News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

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SBD
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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#916 Post by SBD » Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:14 pm

Nort wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:54 pm
1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:33 pm
SBD wrote:
Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:56 pm


Have all of the pumped hydro projects been canned? Two seem to still have web sites and future dates for construction starts.
* Baroota Reservoir
*Goat Hill
The one at the quarries in Highbury was canned. I don't get why it's so expensive compared to batteries. Pumps, turbines and pipes are not that expensive.
Summary of costs here: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament ... umpedHydro

Costs add up when you need lots of pipes and turbines, and seems like once you have that base in place it's relatively cheap to add more storage to extend how long it can provide power.

Suspect that most of our plans have involved pumped hydro that is designed for relatively short periods of grid instability, where you still have the same fixed costs.
I suspect Highbury was canned for the safety aspect of having a large expanse that might look like lawn, but suddenly gets inundated if the power is needed.

The AGL proposal in the Kanmantoo Mine was canned in part because the mine operators decided to dig underground from the bottom of the pit.

Baroota "...is being designed for between 200 and 270 MW of capacity and storage for up to 8 continuous hours of generation."

Goat Hill claims 1835MWh for 8 hours at 230MW and up to 250MW, using 3GL of water from the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline. That presumably requires a Murray flood to be allowed to take that amount of water for the initial fill.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#917 Post by Nort » Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:22 am

SBD wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:14 pm
Nort wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:54 pm
1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:33 pm


The one at the quarries in Highbury was canned. I don't get why it's so expensive compared to batteries. Pumps, turbines and pipes are not that expensive.
Summary of costs here: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament ... umpedHydro

Costs add up when you need lots of pipes and turbines, and seems like once you have that base in place it's relatively cheap to add more storage to extend how long it can provide power.

Suspect that most of our plans have involved pumped hydro that is designed for relatively short periods of grid instability, where you still have the same fixed costs.
I suspect Highbury was canned for the safety aspect of having a large expanse that might look like lawn, but suddenly gets inundated if the power is needed.

The AGL proposal in the Kanmantoo Mine was canned in part because the mine operators decided to dig underground from the bottom of the pit.

Baroota "...is being designed for between 200 and 270 MW of capacity and storage for up to 8 continuous hours of generation."

Goat Hill claims 1835MWh for 8 hours at 230MW and up to 250MW, using 3GL of water from the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline. That presumably requires a Murray flood to be allowed to take that amount of water for the initial fill.
I wonder what the practicality would be of building pumped hydro in the far west of the state. Lots of coastline there with steep drops from land to the sea level. Could the equipment handle salt water?

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#918 Post by SBD » Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:36 pm

Nort wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:22 am
SBD wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:14 pm
Nort wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:54 pm


Summary of costs here: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament ... umpedHydro

Costs add up when you need lots of pipes and turbines, and seems like once you have that base in place it's relatively cheap to add more storage to extend how long it can provide power.

Suspect that most of our plans have involved pumped hydro that is designed for relatively short periods of grid instability, where you still have the same fixed costs.
I suspect Highbury was canned for the safety aspect of having a large expanse that might look like lawn, but suddenly gets inundated if the power is needed.

The AGL proposal in the Kanmantoo Mine was canned in part because the mine operators decided to dig underground from the bottom of the pit.

Baroota "...is being designed for between 200 and 270 MW of capacity and storage for up to 8 continuous hours of generation."

Goat Hill claims 1835MWh for 8 hours at 230MW and up to 250MW, using 3GL of water from the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline. That presumably requires a Murray flood to be allowed to take that amount of water for the initial fill.
I wonder what the practicality would be of building pumped hydro in the far west of the state. Lots of coastline there with steep drops from land to the sea level. Could the equipment handle salt water?
Interesting thought. Site selection would be challenging to ensure safety for the equipment and workers at the foot of the cliffs. The other consideration would be about whether the grid is big enough to carry the current to and from a site over there. I'd also like to see a big solar farm as far west as the grid can support. It would get the latest sunsets in the NEM, so could help with the evening peak demand.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#919 Post by Listy » Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:58 am

Nort wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:22 am
I wonder what the practicality would be of building pumped hydro in the far west of the state. Lots of coastline there with steep drops from land to the sea level. Could the equipment handle salt water?
There was one pumped seawater hydro station in operation in Okinawa but it closed a few years ago.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_Y ... er_Station
It was small (30MW) & cost about $40 million AUD to build (ie over $1000 / MW). Construction took more than 10 years. And there lie the main problems with many pumped hydro proposals in the ~100 MW range - similar scale batteries are now being built in the US for less (around $400 AUD / MW), and the cost is falling with every passing year. Batteries can be built quickly (6-12 months), and can be co-located at existing power generation sites, simplifying transmission & other infrastructure costs and planning approval processes. They can also be scaled up later with relative ease. Any investor thinking about pumped hydro today is going to be acutely aware that by the time their project is up and running, a bunch of batteries might have rendered their whole project obsolete.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#920 Post by PeFe » Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:12 pm

The NSW government have approved the final phase of NSW-SA interconnector.
Gas will be the biggest loser out of this.

From The Australian Financial Review
NSW gives key transmission line to SA green light

The NSW government has given the green light to the new $2.3 billion South Australia-NSW interconnector, which is expected to unlock more than $20 billion in new renewable projects in both states and reduce the risk of blackouts and shortages.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said stage one planning approval had been granted for the NSW Western Section of Energy Connect, a 900-kilometre transmission line that would run from Wagga Wagga to Robertstown in SA, with a spur line to Victoria

Image
The cable will be the first new transmission interconnector in the national market for 15 years. John Woudstra

“Today’s approval is a major step towards facilitating the delivery of what would be the largest energy transmission project undertaken in Australia in more than 30 years,” Mr Stokes said.

“The first stage will run from the Buronga substation to the Victorian border and create 600 construction jobs and inject $418 million into our regional economy.”

While critics of the new 330-kilovolt electricity transmission line say it will only push up costs to customers, proponents say it is crucial to connect new wind and solar projects to the grid and to provide system security to SA to ensure it is not “islanded” from the National Electricity Market.

It comes as the NSW government increased the state’s 2030 emissions reduction target from 35 per cent to 50 per cent over 2005 levels on Wednesday.

Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean said the project will accelerate progress under the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

“The Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap is our plan to replace our ageing electricity infrastructure and secure NSW’s future as a clean energy superpower,” Mr Kean said.

“This approval will help to unlock transmission constraints in southern NSW and help to open up the South-West Renewable Energy Zone.

ElectraNet chief executive confirmed in June the company had reached a final investment decision on its $457 million contribution to build the transmission line on the SA side of the border.

NSW transmission company TransGrid will contribute $1.8 billion for the transmission line on the NSW side. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation contributed a $295 million hybrid debt instrument to get the project across the line.

https://www.afr.com/companies/infrastru ... 929-p58vv1

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#921 Post by 1NEEDS2POST » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:11 pm

We need an electricity interconnector to Perth. That would be shorter than the Sun Cable and it would enable us to use solar power from WA an hour or two after our sunset.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#922 Post by SBD » Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:33 pm

1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:11 pm
We need an electricity interconnector to Perth. That would be shorter than the Sun Cable and it would enable us to use solar power from WA an hour or two after our sunset.
Maybe that will be a future project as part of reaching net-zero carbon. It could have a drop at each community on the way that currently runs diesel generators.

...or would it turn out to be cheaper to just install a solar array, a small wind turbine and a battery near each one?

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#923 Post by Listy » Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:50 am

SBD wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:33 pm
1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:11 pm
We need an electricity interconnector to Perth. That would be shorter than the Sun Cable and it would enable us to use solar power from WA an hour or two after our sunset.
Maybe that will be a future project as part of reaching net-zero carbon. It could have a drop at each community on the way that currently runs diesel generators.

...or would it turn out to be cheaper to just install a solar array, a small wind turbine and a battery near each one?
We might get an interconnector with WA one day - it would probably benefit WA more than the rest of the NEM though, as WA's grid is very vulnerable due to it's isolation. My guess is the cheapest route is probably undersea across the bight, so not much benefit to places like Eucla. They would be much better off with solar & wind combined with batteries / generator & the WA govt is fitting out such tech right now in a lot of remote communities, whereas an inconnector could be 20 years away if it's ever built.
The SA-NSW interconnector which is finally under construction is supposed to cost something like $2.5 billion for ~1000km of line, and the sun cable HVDC line would likely cost in the vicinity of $5-10 billion, so the costs involved are high. I think the final cost of sun cable (if it ever gets built) might determine how much appetite there is for a WA-SA link.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#924 Post by SBD » Sun Oct 10, 2021 9:41 pm

Listy wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:50 am
SBD wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:33 pm
1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:11 pm
We need an electricity interconnector to Perth. That would be shorter than the Sun Cable and it would enable us to use solar power from WA an hour or two after our sunset.
Maybe that will be a future project as part of reaching net-zero carbon. It could have a drop at each community on the way that currently runs diesel generators.

...or would it turn out to be cheaper to just install a solar array, a small wind turbine and a battery near each one?
We might get an interconnector with WA one day - it would probably benefit WA more than the rest of the NEM though, as WA's grid is very vulnerable due to it's isolation. My guess is the cheapest route is probably undersea across the bight, so not much benefit to places like Eucla. They would be much better off with solar & wind combined with batteries / generator & the WA govt is fitting out such tech right now in a lot of remote communities, whereas an inconnector could be 20 years away if it's ever built.
The SA-NSW interconnector which is finally under construction is supposed to cost something like $2.5 billion for ~1000km of line, and the sun cable HVDC line would likely cost in the vicinity of $5-10 billion, so the costs involved are high. I think the final cost of sun cable (if it ever gets built) might determine how much appetite there is for a WA-SA link.
Another "driver" (sorry for the pun) of transmission lines east-west and north-south across the continent might turn out to be transport and mining.

Trucks and trains might not want to tow enough lithium around to be confident of completing their long journeys once they are no longer permitted to operate on diesel. Maybe the solution will be substituting hydrogen and fuel cells for the current diesel engines. If the solution is batteries but with smaller range, then either fast-charging stations will be needed with the capacity for trucks and trains, or there will be locomotive depots every so often, allowing for quick change over so the freight can continue its journey. Either way, the depots and remote mines are going to have to find an energy solution that doesn't rely on diesel or gas.

I can't yet guess which technology mix will win, and whether it is better to have lots of smaller fields of solar panels and isolated wind turbines, each with their own microgrid and battery, or whether linking them together with a smaller number of larger generators is more efficient overall. A single interconnected grid was preferred a century ago in the more populated parts of the country. Time will tell if expanding that is the optimal solution for more remote areas.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#925 Post by PeFe » Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:12 am

BHP to source electricity for its Olympic Downs mine from the Iberdrola solar and wind farm at Port Augusta.

From Renew Economy
BHP signs landmark renewable energy deal for huge Olympic Dam mine

Image

Global mining giant BHP says it has signed a landmark deal with Iberdrola Australia to slash its emissions at the giant Olympic Dam mine by taking power from the new Port August Renewable Energy Park in South Australia.

Olympic Dam is one of the biggest copper, gold and uranium deposits in the world, and PAREP will be Australia’s biggest wind and solar hybrid facility with 210MW of wind and 110MW of large scale solar when it is fully commissioned next year.

PAREP, which recently completed the installation of its last wind turbine, has been built near the site of the state’s last coal fired power station which was closed in 2016.

BHP says the contract with Iberdrola will slash emissions from the electricity supply to Olympic Dam by half, and it will also means the mine will become the biggest single customer for the new wind and solar project.

The move follows similar decisions by BHP in Queensland last year, where it signed a contract with CleanCo for half of the electricity needs from its coal mines to come from wind and solar, and in WA, where the Merredin solar farm will supply half of the electricity needs of its Kwinana nickel refinery.

It has also signed wind and solar contracts to help supply the mines supplying nickel to global EV and battery storage giant Tesla.

The exact details of the agreement between BHP and Iberdrola were not released, but Olympic Dam has in the past revealed that it consumes around 200MW of power at any one time for its mining and processing operations.

The deal between the two companies will include an “innovative” mechanism whereby BHP will acquire all of the large scale generation certificates (LGCs) for the contracted part of the renewable energy supply.

The deal will be managed by Origin Energy, and will also include a “firming” element from Iberdola, which also operates the Lake Bonney battery in South Australia, and two fast start gas generators it has leased from the state government.

“This is an industry leading achievement and an important step in the transition to 24/7 renewable energy supply,” the two companies said in a statement, noting it will reduce Olympic Dam’s emissions from electricity by 50% by 2025.

BHP Olympic Dam Asset President, Jennifer Purdie said:

“These arrangements will support an exciting new renewable energy project which will contribute to South Australia’s renewable energy ambitions,” BHP Olympic Dam asset president Jennifer Purdie said in a statement.

“Olympic Dam’s copper has an important role to play to support global decarbonisation and the energy transition as an essential product in electric vehicles and renewable infrastructure. Reducing emissions from our operations will further enhance our position as a sustainable copper producer.”

BHP has gone further with its giant Escondida copper mine in Chile, where it is aiming for 100 per cent renewable, courtesy of that region’s excellent solar and hydro resources.

Mining giants and big refineries and smelters across the country are turning to renewables, including Rio Tinto – which is looking at wind and solar for its Boyne Island smelter in Queensland and for its iron ore operations in W.A., and Fortescue, which is also planning massive investments in renewable hydrogen.

Fortescue is also investing in large scale solar farms and battery storage for its mining operations, while Oz Minerals is looking at a wind, solar and battery facility that will deliver at least 80 per cent, and possibly up to 100 per cent, of the power needs of the proposed new $1 billion nickel mine.

South Australia’s Liberal government has a goal of reaching “net 100 per cent renewables” by 2030, but given the state already delivers a 62 per cent share from wind and solar – despite grid constraints – and with new projects such as PAREP coming on line, it will likely reach that target much earlier.

State energy and mining minister Dan Van Holst Pellekaan said the deal between BHP and Iberdrola marked another step on South Australia’s pathway to cleaner, cheaper electricity for industry, businesses and households.

“The arrangements highlights the good sense of BHP, Iberdrola and other companies getting the generation mix right, including wind and solar farms, grid scale storage and fast start gas, to provide cleaner and more reliable electricity,” he said in a statement.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/bhp-signs-l ... -dam-mine/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#926 Post by PeFe » Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:08 pm

For those of you interested in the nuclear power debate I have recently read an article that summarises all the arguments quite neatly.

And who wrote this article? A journalist at The Australian, Financial Review, The Guardian or even the ABC? No.....it was written by Adelaidian Ronald Brakels for Solar Quotes blog website.

And the pro-nuclear brigade hit back in the comments column......if only mainstream media could reach this level of discourse.
Australian Submarines May Go Nuclear But Our Power Stations Never Will

Image

Australia recently decided to buy nuclear-powered submarines as part of the AUKUS pact with the UK and United States.

Assuming it goes ahead, the first sub may be ready around 2040. But while our submarines may have nuclear reactors, our power stations never will.

There is a simple reason Australia will never have nuclear power despite deciding to get reactors that wander around under the ocean. The reason is…

Nuclear power is too expensive for Australia.

Every other concern — whether it’s safety, waste disposal, decommissioning, insurance, or location — is irrelevant because nuclear energy can’t clear the first and vital hurdle of making economic sense.

Some suggest building nuclear power in addition to renewables because the threat from global roasting is so great we should fight emissions using every means at our disposal. But this would be counterproductive because:

Nuclear power consumes resources that would result in greater emission cuts if used for solar and wind generation plus energy storage.
In other words, $1 spent on solar power will cut greenhouse gas emissions far more than $1 spent on nuclear energy.

Finally, some people say we need nuclear power to provide a steady source of low emission baseload generation, but this suggestion is completely nuts. Even if we built nuclear power stations, they would soon be driven out of the market in the same way coal power is because:

Nuclear power has exactly the wrong characteristics to be useful in a grid with a high penetration of solar and wind.
Australia currently doesn’t have a nuclear power industry, and building submarines with American made sealed reactors that are never refuelled will do next to nothing to make nuclear power more cost-effective.

In this article, I’ll explain why nuclear power makes no economic sense in Australia, and at the end, I’ll also whinge a bit about nuclear submarines.

You may think I have zero qualifications to have an opinion on submarines, but I say being half-Dutch automatically qualifies me to talk about everything below sea level. Or, to be precise, half the things below sea level.

But if you don’t find that convincing and want a neutral viewpoint, you can read what a Finnish blogger has written about the AUKUS pact. As a Finn, I don’t think he understands some of the subtleties of our culture, and that’s why he thought a good name for a post on our Navy would be “A Pounding in the Pacific“.

Full article : https://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/sub ... -stations/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#927 Post by Nort » Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:22 pm

If Australia had been looking to reduce emissions 30-40 years ago then Nuclear Power would have been a good choice. However nowadays we could have most of the grid converted to renewables long before the first power reactors would be coming online.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#928 Post by PeFe » Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:37 pm

Possible South Australian small solar generation record today......

1317 mw at 1345 (NEM time)

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#929 Post by rev » Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:23 am

Nort wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:22 pm
If Australia had been looking to reduce emissions 30-40 years ago then Nuclear Power would have been a good choice. However nowadays we could have most of the grid converted to renewables long before the first power reactors would be coming online.
Apparently just 1% of the Sahara desert covered in solar panels is needed go power the whole world.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#930 Post by Spurdo » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:42 pm

rev wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:23 am
Apparently just 1% of the Sahara desert covered in solar panels is needed go power the whole world.
Which would probably have a capacity factor of <20%

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