The Kingston Whig-Standard 2018 © 

    End quote.

    Article link below…

  2. Jackie Rovensly says:

    And we must not forget the times of ‘brownouts’ a reduction in the voltage, you notice it when you can’t get a kettle to boil or your baking takes longer to cook than it should or you stand there waiting for the toast to brown.
    Wind is free – maybe but what it does is either push turbine blades causing endless heartache for those who live near by and it dashes through and destroys homes, trees and lots more, its not free either when the energy accounts arrive in the post or via email – if you can connect on your computer that runs on electricity.
    Then of course there will be the cost as more and more of this energy is needed to fuel those battery driven cars the SA Government is promising to cut the sales tax on and provide with 5 years free Registration – those things may be cheap but the energy to fuel up will be much higher and probably in short supply just when you need it to escape a bushfire or other natural disaster. As they claim they are getting on top of the supply issue, by purchasing and subsidising more and more so called renewable energy, they’re making the situation worse by pushing for more and more energy rich technological industries, including more and more electrification of our public transport.
    You have to wonder how they come to believe it is possible to manage such a supply from something so naturally uncontrollable as the wind or even the sun – then of course they believe they are the new ‘gods’ of this world the ‘gods’ who are to be praised and honoured, and if you should challenge them then you are castigated and charged with being fools and anti everything modern.
    Forgetting wind energy is not knew it is old it was passed over by modern technology which brought western society out of servitude and dependence on the weather to provide our needs and more, such as improving our health and life expectancy.
    Are these people ignorant of our past do they forget or did they ever consider what it was like to live before electricity became an ESSENTIAL SERVICE for a modern society.
    How could these people gain such power over our lives and take control of our Parliaments – probably because we have been lazy and allowed them to – those of us who have challenged them have had to face being denigrated and still as the situation worsens as we warned they are still not able to open their eyes and see through the fog of lies all the while the abyss is growing bigger and deeper and we are teetering more dangerously on tits edge. Will we have to fall before we can be saved – if we can be saved?

  3. Son of a goat says:

    Every time Mark Butler opens his gob I’m reminded of a quote from Frank Leahy, an American football coach who said;

    “Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.”

  4. Even in “On The Beach” the power was on until the very end! The great scene in the end where the waiter at the Pastoral Club takes a shot at the billiards table and then the lamp goes out, even the last people on earth had more electricity than the people of Melbourne today!!!

    My dad fought in the U.S. Army Infantry in Italy and France during the war. So I always wondered how so many people in Japan and Germany could line up lockstep and follow their crazed leaders to doom.

    Well now I found out why–the people of Australia are just as insane today! It’s as if they believe that CO2 is WORSE than nuclear weapons, that unless they become “carbon neutral” they’ll all end up like Moira Davidson watching Commander Towers disappear under the sea in the USS Scorpion.

    NEWSFLASH! “On The Beach” was NOT real, it was a book written by Nevil Shute and a movie starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.

    The END is not NEAR! There, that should fix things…

    • Very sadly not in Australia where the children have been brainwashed in our education system for decades being taught by teachers who were brainwashed in the art of ultra left wing green politics before them. Australia is the Island at the edge of the Earth whose population think the world revolves around them and when the Great Barrier Reef disappears all their fears will have come to fruition and they will be proved right that the world is ending. Even in the bible there is room for argument for evolution but definitely not in Australian schools, the whole world was created in a minute and should remain the same for eternity. To anyone with half a brain Australia has a very strange population who like to play at being lemmings.

      • That explains a lot–in the big scheme of things, Australia is virtually non-existent when it comes to population and its effect on the world’s environment. That’s why I couldn’t understand this insane obsession with building windmills. Even if Australia (1) made 100% of its electricity from renewables, the earth’s climate wouldn’t budge an inch, (2) if Australia made 100% of its electricity from the dirtiest and most inefficient coal power plants in the world, nothing would change in the climate.

        NO ONE LIVES IN AUSTRALIA! Why do Australians think that their decisions on energy generation makes a hill of beans difference? It’s completely irrational to think that Australians believe that they are the center of the world.

        But I guess that’s the truth. We’ve entered into a new age of darkness where reason and tolerance have been snuffed out by the insidious dogma of the Western liberal-socialist-communist. 1984 arrived and no one even noticed. We live in a world of doublethink, thoughtcrime and Newspeak.

        Just look at political correctness or speaking out against Global Warming/Climate Change/AGW/etc. It’s almost a crime to THINK that the “science” is wrong and that it’s not real. You can’t even say that transgender people are suffering from a mental illness! What’s next? Schizophrenia is normal and people who have it should be allowed to fly 767 airliners?

        The world has gone mad. In some ways I almost wish that “On The Beach” does become a reality. BTW, it really was a great movie. The last scene with Ava Gardner standing in the wind with the soundtrack of Waltzing Matilda playing is simply stunning. That movie made Australia famous to the world. Now Australia is turning into a real nightmare.

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