Another widespread power outage in SA

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#136 Post by bits » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:46 pm

monotonehell wrote: That's what was 'said' after the fact. At the senate hearing they admitted that it was broken and has been since 2013.
So Engie lied twice to AEMO about the availability of their generator?

1739 AEMO seeks advice from Engie on the availability of the off line generating unit at Pelican Point.C Engie
advises AEMO that they don’t have the gas to run the unit and if gas was available it would be a four hour
minimum run up time. AEMO asks Engie to explore options and advise further.

1801 Engie informs AEMO that if directed the off line unit could be available to synchronise by 1900 hrs and then
be at full output by 1945 for a 4 – 8 hrs run time. AEMO determines the unit will not be available in time to
restore power system security

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#137 Post by mshagg » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:23 am

monotonehell wrote: That's what was 'said' after the fact. At the senate hearing they admitted that it was broken and has been since 2013.
Do you have any sources/links? Because this is contrary to everything else that's out there.

Given they didn't announce the closure of the second generator until mid 2014 and ran at full tilt until 2015.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sout ... c0d79b2047

And FWIW this was a private enterprise from the start. The government didn't "sell" Pelican Point, because they never owned it.

http://www.gdfsuezau.com/about-us/asset ... er-Station

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#138 Post by PD2/20 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:31 am

bits wrote:
PD2/20 wrote: But Pelican Point was outputting 330MW on Thursday 9th once instructed, so the second unit was able to produce at least 100MW.
That's the output on one gas turbine and the steam output turbine of the gas turbine. That is the combined cycle function that makes it the cheapest gas generator in the country.
The second gas turbine adds another 160mw.
I understand that the steam turbine is fed from the outputs of both gas turbines and its full output of 150MW is dependent on both GTs operating. With 1 GT output is 160MW GT + 75MW ST.

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#139 Post by monotonehell » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:01 am

mshagg wrote:
monotonehell wrote: That's what was 'said' after the fact. At the senate hearing they admitted that it was broken and has been since 2013.
Do you have any sources/links? Because this is contrary to everything else that's out there.

Given they didn't announce the closure of the second generator until mid 2014 and ran at full tilt until 2015.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sout ... c0d79b2047

And FWIW this was a private enterprise from the start. The government didn't "sell" Pelican Point, because they never owned it.

http://www.gdfsuezau.com/about-us/asset ... er-Station
Sorry, I think I misinterpreted what the Engie rep said.

There's not been much reported about the federal select committee hearing held in Adelaide a couple of days ago. (The one where AGL didn't even show up.)

What the Engie rep said was that for 2013, and 2014 the second plant was "not viable". At the time I thought he meant it was not able to be put online. But now reading the only report I can find. I think he meant that it was running at a loss. So in 2015 they mothballed it.

I can't find the report I read a coupe of days ago, only thing I can't find with Google is this:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-20/s ... rs/8287118

Edit: Wikipedia have an up to date story, based on Engie's press releases alone:
Reduced operation
Since March 2013 the power station has generally operated at half capacity due to over-capacity in the South Australian region of the National Electricity Market. Grid generation capacity was reduced in early 2016 when the Northern Power Station closed. Generation at Pelican Point was increased to full capacity at the request of the South Australian government for at least a week in July 2016, due to much of the state's wind generation being offline due to damaging high winds, and the Heywood interconnector being unavailable due to works associated with a planned increase in its capacity.[2] It returned to only operating one unit (half capacity) and the owner claimed that the National Electricity Market rules prohibited the second unit from responding to a request for electricity market responses on 8 February 2017.[3] The result was that the extremely hot weather in Adelaide plus little wind to drive wind turbines led to the market operator requiring "load shedding" for 27 minutes during the evening electricity demand peak.[4] The owner later clarified that it is not allowed to bid into the market if supply cannot be guaranteed, and it did not have a current gas supply contract for the second unit. It was able to respond promptly once directed to do so on 9 February during continuing high temperature weather.[5]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelican_P ... _operation
Exit on the right in the direction of travel.

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#140 Post by PD2/20 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:57 am

monotonehell wrote: Sorry, I think I misinterpreted what the Engie rep said.

There's not been much reported about the federal select committee hearing held in Adelaide a couple of days ago. (The one where AGL didn't even show up.)

What the Engie rep said was that for 2013, and 2014 the second plant was "not viable". At the time I thought he meant it was not able to be put online. But now reading the only report I can find. I think he meant that it was running at a loss. So in 2015 they mothballed it.

I can't find the report I read a coupe of days ago, only thing I can't find with Google is this:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-20/s ... rs/8287118

Edit: Wikipedia have an up to date story, based on Engie's press releases alone:
Reduced operation
Since March 2013 the power station has generally operated at half capacity due to over-capacity in the South Australian region of the National Electricity Market. Grid generation capacity was reduced in early 2016 when the Northern Power Station closed. Generation at Pelican Point was increased to full capacity at the request of the South Australian government for at least a week in July 2016, due to much of the state's wind generation being offline due to damaging high winds, and the Heywood interconnector being unavailable due to works associated with a planned increase in its capacity.[2] It returned to only operating one unit (half capacity) and the owner claimed that the National Electricity Market rules prohibited the second unit from responding to a request for electricity market responses on 8 February 2017.[3] The result was that the extremely hot weather in Adelaide plus little wind to drive wind turbines led to the market operator requiring "load shedding" for 27 minutes during the evening electricity demand peak.[4] The owner later clarified that it is not allowed to bid into the market if supply cannot be guaranteed, and it did not have a current gas supply contract for the second unit. It was able to respond promptly once directed to do so on 9 February during continuing high temperature weather.[5]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelican_P ... _operation
Looking at the AEMO generation data for July 2016 as presented by Aneroid http://anero.id/energy/fossil-energy/2016/july shows that Pelican Point was brought into service on Thu 14 July. From that time on till now it was then generating periodically at either 160MW or 220 MW, with the one exception on 9 Feb 2017 when it reached 330MW. Note that on Aneroid, since PPt is listed as having capacity of 0MW, the % option always displays 0 output and you need to select the MW above the display. It is then useful to deselect the Subtotal and Total check boxes and to selectively select generators and states through the check boxes below the display. The generator abbreviations can be decoded from the list by state that appears below the check box section.

A striking aspect of the thermal generation since the middle of last year is that the other gas turbine generators (Osborne combined cycle and the open cycle GTs at Hallett, Quarantine, Ladbroke Grove and Mintaro) have been operating fairly regularly. Is it the larger size of the PPt units that means that they has not been offered for dispatch?

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#141 Post by mshagg » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:54 am

monotonehell wrote: Sorry, I think I misinterpreted what the Engie rep said.
All good! They took their time getting the transcript from the hearing up on the website, so no one really had any source material to refer to.

Anyways the transcript is up now:

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/sea ... %2F0000%22

The bollocking of the Engie reps starts from the first page.

Long story short, their initial advice to AEMO is 4 hours to get the second burner running. When AEMO actually put the call in, they went about sourcing gas and then advised it could be on within the hour. That was at 6pm, so already too late as load shedding started a few minutes later.

Plant ran at a loss for 3 years before they mothballed the second generator.

They miss out on most of the windfall from $14k spot prices due to hedging arrangements with retailers that made, effectively through CFDs at their trading desk.

The rest of it reads like a bit of a hospital pass to AEMO. "They figure out how much power everyone needs, we just generate what we're asked to".

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#142 Post by Aidan » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:00 am

mshagg wrote:Long story short, their initial advice to AEMO is 4 hours to get the second burner running. When AEMO actually put the call in, they went about sourcing gas and then advised it could be on within the hour.
This is quite worrying. I always thought we had enough gas in the pipelines that sourcing it was unnecessary from a technical POV, and from an economic POV the generation companies could use today the gas they'd otherwise be using tomorrow, and source more gas for tomorrow afterwards. If that's not the case, why is it not the case and what must be fixed so that it becomes the case?
D2/20 wrote:Is it the larger size of the PPt units that means that they has not been offered for dispatch?
No, it's the fact that unlike most of our gas turbines which are Open Cycle, the Pelican Point gas turbines are Combined Cycle. This means that they have a steam stage as well as a gas stage. The gas stage of CCGTs is less efficient than that of OCGTs, but when the steam stage is operating too, CCGTs become significantly more efficient. However the steam stage takes a few hours to get going.

The problem is the combination of less demand for baseload power (due to the electricity we generate from wind) and cheaper baseload power from coal (because gas is now expensive and the externalities aren't priced into the cost of coal) means OCGTs are better suited to our needs than CCGTs - or at least they were before Port Augusta's power stations closed down. The closure of Hazelwood will also make CCGTs more profitable, and sourcing some of our energy from solar thermal will also favour the use of CCGTs for backup.
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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#143 Post by mshagg » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:18 am

Aidan wrote: This is quite worrying. I always thought we had enough gas in the pipelines that sourcing it was unnecessary from a technical POV, and from an economic POV the generation companies could use today the gas they'd otherwise be using tomorrow, and source more gas for tomorrow afterwards. If that's not the case, why is it not the case and what must be fixed so that it becomes the case?
From my reading of their comments, physically, as in, molecule by molecule, it was the same gas as would have otherwise been burned in the primary turbine. But their supply contracts for gas are no doubt run pretty tight and based on forecasted dispatches to the power grid, forcing them to the spot market if they need to acquire more. Prices on the spot market apparently ranged between $8 and $34 (per unit - a petajoule I think?) when they did the ring-around.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to allow them 20 minutes to come up with a figure for what it's going to cost if AEMO forces them to fire up an otherwise decommissioned bit of plant. Given their standing estimate of 4 hours to get up and running, AEMO shouldn't be calling them up 20 minutes before lights out to ask the question.

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#144 Post by bits » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:51 am

Engie has incentives to keep Pelican Point mostly offline.
While offline there is less supply and higher prices for their subsidised critical coal plants in Vic.

The rules of the NEM are broken and do nothing to attempt to ensure power supply or even price control to consumers. The NEM simply ensures the most amount of profit for the generators when they feel like generating.
AEMO proved they are unable to forecast and secure power to cover demand with their management and the current NEM.

There should be requirements for readiness of plants and penalties for lack of supply.
We could create rules that gas supply at reasonable prices to local generators when required is a priority over exports.

Or we nationalise generators which enables the supply of power to consumers as a priority over maximum profits.

AEMO, SAPN and Engie put at risk the health of 90,000 people because of a priority of profit over the supply of power to consumers.
That is a failure that can't be accepted and anyone that chose to risk the health of 90,000 people because profit was at risk need to be removed from their positions.
Removing that control from their hands is step number 1.

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#145 Post by Vee » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:55 pm

AEMO works in the interests of the gas industry.
Recent puzzling decisions and inaction have come in for criticism.

Victoria is accusing AEMO of favouritism to NSW during the recent heatwave, where regional Victoria (eg Bendigo and Ballarat) was set to get load shedding to keep NSW powered up.
Victoria is ... demanding the operator of Australia's main electricity grid explain how the state came close to losing electricity during the recent extreme heatwave to ensure NSW avoided power outages...

Victoria was told to prepare for outages in western Victoria including large regional centres on February 10 even as the state was busy exporting surplus power to NSW and enduring heatwave conditions ...

... AEMO's chairman ... made the call to the Victorian government, explaining the main transmission line needed to remain at maximum rating, and that to do so might require parts of Victoria to be sacrificed to ensure supply.
NSW shut down a power hungry Tomago smelter in the Hunter Valley during the heatwave to reduce demand on power. Some power outages occurred in NSW and ...
...Victorian blackouts turned out to be unnecessary but the threat remained live ... for hours.
Accountability:
"The lack of transparency from AEMO is unacceptable, especially when this private company is not subject to FOI requests and the power companies have 40 per cent ownership"... (Greens spokesman)
More:
SMH:
http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/v ... 223-gujkud

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#146 Post by Aidan » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:12 pm

mshagg wrote:
Aidan wrote: This is quite worrying. I always thought we had enough gas in the pipelines that sourcing it was unnecessary from a technical POV, and from an economic POV the generation companies could use today the gas they'd otherwise be using tomorrow, and source more gas for tomorrow afterwards. If that's not the case, why is it not the case and what must be fixed so that it becomes the case?
From my reading of their comments, physically, as in, molecule by molecule, it was the same gas as would have otherwise been burned in the primary turbine. But their supply contracts for gas are no doubt run pretty tight and based on forecasted dispatches to the power grid, forcing them to the spot market if they need to acquire more. Prices on the spot market apparently ranged between $8 and $34 (per unit - a petajoule I think?) when they did the ring-around.
Gas spot prices this month ranged from $4.35 to S$4.54 per gigajoule. But unlike electricity, gas doesn't need to be consumed immediately, and AIUI there's plenty of it stored in the pipeline.
It doesn't seem unreasonable to allow them 20 minutes to come up with a figure for what it's going to cost if AEMO forces them to fire up an otherwise decommissioned bit of plant. Given their standing estimate of 4 hours to get up and running, AEMO shouldn't be calling them up 20 minutes before lights out to ask the question.
AEMO certainly shouldn't've waited so long to call them, as it does take time to get the turbines running. But once the call had been made, there should not have been any further delay while they were arranging to buy gas! They should use the gas as soon as they need to, and deal with the financial stuff afterwards.
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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#147 Post by claybro » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:40 pm

Aidan wrote:AEMO certainly shouldn't've waited so long to call them, as it does take time to get the turbines running. But once the call had been made, there should not have been any further delay while they were arranging to buy gas! They should use the gas as soon as they need to, and deal with the financial stuff afterwards.
A private business cannot work on the assumption of supplying a consumable (in this case electricity) and worry about the cost of the raw material (in this gas) afterwards.
Surely simple solution is for each state government to build small regional gas fired power stations to supplement local power as required, powered by stored gas, purchased at a stable reasonable price. Maybe the day of the interconnected nation wide grid is over as large areas of wind and solar generation and lack of storage will be a problem for the foreseeable future.

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#148 Post by bits » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:54 pm

claybro wrote: A private business cannot work on the assumption of supplying a consumable (in this case electricity) and worry about the cost of the raw material (in this gas) afterwards.
Isn't this what the electricity industry is attempting to do to consumers with spot price charging?
Users such as supermarkets are being forced to spot pricing where you can not determine ahead of time what your costs will be.
Only the generators are protected but they can screw the consumer? Sounds like you work for AEMO Image

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#149 Post by claybro » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:57 pm

bits wrote:
claybro wrote: A private business cannot work on the assumption of supplying a consumable (in this case electricity) and worry about the cost of the raw material (in this gas) afterwards.
Isn't this what the electricity industry is attempting to do to consumers with spot price charging?
Users such as supermarkets are being forced to spot pricing where you can not determine ahead of time what your costs will be.
Supermarkets sell more than one product, and electricity is only one component of multiple input costs. Different story for an electricity generator. Only one product, and the raw material their biggest ongoing cost.

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Re: Another widespread power outage in SA

#150 Post by rev » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:11 pm

This country is about to become the biggest producer of gas in the world and we can't even have a steady reliable supply of a natural energy source that is in great abundance not only in our state but even more so nationally.

We seriously need a real national party with a nationalist leader whose going to actually put Australia first and not just talk about it every election cycle.

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