Wind Power Output Collapses Driving Wholesale Power Market Chaos

Random 3,000 to 4,000 MW wind power output collapses at the heart of Australia’s power pricing and supply calamity. In a, don’t say we told you so moment, Australia’s self-inflicted renewable energy chickens are coming home to roost.

Power rationing is now routine and power prices are soaring out of control.

What’s depicted above – courtesy of Aneroid Energy – is the output delivered by Australian wind power outfits to the Eastern Grid last month.

Spread from Far North Queensland, across the ranges of NSW, all over Victoria, Northern Tasmania and across South Australia its entire capacity routinely delivers just a trickle of its combined notional capacity of 8,587 MW.

Rapid and unpredictable surges and collapses in wind power output (sunset does precisely the same job with solar power output, although somewhat more predictable) are causing total chaos in Australia’s wholesale power markets, as the team from Jo Nova outline below (we’ll return to the magnificent performance of Australia’s whirling wonders in a moment).

Electricity Hunger Games downunder — potential sighting of four hour price bonfire
Jo Nova Blog
Jo Nova
2 June 2022

It’s a grid on the edge

Like a meteor-shower, the dinner time performance today may or may not be a spectator event. The fun may start at 4:30pm in Qld, NSW, Vic, SA and Tasmania — a full quinfecta at $15,000 per MW/h. The first wave of winter cold is about to wash over the grid, and those solar panels will fail just as people plug in their heaters, ovens, dryers and kettles and there is a four hour spike at $15,000MWh forecast.

The graph below is the forecast for NSW, but it is essentially the same tsunami shape and dimension in every single state of the National Energy Market. Right now I presume there are engineers in the control rooms sweating over alternatives and they may well pull it off. These wildly high spikes have a way of resolving at the last minute. But think for a moment what kind of stakes we’re playing with. Hypothetically, if there was a 12,000MW demand for 4 hours in NSW at $15,000, that’s $720 million dollars worth of electricity. A few days like that would pay for a new coal plant, but no one seems to be listening to that price signal…

Even if they pull off aerial manouvers tomorrow and save millions of dollars (billions even) what’s clear is that the whole grid is flying seat-of-the-pants. The AEMO issued unprecedented warnings about a gas supply shortfall across Vic SA and Tas that have already been cancelled, but the reserves of generation are razor thin and winter has just begun.

Am I wrong — none of this would be happening if Hazelwood was still running? Brown coal was still winning bids at $24/MWh a few months ago.

But don’t miss the other big signal here. The entire Australian National Energy Market for a “Grid” in a forced subsidized transition needs to be totally redesigned. It might have worked fine with reliable generators but even though we add tweak after tweak, something is going horribly wrong. But redesigning a whole new market is another hidden cost of the junk generators being forced on the grid.

It may not work out this exciting… but that four hour peak is worth millions. | AEMO

The total NEM wide demand expected is a bit over 30GW at peak. Not near the peak highs of summer which have hit 35.5GW on Jan 29th, 2009. Somehow in 13 years we’ve increased our network capacity by 25% but something isn’t working….

Yesterday the Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin across the whole NEM fell below the 15% yellow alert trigger level.

Paul McArdle who lives and breathes the NEM market, says he can never remember seeing a warning like this before:

AEMO has a potential gas supply shortfall event for the VIC, SA, TAS regions for GD 02/06/22.“

AEMO will convene a gas supply guarantee assessment conference with contacts that AEMO determines will be able to contribute or response to the potential gas supply shortfall to assess the event.

The event notice can be found here: http://nemweb.com.au/Reports/Current/Gas_Supply_Guarantee/

It’s going to be an interesting winter.
Jo Nova Blog

So, let’s take a look at what the wind farms connected to Australia’s Eastern Grid were up to on 1 and 2 June 2022.

After midnight on 1 June they were producing just on 5,491 MW (63.9%) of their total capacity of 8,587 MW but, over the course of the day, output sagged by 3,988 MW to 1,503 MW (17.5% of total capacity).

Bear in mind that almost 4,000 MW collapse in wind power output against the hue and cry that erupts in the mainstream press when a single generating unit at a coal-fired power plant (accounting for 400 to 600 MW) is taken off-line for maintenance or suffers an unscheduled breakdown.

Below is the Sterling contribution made on 2 June 2022.

Output started the day at 1,503 MW and then dropped to 626 MW – a paltry 7.3% of total capacity.

Funnily enough, those collapses coincided with rising demand and rocketing power prices (see above).

Welcome to your wind-powered future!

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. grumpystiltskin2 says:

    Well, Indonesia has a quick answer how to power up their islands…
    https://thorconpower.com/
    It’s a new tech, and I’m so tired of people saying that because it hasn’t been done before, it can never be done and should never be tried. It will be 100x cheaper than the plants designed in the 1980’s. All of the safety vulnerabilities are gone– not because the plants were unsafe in operation- but because kludging around the issues was costly.

  2. Water is the best way to go at the moment, however a greater amount of R & D is needed to make existing Water Turbines more effective and able to function in multi elements, see my comments on my site re PROJECTS

  3. Rafe Champion says:

    See also Australian Energy Security on the Brink 2020

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/30/australian-energy-security-on-the-brink/

  4. Son of a goat says:

    The Good Lord may have taken Gilligan but Yoda has been canonised as Patron saint of Kooyong!

    In sad news I think the Good Lord may have taken Gilligan from Renew Economy and his mortal remains have been inhabited by an alien.
    How else could one explain the constant flow of garbage coming out of his website on Australia’s energy debacle.

    Yoda Yates and the Messiah after their bevy of angels got up as Teal independents are on a double dose of viagra.
    Yoda is now advising the woke on AGL on how they should relinquish coal and invest in renewables. The lad could get a job as strategist for our mate Vlad.

    Charismatic Kane from the CEC has seen one too many Marvel films and is constantly rambling on about Australia becoming a “clean energy super power.”

    In perplexing news The “J Edgar Hoover of Crystal Brook” has shut down his blog “Wind farm ramblings” and moved interstate to W.A.
    One can only surmise in the current environment that Dave heard by smoke signal the West has cheap gas!

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