News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

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SRW
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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#556 Post by SRW » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:20 am

New report from Australia Institute pats SA on the back for its leading renewables example, which also renders nuclear a non-starter for the country:
Nuclear power not the answer as renewables continue to boom in Australia, report finds on ABC News
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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#557 Post by PeFe » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:40 pm

I find the resurgence of the nuclear debate in Australia quite bizarre......driven by the right wing of the Liberals-Nationals who really never investigate the cost of their fantasies (and these are the same people who advocate themselves "better fiscal managers" every election)

As for the Senate enquiry......what a waste a huge waste of tax payer dollars.....any moron (or right winger) can spend one hour on the internet trolling through mountains of easily available information on the cost and logistics of nuclear power.

And now I am going to talk about why Australia should NEVER ever consider nuclear energy as a power source.

Why...the answer is simple....Hinkley Point nuclear power station in the UK.

Hinkley Point is a 2000 mw nuclear facility currently under construction...designed to be a carbon-free 24/7 dispatchable power source.......unfortunately now the worlds most expensive power station : original cost 18 billion pounds ( $A35 ) final cost....yet to be determined... the construction work is 2 years behind schedule (apparently very common on nuclear builds).

How much the final build cost will be....is a hot political potato in the UK. The British media is now unable to find out the latest costing because the Uk government does not want any more bad publicity.......speculation in the media of the final cost is around 40-50 billion Australian dollars....
And on course being nuclear powered, the ongoing costs are huge (large staff numbers, supply, security....)

And how do you pay for all this? You screw over the local population by legislating that the power from the nuclear station must be bought by the electrical retailers at a cost of........$195 mwh wholesale !!!!......for the next 35 years !!
And there is a cpi component to the price.....because the power station is yet to open if the UK has 5% percent inflation in the next few years then this will added to the price.

Dont know the relevance of that $195 mwh?....well last year the Victorian government auctioned future power contracts to solar and wind farms at $50-55
mwh wholesale.

Why use Hinkley Point as an example for Australia?
Because the Uk has a similar regulatory and cost structure to Australia.....if it costs that much in England it ain't gonna be cheaper here!

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#558 Post by PeFe » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:57 pm

And now for some good news...I thought the Ceres wind farm project was dead and buried....apparently not.
From Renew Economy
Massive South Australia wind farm, undersea cable project wins new approval

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Long held plans to build a 630MW wind farm on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, and help power Adelaide via an undersea cable, have taken a major step forward after a revised development application was given the green light.

Wind energy giant Senvion said on Tuesday that the $1.6 billion project would use fewer – but larger and more efficient – turbines, after the state government approved a variation to the Development Approval.

It said the total number of turbines had been reduced from 187 to a maximum of 170, using the latest wind turbine technology, with an increased maximum tip height of up to 220 metres, and an increased rotor diameter of up to 160 metres.

The ambitious project also includes plans for a high voltage undersea cable, coupled with a synchronous condenser and flywheel, which Senvion says will contribute to increased network security and reliability for the South Australia grid.

“The Ceres Project wind farm is one of the largest renewable energy projects in Australia and the first to connect a capital city to wind power via an undersea cable,” the project website says.

“With no overhead power lines, the Ceres Project will bring clean power to 225,000 homes via a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connection under the Gulf of St Vincent directly into Adelaide’s power grid.

It’s the second revision to the project, following an earlier amendment in September of 2017 that increased the length of each turbine blade from 57 metres to 70 metres, thus reducing the number of turbines required from the originally planned 197, to 187, at a height of 93m.

Full article : https://reneweconomy.com.au/massive-sou ... val-62508/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#559 Post by PeFe » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:14 pm

And now the Australian Energy Regulator is suing the Pelican Point gas plant over the 2017 blackout.
This follows the AER suing 4 wind farms over the 2016 blackout....

I think these court procedures will bring some unwanted attention on the way energy is manged in this country....('We didn't ask the second gas plant to be available during the heatwave because we have no interest in South Australia and we dont look at 7 day weather forecasts".....this is what I would like someone to admit in court)

From The ABC
Pelican Point Power Station taken to court over 2017 South Australian heatwave blackouts

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The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has launched legal action against the operator of a gas power plant in Adelaide, alleging it failed to notify authorities it had spare generator capacity which could have helped South Australia avoid widespread blackouts in 2017.

The 2017 blackouts, which occurred during heatwave conditions on the afternoon of February 8, left 90,000 homes and businesses without power.

The outages were the result of "load shedding", which occurs when electricity demand outstrips available supply.

The AER alleges that for several months before the blackouts, the owner of the Pelican Point Power Station failed to provide accurate information to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) about the availability of its generators.

"The AER alleges that Pelican Point did not disclose to AEMO … that one of the generators at its Pelican Point Power Station was capable of being made available on 24 hours' notice," AER chairwoman Paula Conboy said.

"We allege that until late in the afternoon of February 8, 2017, AEMO was unaware it had the ability to issue a direction to Pelican Point to make the full capacity of Pelican Point Power Station available.

"As a result, AEMO's ability to manage power system security was impaired."

The AER is seeking declarations, penalties and costs from Pelican Point Power Limited, which is owned jointly by Engie and Mitsui & Co.

Full article : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-27/ ... s/11452320

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#560 Post by SRW » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:37 pm

Liberals have privatised (2 x 25-year leaseholds to Infigen & Nexif) the emergency generators Labor bought for the state. Apparently still to be relocated and connected to gas, just not into a super plant nor under state control. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-28/ ... s/11457824
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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#561 Post by PeFe » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:49 pm

SRW wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:37 pm
Liberals have privatised (2 x 25-year leaseholds to Infigen & Nexif) .......
SRW I am not picking on you, but would South Australians (especially the Liberal government and the South Australian media) stop using the word "privatise" when they actually mean something else.....

The diesel generators have not been "privatised" but rather leased.....a big difference.....the South Australian government retains ownership but operation and revenue goes to the lesee....for 25 years.

Same for the proposed "outsourcing" of the train and tram operation except in that case the revenue reverts to the state whilst the operational management is "outsourced" for a price.

ETSA, SA Water, Bank SA were all "privatised".......assets and operational control were all transferred to third parties with no further government control.

Now back to the diesel generators leasing......not such a bad idea......the SA government will recoup costs of the generators, more power available for the state in heatwaves and more power to export to Victoria (number 1 candidate for power blackouts next summer)

I wonder whether the SA government portion of the Hornsdale big battery is next on the agenda......got to be worth $80-$100 million on the open market...

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#562 Post by SRW » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:06 pm

PeFe wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:49 pm
SRW wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:37 pm
Liberals have privatised (2 x 25-year leaseholds to Infigen & Nexif) .......
SRW I am not picking on you, but would South Australians (especially the Liberal government and the South Australian media) stop using the word "privatise" when they actually mean something else.....

The diesel generators have not been "privatised" but rather leased.....a big difference.....the South Australian government retains ownership but operation and revenue goes to the lesee....for 25 years.

Same for the proposed "outsourcing" of the train and tram operation except in that case the revenue reverts to the state whilst the operational management is "outsourced" for a price.

ETSA, SA Water, Bank SA were all "privatised".......assets and operational control were all transferred to third parties with no further government control.

Now back to the diesel generators leasing......not such a bad idea......the SA government will recoup costs of the generators, more power available for the state in heatwaves and more power to export to Victoria (number 1 candidate for power blackouts next summer)

I wonder whether the SA government portion of the Hornsdale big battery is next on the agenda......got to be worth $80-$100 million on the open market...
I understand what you're trying to say but semantically you're fighting a losing battle, especially as the media will shorthand context with the word the audience knows best. Public assets not always strictly sold off; even ETSA will theoretically return to government control one day (albeit still 180 years away...).

Regarding the generators, so long as they're converted to gas and the government retains emergency directives, it seems like a reasonable deal.
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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#563 Post by bits » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:05 am


PeFe wrote: ETSA, SA Water, Bank SA were all "privatised".......assets and operational control were all transferred to third parties with no further government control.
Etsa and SA water assets are still owned by the sa government and exclusive control of operation is leased out.

Etsa, SA water and buses have a similar "privatisation" with trains and trams about to join them. Operation = outsourced, ownership of asset = government.

If you want to keep score outsource of the operation of the government owned assets in electricity, water, buses, train and tram will have all occurred under SA liberal government.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#564 Post by muzzamo » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:14 am

bits wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:05 am
Etsa and SA water assets are still owned by the sa government and exclusive control of operation is leased out.
Getting more specific, SA Water is a government owned corporation, with some independence from government but also a lot in common - for example, staff are given HR rankings - instead of being an ASO4 you are a SAW4.

In common with SA Power Networks, as a monopoly they have regulatory business periods and the price they set and the amount of money they can spend on capital works is approved every 3 (?) years by the regulator.

From memory they own and operate all the regional assets, then metropolitan water operations are outsourced under a managed services contract to AllWater. The Government-owned SA Water do everything else including customer contact, managing their huge capital works program, environment, marketing & billing.
Last edited by muzzamo on Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#565 Post by Listy » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:26 am

These emergency generators are essentially modified aircraft engines (which shows just much power a modern passenger jet requires!). But it also suggests 25 years is probably about their expected lifespan, so they might be coming out of lease just as they need decommissioning (if they're still in use by then).
https://www.ge.com/power/gas/gas-turbines/tm2500

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#566 Post by bits » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:47 am

The point nearly everyone is making is that a long term lease is regarded as privatised, that is common use of language.

This is selling the usable life of the asset.


With these now to be in general operation means their purpose of having the ability to inject another 273mw in to the system will be lost.

They will already be running on peak days for normal use - some other infrastructure will then either be offline, decommission or never built.
When SA needs an unscheduled emergency injection of input, this capacity will already be in use and therefore not available.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#567 Post by bits » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:04 pm

You either believe the emergency generators were never required and should have never been built - aka SA Labor were planning to waste 600mil of tax payers money on a bad idea. 400mil of this loss will now not be spent.

Or you believe the emergency generators were a reasonable idea and SA Liberal have just wasted 200mil of tax payers money exiting the plan.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#568 Post by PeFe » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:19 pm

bits wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:47 am
The point nearly everyone is making is that a long term lease is regarded as privatised, that is common use of language.

This is selling the usable life of the asset.


With these now to be in general operation means their purpose of having the ability to inject another 273mw in to the system will be lost.

They will already be running on peak days for normal use - some other infrastructure will then either be offline, decommission or never built.
When SA needs an unscheduled emergency injection of input, this capacity will already be in use and therefore not available.
Thank you for those who corrected me on the status of ETSA AND SA Water, I believed they had been "totally privatised". I did not realise that they were on extremely long leasehold arrangements...the ETSA one is a doozy......180 years till it returns to government control.

The train and tram "outsourcing" will probably be a 3-5 year contract, and the criticism that "they will raise fares and cut services" is not valid.
That will remain a government prerogative, not the winner of the operational contract.
I have read on other transport forums that "There is not a lot of fat to cut with train and tram operations as they are already a low cost/low staff setup"

And back to the diesel (soon to be gas generators) I see no loss in their leasing, they will be operating during heatwaves according to need instead of being constantly held in reserve.....decreasing SA's reliance on the Haywood Connector to Victoria and increasing the gas capacity from 3300 mw to 3573 mw.

There is plenty more electrical infrastructure to be built in South Australia (solar farms, wind farms and storage) These gas generators will not be stopping that.....

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#569 Post by bits » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:56 pm


PeFe wrote: There is plenty more electrical infrastructure to be built in South Australia (solar farms, wind farms and storage) These gas generators will not be stopping that.....
I disagree.
These generators are now in the supply vs demand pool. They will lead to 273mw of generation to not be built by someone else. It will not alter anything to do with Haywood interconnect once the 273mw is absorbed in to the market.

For me there was no requirement for the government to build a general power station for someone else. Supply and demand in the market leads to a private company building a power station.

These generators were intended to fill gaps on peak days where the private market supply vs demand has failed. As happened in January this year.

Agreeing to privatising these generators does mean you would have been happy to not have power on days like occured in January 2019 due to the private market failing to cover such edge cases.


Maybe 600mil was too much to cover the edge cases and we are just better off with no power.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#570 Post by SRW » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:38 pm

PeFe wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:19 pm
The train and tram "outsourcing" will probably be a 3-5 year contract, and the criticism that "they will raise fares and cut services" is not valid.
That will remain a government prerogative, not the winner of the operational contract.
I have read on other transport forums that "There is not a lot of fat to cut with train and tram operations as they are already a low cost/low staff setup"
Which ought make you question the entire rationale for 'outsourcing' as you put it. How will the supposed profit motive be satisfied? My fear is we'll end up subsidising a private business to operate a public service, when there are no obvious disadvantages to its continued public operation other than impediments to neoliberal employment standards and creative accounting. But its a debate been had in another thread, so won't go deep here.
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