News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#736 Post by PeFe » Fri May 29, 2020 1:29 pm

Article from Renew Economy discussing pumped hydro v battery storage benefits and requirements.
The article is quite technical I wish the author had explained the arguments in laymans terms.
He specifically looks at South Australia at the end of the article.
Let’s talk about battery storage, and why it’s so much easier than pumped hydro

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Despite all the talk about pumped hydro in Australia and the need for deep storage, and despite the apparent advantages of flow batteries, what the market is actually opting for is lithium batteries of one flavour or another.

That’s true in Australia at least in the private sector – and if you aren’t one of the federal government’s “captain’s pick” – and it’s true globally.

For one data point let’s look at Tesla quarterly shipments. Tesla is now presenting its data in a way that is almost professional.

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Cumulative deployments are 3.5GWh and Tesla remains, apparently capacity constrained.,

Alternatively the US based NextEra Energy (the world’s best utility in my opinion) shows its battery backlog of committed orders has grown four times in two years. Note this data is in MW, of interest to me is that a significant portion of the backlog is of 4-hour duration.

NextEra states it expects US billion of business in 2021 from battery installations.

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So we can’t add Tesla and NextEra due to overlap. Tesla’s order book is global and NextEra’s is confined to the US.

A digression to residential, via SolarEdge
Another company, in ITK’s view, to keep an eye on is SolarEdge, which only started in 2006 but is now the world’s No 1 inverter company. SolarEdge could grow so much because in truth it’s a small market.

You get to be No 1 globally with only $US1.4 billion of annual revenue. Of course, if the China market came back Huawei would shoot up the rankings again.

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And SolarEdge isn’t even in the utility inverter market or yet in the battery market, but it’s coming. In 2018 it bought Kokam, a South Korean battery pack and cell manufacturer, and is in the process of expanding Kokam’s factory, but SolarEdge isn’t waiting for that. Its sourcing its storage offerings from outside the company.

In a recent conference call the SolarEdge CFO stated he expects in a few years that basically every residential solar unit will come with storage.

Residential storage is not really the focus of this note, but I can’t move on without mentioning Energeia’s forecasts of the residential market in Australia.

AEMO basically ignored these numbers, as far as I can work out, even though they commissioned them, when they prepared the Integrated System Plan.

Energeia used “agent based” modelling to derive their forecasts, which sounds fancy. But in this case what it boils down to is that more and more households will install batteries because (i) battery costs will fall and (ii) feed-in tariffs will also fall. As a result, the ROI (return on investment) on a battery will increase.

So every year a bigger portion of new rooftop solar installs will have batteries.

You can also have an interesting discussion about use of household, or community batteries in terms of controlling the grid.

In my view, batteries are el primo when it comes to grid control, but the software to run the entire system rather than just isolated collections of assets is still a good way off.

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Figure 4 Source: Energeia 2019, NEM solar and battery residential systems

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Figure 5 Source: Energeia 2019. NEM battery capacity

What’s driving batteries over pumped hydro?
The short answer is that batteries are wonderful at FCAS (frequency control and ancillary services). Equally, batteries are really easy to do if the economics are supportive, but pumped hydro is incredibly difficult to do.

For a battery, you order it, you jump through a few antiquated regulations, you find a spare bit of land and 3-6 months later, certainly less than a year, you are up and running.

For pumped hydro, unless you are in the middle of the Queensland outback you can expect to have years of environmental and geology discussions. Literally years. It almost reminds me of the Monty Python skit about how tough it was in Yorkshire.

Getting your transmission inter-connector through the cold dead hands of the RIT-T (regulatory investment test) and its proponents is child’s play compared to getting your pumped hydro project up in someone’s favourite wilderness spot.

Then, of course, battery prices are coming down. I don’t usually do this but I’ve removed the numbers and axis from ITK’s forecasts so I suppose they aren’t much use.

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Figure 6 Battery costs for various durations. Source: ITK

The forecasts are based on a standard learning rate function using industry estimates of global battery volume growth.

The learning rate estimates the reduction in unit cost for a doubling of global installed capacity.

Tesla megapack is an example of cost reduction
For batteries of the 1MW and up scale, and if you are in the Tesla ecosystem, the Megapack is replacing the PowerPack.

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Tesla claims a ten times faster installation and a 40 per cent smaller footprint for a “Megapack” over the equivalent capacity of linked “PowerPacks”.

There is a 60% increase in energy density. A 40% smaller footprint implies lower land cost but also lots less expensive wire. Tesla claims a 250MW/4 hour battery can be deployed in 3 months on a 1.2 hectare site, etc.

The point is this is not just expectations in a spreadsheet, but real world cost reduction happening very quickly. Despite the hype, Tesla is probably neck and neck with Fluence globally in the lithium battery market, and Fluence may well be bigger in the utility market with around 2 GW of business.

Batteries do get cheaper with duration
Figure 5 shows storage getting cheaper per hour as duration increases. That is: a 4 hour battery is much cheaper than a one hour battery at least in 2020.

The reason that you don’t, so far, see four hour batteries in Australia is that the value case for batteries today is in FCAS and you don’t need much duration for that.

The following chart, derived initially from NREL data, divides a battery into three components, the cell, no duration unit cost benefit, the inverter, full duration unit cost benefit and remaining BOS, some duration benefit.

A 1 MW inverter works just as well on a 4 hour battery as a 1 hour battery. By the time you get to 4 hours, it’s the cell cost that dominates.

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Battery value stack
Despite all the good news on battery prices, even in 2025 ITK still expects that 6-8 hour duration batteries will require about $80-$90/MWh of margin per hour..

That is 6 hours x $90 or about $450 per day per MW of usable capacity to produce a 5% IRR (internal rate of return). That’s if they were used purely for time shifting or energy arbitrage.

What’s interesting is that a pumped hydro plant also requires about $90/MWh for 6 hours duration on a daily cycle. And that’s even if pumped hydro costs come in at the optimistic end of the scale.

And they won’t do that if pumped hydro doesn’t get an opportunity to move down the learning rate curve.

And lets face it, we’ll be lucky if there is more than one or maybe two new pumped hydro plant is operating in the NEM by 2025, but I’ll be surprised if there aren’t about 1-2 GW of utility scale batteries operating by then.

And the reason is that all the other value services that batteries can provide, not only and principally frequency control, but also the ability to provide current, and the ability with other equipment to stabilise voltage. All of that in an instant.

The University of Queeensland recently ran a fantastic seminar on their 1.1 MW battery and the associated UQ battery analysis. Its required reading for anyone wanting to understand the topic. However, the graph that is of interest here is the frequency performance.

The battery went from charging almost flat out to fully discharging in less than 1 second.

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Provision of these services takes only a very small amount of battery capacity but produced the majority of the revenue for this battery in this quarter.

Bottom line. Batteries are really, really good at frequency control.

But how much duration is needed?
ITK contends that the duration of required storage is related to the VRE (variable renewable energy) fraction of energy.

A standard way to look at this is to look at VRE production in a region over the past 12 months and then gross it up. I.e, if NSW had 500MW of wind operating last year, then 5000MW of wind would produce ten times as much energy every half hour of the year.

Of course wind patterns will vary a bit from year to year but nevertheless we can hopefully get a good idea of output. Quite a few studies have now been done and as we start to build up wind and solar output all around the NEM we get a better idea of the portfolio effect.

There’s an awful lot to be said about this, but not much space today. Still, let’s look at South Australia.

We start by showing wind and solar output compared to demand on an hourly average. VRE is 61% of demand in this period and the period included when Sth Aust was islanded and supplying the Portland aluminium smelter. And that smelter, in that brief period, operated without a hitch.

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A couple of summary stats:

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Given enough transmission NEM wide correlations are what we should focus on, but here let’s look at Sth Australia in isolation

Looking at the correlation matrix reminds us why statistics have to be considered carefully. But on the face of it there is a low correlation between VRE and demand (bad) but rooftop is reasonably correlated with demand (good).

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So with that background what we did is grow VRE supply by 5/9 = 55% so that average VRE output is equal to average demand.

This produces periods of surplus VRE (which is ignored but can be treated as storage charging opportunities) and shortage. On a daily average.

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Then we looked at the duration of shortfalls. That is we counted how many consecutive half hours at a time VRE would be less than demand in a particular half hour.

There were 226 negative runs, that is at least a full hour where VRE was less than demand even though on average over the entire 8 months VRE equalled demand.

In this simple case it’s not the quantity of the shortfall but the duration that we focused on.

The longest short fall was 188 half hours, basically 4 days.

That was unusual of course. 30% of the time 4 hour storage was enough and 8 hours of storage would be enough 50% of the time. 85% of the time the requirement was 18 hours or less.

The chart below has “shortfall duration runs” on the horizontal axis and the vertical axis shows the cumulative percentage of runs ordered by number of half hours of each run.

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What we conclude from this is what we have always known. A portfolio approach to firming power is needed. Some firming energy will run every day and can earn a return in the energy market.

Other firming capacity of much longer duration, let’s say its gas, will be needed very occasionally and it’s probably more appropriate to pay for it through a capacity market.

Of course, batteries can always run consecutively, rather than concurrently, and demand response has a role.

Imagine, for instance, if Portland Smelter just ramped down its output by 20% for 4 days. Would that damage its pots? Very unlikely.

Clearly though these sorts of numbers suggest a roll for pumped hydro with duration of 10-25 hours. But only Tasmania Hydro and Snowy 2.0 are currently talking about offerings in this space.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/lets-talk-a ... dro-50625/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#737 Post by PeFe » Fri May 29, 2020 2:56 pm

Sanjeev Gupta may start building his massive Whyalla solar farm in July. Excellent timing if so to pump lots of money/jobs into the SA economy.
From In Daily
Bright hopes for SA solar farm go-ahead

Work on the long-awaited 280-megawatt Cultana Solar Farm north of Whyalla could begin as early as July.

The project on a 1100ha site north of the Whyalla Steelworks is the first large scale project in billionaire industrialist Sanjeev Gupta’s plan to generate one gigawatt of dispatchable renewable energy in South Australia.

SIMEC Energy Australia is part of Gupta’s GFG Alliance and is delivering the project through an Engineer, Procure and Construction (EPC) partnership with Shanghai Electric.

SIMEC CEO Marc Barrington said final regulatory approvals and a transmission connection agreement were expected in the coming months with financial close on track for the July Quarter of this year.

He said the planned 13-15 month construction period could then commence straight away with potential completion by the end of 2021.

“All of our financing is sorted and our contracting structure is all sorted, really it’s just awaiting the outcome of the regulatory processes,” Barrington said.

“We’re already going to tender at the moment for a whole bunch of works – everything from perimeter fencing through to security service providers and we’ve undertaken many phases of early works so we can go very quickly once we get those final regulatory approvals.”

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Construction of the solar farm on land north of Sanjeev Gupta's Whyalla Steelworks could begin as early as July.

The site, about 10km north of Whyalla, is set to house 780,000 solar panels capable of generating 600GWh of energy generation per year, enough to power 96,000 homes.

The project will also use a new technique during construction where the ground is rolled flat to allow the panels to be installed rather than graded to remove all vegetation.

The technique was developed by Glenn Christie from South Australian company Succession Ecology, and proved during testing at Cultana in December 2018.

By only rolling the ground where the panels are to be installed, the loss of vegetation is minimised and the low-growing plants in the rolled areas are able to recover quickly.

Barrington said maintaining vegetation and biodiversity were not the only benefit as the groundcover helped suppress dust, which had caused problems at other arid zone solar farms.

“We’ve trialled it on site and it certainly works – it creates a great environment for the flattened saltbush to regrow because there’s already vegetation that’s alive and growing but it’s also economically good for the project because you need to use less water for dust suppression and helps keeps the panels clean,” he said.

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The rolling technique was successfully trialled at Cultana in late 2018.

“Dust is a huge inhibitor to generation for solar panels so we think that’s going to give it dividends as well.

Barrington said the project would also be the first of its kind in Australia to use an automated robotic vehicle to clean the panels with compressed air and brushes, helping to limit the use of water on the site.

“There’s a benefit to the environment we’re going to be occupying but also there’s a commercial benefit in the panels maintaining their efficiency and there’s a massive community benefit in making sure you’re not creating dust issues, which is not just about people’s washing, it’s about the habitability of the place.

“These projects are going to be long in people’s memories and part of the community for a long time so starting well and starting properly is the best thing you can do.”

British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta began investing in South Australia in 2017 when he purchased the struggling Whyalla Steelworks from Arrium and announced the Cultana Solar Farm as part of his one‐gigawatt dispatchable renewable energy program in August 2018.

He has also announced a A$600 million plan to expand and modernise the Whyalla Steelworks.

Other proposed GFG Alliance energy projects in South Australia’s Spencer Gulf region include the 100MW Playford Utility Battery at Port Augusta and the Middleback Range Pumped Hydro Project on Eyre Peninsula.

Barrington said the Playford battery project was awaiting the outcome of a grant application with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) while pumped hydro storage as well as other solar and wind locations around Australia were also being considered.

“It is all part of Sanjeev’s plan of bringing green steel to a reality and also to bring better-costed power to Australian manufacturing,” he said.

“We don’t have a behind the meter connection, we will connect straight into the grid but the steel mill will have contracts in place that will effectively utilise the financial hedge that comes out of the solar farm so it’s certainly going to be put to good use.

“The drivers of the project are the sustainability element of it, everything from community through to the low emission nature of the generation.

“There will be up to 750 jobs on that site at its peak and we hope it has a really good benefit to the community when it starts.”

https://indaily.com.au/news/2020/05/27/ ... -go-ahead/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#738 Post by PeFe » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:30 am

Latest on managing large solar input from non controlled home/business sources and Tesla battery.
From Renew Economy
South Australia fast-tracks energy plan to dodge blackouts and meet 100% renewables goal

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The South Australia Liberal government has announced a new energy package to ensure the state can reach its target of net 100 per cent renewables by 2030, including a commitment to fast-track a new transmission line to NSW and allowing the market operator to effectively switch off rooftop solar to protect the grid.

The new South Australia Energy Plan has been prompted by new analysis by the Australian Energy Market Operator, which suggests that the growing amount of rooftop solar will mean that the state grid could experience “zero operational demand” within the next one to three years – much earlier than expected – and it needs to be able to “shed” rooftop solar on rare occasions to avoid the risk of a state-wide blackout.

The AEMO report says that South Australia is the first gigawatt scale power system in the world to approach zero operational demand due to the growth of distributed resources. This had been expected to occur by 2025, but the increasing growth of rooftop solar – now around 200MW a year – means it could happen much earlier, with big risks to the grid if not properly managed.

It is particularly concerned about the ability of South Australia to operate as an “energy island” – as occurs when the main link to Victoria is lost – and wants to introduce a “back-stop” measure that allows it to manage up to 500MW by this coming spring.

Rooftop solar is the obvious choice until other major loads – hot water etc – or new storage can be introduced as a “solar soak”, or the new link can be built by 2023.

AEMO says new smart meter remote energisation capabilities that will apply to newly installed rooftop solar PV – and other measures that could affect already installed PV – means that it could have 1GW of “backstop” that could be shed in an emergency, and until the new link to NSW boosts its security. It says this will be rarely used.

AEMO and state authorities argue that the ability to “shed” rooftop solar should not be controversial, as all other generators need to dial down their output when there is insufficient demand. However, until now, rooftop solar has been considered a “must run” source of generation, largely because much of its output is invisible (consumed in the home) and till now cannot be controlled.

The South Australia government says that rather than trying to block new solar installations, it is responding by fast-tracking new standards that will allow AEMO to exert that control over the growing amounts of rooftop solar, and household batteries, and ensuring that the new link to NSW gets built on time.

“The South Australian government will demonstrate genuine leadership by achieving net 100 per cent renewable energy through an orderly transition which delivers economic growth and competitive power prices for South Australian homes and businesses,” energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said in a statement.

The decision to fast-track the $1.5 billion Project EnergyConnect line from Robertstown and Wagga Wagga, rather than waiting for a laborious regulatory review to be completed, means that South Australia will become the third state forced to “go it alone” on major infrastructure investments out of frustration with Australia’s energy regulatory regime, which is being branded as no longer fit for purpose.

South Australia already sources more than 55 per cent of its electricity supply from local wind and solar – a record high for the world and a significant achievement given its relatively weak connection to the rest of the Australian grid.

The new 800MW link to NSW is considered essential to create a bigger market for the state’s growing wind and solar resources and to support the grid as it heads towards the goal of net 100 per cent renewables, which the state Liberal government says it wants to reach before 2030.

AEMO says the new link is essential. The regulator has already given in-principle support to the project, but there are yet more regulatory processes to follow and the state government is concerned that its strict “economic” tests might not grasp its importance to grid security.

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The new report from AEMO has forced the state government to step in, and means it cannot wait for the laborious regulatory process – a common complain about the failure of Australia’s regulators to keep up with the rapidly changing nature of energy technology, particularly the shift towards what AEMO describes as a “distributed, digital and democratised” grid through rooftop solar, battery storage and electric vehicles.

“Without it (Project Energy Connect), South Australians face unacceptable power system security risks, a moratorium on new rooftop solar, as well as expensive interventions to bolster the grid and retrofit existing solar house by house,” van Holst Pellekaan says.

To deal with this, South Australia will also fast-track the introduction of new standards that will enable AEMO to exert some control over rooftop solar systems, this includes upgrading inverter standards that means rooftop solar and battery storage can be both observed, managed controlled.

The state government is also providing $10 million to South Australia Power Networks to upgrade its voltage management. This is to help deal with the problems identified in the new AEMO analysis which points to the risk of up to 400MW of rooftop solar in the Adelaide region being disconnected by voltage disturbances.

It also flags new constraints on the Heywood inter-connector, the main link between South Australia and Victoria – to reduce system risk until the new link is completed. It involves reducing the amount of imports into the state, particularly at times of high rooftop solar production.

And AEMO will also be given power to “switch off” rooftop solar if it deems it necessary to maintain security on the grid. These powers, foreshadowed in various regulatory reviews and work on distributed energy roadmaps, will be fast-tracked for South Australia.

The South Australia government is the third state government to vent frustration with Australia’s complex and laborious regulatory process, with both the Victoria and NSW governments opting to go their own way on much needed network infrastructure.

Of course, the previous South Australia Labor government also went out on its own after voicing frustration at load-shedding in February 2017, when the state’s most modern gas generator sat idle as a combination of a heat wave, generator failures and a network software error caused tens of thousands of customers to have their power cut off.

That energy security plan led to the construction of the Tesla big battery at Hornsdale, still the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in the world and about to be expanded, and another back-up plan to install emergency diesel generators. These are now being leased to renewable energy companies and being converted to fast-start gas generators to “firm” the output of wind and solar.

The Clean Energy Council says it welcomes the South Australian government’s commitment to 100 per cent renewable energy and the acceleration of a range of reforms to better prepare and integrate these technologies into the energy system.

“The South Australian Government has recognised the incredible success of renewable energy to date, and has now set a firm plan for getting to 100 per cent renewable energy,” CEO Kane Thornton said in a statement. “This is the future, and the Clean Energy Council looks forward to working with the South Australian Government to make this a reality.

Thornton said the Project EnergyConnect had been burdened by a regulatory process and RIT-T (regulatory investment test) that is no longer fit for purpose,.

The plan also recognises the importance of leveraging smart technology built into solar power systems. By updating regulations and standards to catch up with the latest technology developments, South Australia can ensure that rooftop solar better supports the grid and empowers customers to manage their power better and reduce energy bills.

Thornton also said that many of the measures proposed by the South Australian Government echo those outlined in the Clean Energy Council’s Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Roadmap in September 2019.

“We need to change the way that we manage solar and battery systems and how they interact with the grid,” said Thornton. “New rules are required to mandate technological capability and new markets to make the best use of the capabilities already at our disposal.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/south-austr ... oal-43196/

...and the Tesla battery
Tesla big battery expansion gets regulatory nod, testing to begin soon

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The Tesla big battery at Hornsdale in South Australia – already the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery installation – has been given regulatory approval for its expansion, with testing for the bigger battery expected to commence in the next two weeks.

The approval was announced late Thursday by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia approving a variation to the licence of the Hornsdale Power Reserve – the battery’s official name – to increase its size from 100 megawatts to 150 megawatts.

Its full dimensions will expand from 100MW/129MWh to 150MW/194MWh, with the additional storage scheduled to be used to provide “synthetic inertia” and help deliver even more of the grid services traditionally supplied by fossil fuel generators.

The expansion of the Hornsdale battery is a key component of the South Australia Liberal government’s plan to reach its target of net 100 per cent renewables by 2030. The Hornsdale battery is one of three operating big batteries – along with Dalrymple North and Lake Bonney – with others in the pipeline.

The S.A. commission said it undertook a round of public consultation in relation to the application and received no submissions from stakeholders.

“The Commission assessed Hornsdale Power Reserve Pty Ltd’s application for an electricity generation licence against the relevant provisions of the Electricity Act 1996 and the Essential Services Commission Act 2002 and determined that all relevant criteria under those Acts have been satisfied. It has therefore approved the application,” it said in a brief statement.

It is expected that formal testing of the expanded battery, which will deliver a range of new services, and which has been supported by the state government, ARENA and the CEFC, will begin soon. It had hoped to be on line in March with the expanded capacity, which was first announced last year.

Curiously, the commission also published a statement saying that the Lincoln Gap wind farm, the site of a proposed 10MW/10MWh battery, had withdrawn its application for a variation of its licence.

RenewEconomy understands this is a procedural matter pending an application to change the turbine supplier for the neighbouring Lincoln Gap wind farm near Port Augusta. The battery has been installed, but not yet commissioned.

The Hornsdale battery, meanwhile, has been a resounding success, both for the state government that helped underwrite its construction by signing a 10-year $40 million contact to supply emergency back-up, for the grid operator which has found it has played a critical role in keeping the lights on, as well as to consumers and the owners itself.

Hornsdale owners Neoen recently announced that the battery had delivered a five-fold increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2020, primarily from its key role in supporting the state grid when it was operating as an “islanded” after a major storm tore down the main transmission line that links it to Victoria. The market operator said the big batteries played a critical role in keeping the lights on.

Neoen has also said that the battery has delivered more than $150 million in cost reductions to the networks from its interventions in the frequency control market, which had traditionally been dominated by the incumbent gas generators.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/tesla-big-b ... oon-51075/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#739 Post by PeFe » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:09 pm

Weather forecasting technology for solar and wind farms to be tested in South Australia.
from Renew Economy
Australian solar and wind forecasting technology to be live tested on S.A. grid

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Australian-made real-time solar and wind energy forecasting technology is set to be live-tested on the South Australian grid, after receiving nearly $1 million in financial backing from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The technology, developed by New South Wales-based company Solcast, aims to provide high-accuracy weather forecasts to help better manage the “variability” of solar and wind energy generation and provide more accurate information for grid operation.

ARENA said on Wednesday that it had assigned $994,685 in grant funding to Solcast to conduct a Gridded Renewables Nowcasting Demonstration project over the course of 12 months on Australia’s highest renewables network.

“South Australia now leads the world with its dependency on renewable energy generation, particularly rooftop solar,” said Solcast co-founder and CTO, Dr Nick Engerer. “Through this project, we’ll ensure it does the same with weather forecasting technology.”

The need for greater forecasting ability has been highlighted by two recent reports by the Australian Energy Market Operator – one the specifically looks at South Australia, which is heading towards net 100 per cent renewables by 2030, and the other the review of the last summer’s battles with record temperatures and bushfires.

The proof of concept demonstration will track the real-time evolution of weather systems over the state, forecasting the positions and characteristics of cloud cover, and improving forecasts of wind-speeds at the wind turbine nacelle-height.

This will be done using a range of data sets and data streams, including historical surface meteorological measurement data and wind and solar farm weather data, to develop high-quality forecasts.

The forecasts will then be shared via project partners, Weatherzone and Tesla, to be assessed and used by AEMO, the local distribution network operator (SA Power Networks), and generator asset operators.

The trial aims to deliver high-resolution forecasts in five-minute intervals, for 1-2km of grids across South Australia. It will also focus on six-hour ahead forecasting, ARENA said, to provide more accurate information for grid operation and enhanced management of generation, energy storage, and demand response.

The overarching goal is to give the renewable energy industry enhanced situational awareness and more precise forecasts to support the management of the grid. To this end, AEMO will undertake a key role in testing and verifying the project outputs.

Formed in 2016, Solcast is an Australian-based company co-founded by meteorologists James Luffman and Dr Engerer, that started out providing data and modelling tools for solar power systems.

The company’s solar forecasting tool has proven to be able to predict the daily output of distributed solar generation systems with up to a 90 per cent probability and was last year integrated into the University of New South Wales-developed APVI Live Solar Map.

Having established an impressive team of data scientists and software developers, Solcast now has bases in Canberra and in Glasgow, Scotland, and has built up a customer base of more than 6000 users across the world.

The company has also had previous dealings with ARENA, through the federal government agency’s $9 million short-term forecasting round to deploy eight stand-alone self-forecasting trials at solar farms in the NEM.

For this trial, however, the scope is much bigger, and promises to help both solar and wind farms, as well as networks and the grid overall.

“Renewable generation forecasts, particularly in the intraday time-frame, are critical for effective management of the electricity system with growing shares of large-scale variable renewable energy, energy storage, distributed energy resources and emerging demand management capability which are at the front and centre of innovation in the energy industry,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller in a statement on Wednesday.

“If Solcast’s Nowcasting project delivers positive results for South Australia, we could see it rolled out to the rest of the National Electricity Market as we see growing renewable energy generation in other states and territories,” he said.

AEMO’s acting chief operations officer, Matthew Clemow, said the market operator looked forward to supporting the project and working with Solcast on this highly innovative initiative trial.

“Situational awareness and operational forecasting are critical functions for AEMO as the generation fleet becomes increasingly weather dependent,” Clemow said.

“We are confident that through this initiative, Solcast, backed by ARENA, will provide enhanced forecasting products and services to support our role in shaping a better energy future for all Australians.”

Australia’s minister for energy and emissions reduction, Angus Taylor, has also welcomed the trial, which is in keeping with his oft-repeated desire for a “secure and reliable” electricity supply and “keeping the lights on.”

“This project aims to better equip the energy sector with the information it needs to tackle one of the significant challenges renewable energy generation presents to the National Electricity Market,” Taylor said.

“The information will provide a greater real-time awareness of the electricity supply, helping them to maximise the value of existing renewable energy, stabilise the grid, avoid sudden disruptions and keep the lights on.”

https://reneweconomy.com.au/australian- ... rid-93539/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#740 Post by PeFe » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:46 pm

Here's one I missed from last week. Its a new gas/solar power plant 60 km NE of Adelaide.

Its 380 mw gas, 12 mw solar and 30 mw batteries......I find this combination very interesting, why solar panels and batteries combined with a gas plant?
Modern gas plants have the ability to "turn up the power" and "turn down the power" with 5 minutes notice......a perfect fit with a large renewable based grid. So why have the solar and batteries?

Do they want to get a cut of the (FACS) frequency control market that the Tesla battery has so successfully engaged in. Also the article says they want to export to Victoria and eventually to NSW (if the new interconnector is built) but these new gas plants usually sell their product for a premium price (rumoured around $150 mw wholesale).

There is no way they will be selling electricity at that price interstate when solar/wind is going at about $50 on average weekdays. (Obviously summer heatwaves are a different kettle of fish but how many days a year does Australia have those...10..12?)

From The Australian Financial Review
$650m hybrid power project in SA gets green light

A $650 million power station project in South Australia that will utilise gas and solar power to deliver 422 megawatts of dispatchable power into the electricity grid has been given the green light by South Australian authorities, with construction to begin next year.

The Summerfield Hybrid Grid Firming Power Station is to be built on farm land at Tepko, about 60km east of Adelaide by privately-owned company SAPGen Pty Ltd, after gaining approval from the SA Planning Minister Stephan Knoll.

It would be the third largest power station in the state behind AGL Energy's Torrens Island station and Engie's Pelican Point operation in Adelaide's industrial north-west suburbs.

SAPGen managing director Ben Lee said the Summerfield project would create about 700 jobs during construction, which was earmarked to begin next year.

Image
The Summerfield project will feed into the national electricity grid via the Victorian interconnector and eventually, the SA-NSW interconnector. Bloomberg

Once the power station was up and running it would employ 106 people in a full-time capacity. The closest largest town is Mannum, next to the River Murray.

The Summerfield project, named after a nearby Lutheran church, is predominantly gas-fired. It comprises eight combined cycle fast-start gas turbines capable of producing 380 megawatts of power, 30 megawatts from storage batteries, and 12 megawatts from an array of 40,000 solar panels.

A 512-page planning document shows the storage batteries will be housed in a large storage shed encompassing 800 square metres.

Mr Lee said the Summerfield project would be able to generate enough electricity to supply 550,000 houses.

It is located close to an existing high-pressure SEA Gas pipeline, while a high voltage transmission line operated by ElectraNet already runs through the allotment, which is currently used for low-grade cropping and cattle grazing.

The aim is to also provide power into Victoria through the Heywood interconnector, and eventually into New South Wales via the proposed NSW-South Australia interconnector.

GE is providing the technical knowhow for the project.

GE Australia Country Leader Sam Maresh said the Summerfield project was a ''significant development'' for South Australia’s energy market because the plant would deliver an instant response to changes in renewable generation supply and demand, using gas to provide dispatchable power that will back up wind and solar energy.

He said the new power station would provide the firming capacity the market needs.

The State Commission Assessment Panel in South Australia has given the all-clear for the project.

SAPGen expects the Summerfield power station will be feeding electricity into the grid in 2022.

"The development of this project will enhance the reliability and security of energy supply in the National Electricity Market,'' SAPGen's Mr Lee said.

He said it would also deliver substantial benefits to the economy and help to reduce electricity prices. South Australia's unemployment rate climbed to 7.9 per cent in the national unemployment figures out on Thursday, equal with Queensland and behind Western Australia at 8.1 per cent.

AGL in November, 2019 switched on a $295 million fast-start gas-fired power generator in South Australia in time for summer peak demand.

The Barker Inlet generator on Torrens Island about 25 kilometres from the Adelaide CBD was the first addition of on-demand generating capacity in the National Electricity Market for seven years.

https://www.afr.com/companies/energy/65 ... 618-p553u5

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#741 Post by SBD » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:43 pm

The AFR has it employing twice as many people as when the Murray Valley Standard reported the proposal in January. https://www.murrayvalleystandard.com.au ... s-biggest/

This is not far from the proposed Pallamana solar power station and the Tailem Bend one which is restricted in its output because it doesn't have gas or battery backup. Perhaps the gas plant on the SEAGas pipeline will sell "firming services" to solar farms, without ever having to actually generate anything at all!

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#742 Post by PeFe » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:29 pm

SBD wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:43 pm
The AFR has it employing twice as many people as when the Murray Valley Standard reported the proposal in January. https://www.murrayvalleystandard.com.au ... s-biggest/

and the Tailem Bend one which is restricted in its output because it doesn't have gas or battery backup.
No you are incorrect. and the article says it will have a battery!

If the Tailem Bend solar farm is still restricted from selling its maximum amount of power (and I am not sure they are) it is because of some regulatory hurdles regarding connection to the grid (technical specifications like power outage safety protocols etc)

Bungala Solar Farm has no gas or battery reserve back up....Snajeev Gupta's Cultana Solar Farm will have no gas or battery reserve backup......

Its a large gas power plant with a few solar panels and a battery....

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#743 Post by PeFe » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:08 pm

I have just worked out how this new gas plant will operate!

It will powered by solar power......yes that's right solar power......the solar panels will generate really cheap electricity to run the plant and fill the battery...

Meanwhile all the expensive gas will be used to generate very expensive power for the South Australian consumers!

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#744 Post by SBD » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:32 pm

PeFe wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:08 pm
I have just worked out how this new gas plant will operate!

It will powered by solar power......yes that's right solar power......the solar panels will generate really cheap electricity to run the plant and fill the battery...

Meanwhile all the expensive gas will be used to generate very expensive power for the South Australian consumers!
Practically, I expect that if this is built, it will enable Torrens Island to be shut down without major disruptions. AGL's Barker Inlet is smaller than even the Torrens A that it's supposed to replace. This would provide modern (turbine) gas generation to replace the rest of Torrens Island. AGL (in SA) will become predominantly wind, with gas backup.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#745 Post by claybro » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:05 pm

PeFe wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:46 pm
There is no way they will be selling electricity at that price interstate when solar/wind is going at about $50 on average weekdays. (Obviously summer heatwaves are a different kettle of fish but how many days a year does Australia have those...10..12?)
A daily check on the Energy Matters website indicated that over a 2 week period recently, the whole of SE Australia, and Queensland was obtaining renewably generated power at an average of less than 10% on most days. Even SA with its saturation of solar and wind power struggled to crack 20% mix on some days-and then only for a handful of hours. Well over 95 percent of generation overnight was by gas in SA and coal in the other states. There was a widely reported "wind drought", and solar generation in mid winter, even in Qld peaks for only a few hours. Continuing to put up wind turbines and solar panels will not help in these conditions-the 3 SE states were largely experiencing the same still cold conditions as is common at this time of year. Despite all of the renewable generation constructed in the last decade, and the claims of the ability to generate over 50% and more renewable etc, we still have lengthy periods lasting days where this generation will never be adequate. Solar and wind generators could price their power at zero, but under these conditions they have no power to sell. Renewable generators either need to provide equal available output via gas/coal or battery (not possible yet) or subsidise the the cost of customers having to source their power elsewhere-then their true cost will be known. As we continue to decommission the old coal generators, then gas will have an essential part to play, most days for the foreseeable future, and we will pay dearly for it. The renewable companies should be made to contribute to this cost.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#746 Post by Spurdo » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:05 pm

If only the federal government had built the Heavy Water Reactor at Jervis Bay then we probably wouldn’t need to worry about having a failing South Africa-tier Power grid.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#747 Post by SRW » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:20 pm

Why should renewables subsidise gas? That's absurd to me, presupposing both the continuing cost of gas and the absence of other options? In any event, we (emphasised, because we own it) have an abundance of gas; it's only expensive because we haven't reserved it for our use first, exports second.
Keep Adelaide Weird

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#748 Post by SBD » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:14 am

Spurdo wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:05 pm
If only the federal government had built the Heavy Water Reactor at Jervis Bay then we probably wouldn’t need to worry about having a failing South Africa-tier Power grid.
If we'd had a nuclear power station since the 1970s, it would be due for retirement anyway. We'd still be discussing whether a new one was the right solution for the 2020s, exactly the same as we are discussing building new thermal power stations to replace aging ones.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#749 Post by claybro » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:25 pm

SRW wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:20 pm
Why should renewables subsidise gas? That's absurd to me, presupposing both the continuing cost of gas and the absence of other options? In any event, we (emphasised, because we own it) have an abundance of gas; it's only expensive because we haven't reserved it for our use first, exports second.
Electricity supply is an essential service. Any company supplying to the grid should be required to be able to supply 24/7, 365 days per year. If their method of generation does not allow for that, they should be required to supply backup generation or provide a subsidy to their consumers when sourced elsewhere. Why should a foreign company, have a guaranteed captive market for their product, and also be able avoid any obligation to supply that product as required. I believe electricity generation should be re-nationalised, so all requirements for supply are factored in, and priced accordingly.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#750 Post by PeFe » Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:34 pm

claybro wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:25 pm
Electricity supply is an essential service. Any company supplying to the grid should be required to be able to supply 24/7, 365 days per year. If their method of generation does not allow for that, they should be required to supply backup generation or provide a subsidy to their consumers when sourced elsewhere.
I find that a really stupid argument......why would you want to get rid of sources that provide cheap electricity 50% of the time for South Australian consumers?

We used to have 2 cheap airlines......should Tiger have been banned because they only provided 1 or 2 cheap flights a day to Sydney? Just because Qantas provided 12 filghts to Sydney (at a higher price) doesn't mean that Qantas should be given a monopoly.....

Claybro you perpetuate this notion "24/7 power" as though there is some sort of issue providing power 24 hours a day in this country.....there is not.
Why do we need heaps and heaps of power at 3am? We don't because (obviously) there is little demand at 3am because for what I know of the electricity market demand at 3am is probably around 30-40 percent of average daytime demand. I can not think of one occasion in this country where there is a shortage of supply overnight....

Yes there is one exception to all these arguments....heatwaves, yes demand skyrockets during late afternoon, early evening, resources are stretched to the max. This was the situation pre renewable energy and will be an issue issue into the future until a really cheap storage solution comes with renewable energy.

I can can remember a blackout in Adelaide in the summer of 78-79 (or was it 79-80?) when the power just vanished at about 5pm on a weekday. It was only 38 degrees but the grid couldn't cope because everybody had turned their air-conditioners on at the same time creating a power surge.....

If we sacrifice wind and solar for higher priced power sources then electricity prices will rise...

https://theconversation.com/wind-and-so ... ces-119979

https://www.energymagazine.com.au/whole ... over-2019/

Here is my guestimate for the cost of new power plants in 2020 dollars

Solar...........$50 mwh wholesale price (Source : any of the new solar farm in Australia)

Onshore Wind.......$50 mwh (Source : any of the new winds farms in Australia)

Offshore Wind......$100 mwh (Source : proposed Star of the South wind farm off Victoria, this price could blow out because off-shore wind farms are
complicated builds)

Coal...........$125 mwh (Source : proposed new coal plant in North Queensland, I believe this cost is an a deliberate under estimation ...if the
government said yes tomorrow I doubt whether it would be open until 2028-2029-2030, complicated build)

Gas.......$150 mwh (Source : rumourd cost of gas from new Barker Inlet gas plant in South Australia, no one is quoting real price because of commercial
confidentiality)

Large Nuclear.........$190 mwh (Source : large new nuclear plant in Britain, Hinkley Point, will charge this price for electricity. Also SA Royal Commission
into Nuclear Energy quoted $184 in 2016, future costs are likely to blow out)

Small Nuclear..........$238 mwh (Source : SA Royal Commission into Nuclear energy, the real price would be much higher as 2020's progress)

The wholesale price of electricity makes up 33% of your electricity bill.....

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