News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

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rev
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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#931 Post by rev » Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:05 pm

National Party: No deal on net zero unless we go nuclear

A push by the National Party to develop a domestic nuclear power industry has emerged as a key sticking point as Scott Morrison looks for support for his 2050 net-zero emissions plan.

National Party dreams of developing a domestic nuclear power industry have emerged as a key sticking point in the quest to obtain its MPs support for Scott Morrison’s plan for net-zero emissions by 2050.

Last week the Prime Minister declared his desire to take an offer for Australia to move to net zero when he travels next week to the United Nations climate change summit in Glasgow.

The move has yet to be agreed to by National Party MPs, who have asked for a series of amendments to the plan which was outlined to them last Sunday by the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor.

National Party MPs are due to meet on Sunday to consider Scott Morrison’s response to their demands delivered to the Prime Minister by his deputy, Barnaby Joyce.

The Sunday Telegraph has been told the demands include changes to federal legislation that would open the way to nuclear power in Australia.

Nuclear power is banned in Australia under an act which states that no minister can permit the construction or operation of a nuclear fuel fabrication plant, a nuclear power plant, an enrichment plant or a reprocessing facility.

Several National Party MPs are on the record as supporting a domestic nuclear power industry and the issue was raised during last Sunday’s party room meeting.

One MP said he estimated that seven National Party MPs are holdouts for movement on nuclear power.

“It’s true to say a number of our members won’t support net zero without nuclear,” he said.

“If they don’t do nuclear there’ll be at least seven.”

A senior Liberal Party source said he expected there would be some concession on the issue.

Any move that would open the way to a domestic nuclear power industry would be likely to make it a battleground at the next election.

The ALP has a long-standing opposition to nuclear power in Australia.

Earlier this year Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese made Labor’s support of the Government’s plan to acquire nuclear submarines conditional on no changes to the domestic nuclear regime.
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/nat ... 02e1100d89

And UK author and former Extinction Rebellion spokesperson, Zion Lights, is now in favour of nuclear power.
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/technolo ... 4bc343eff8

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#932 Post by PeFe » Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:49 pm

Nuclear power ( like nuclear submarines) is very very very expensive. The UK decided in 2015 to build a large nuclear reactor, Hinkley Pt C. Originally budgeted at 35 billion dollars, current estimated cost 46 billion dollars. And whenever it finally opens they will be selling their electricity at $210 per mwh wholesale......plus cpi......for the next 35 years !

This currently compares to $50 per mwh wholesale for solar and onshore wind in Australia.

And when someone says "What about small nuclear!"....I will say the same thing back. I can't even find an example of a working small nuclear plant at the moment.....they are all prototypes, trying to work out how to make it work and of course there are "no prices available" to compare. Some articles I have read indicate that the power price is much the same as large nuclear which undercuts the whole idea of their existence.

Rolls Royce have intentions of trying to "modularise" small nuclear plants enabling them to be constructed faster and at a cheaper cost but I won't be holding my breath waiting. The prototype is not due to be finished until 2030.....by then South Australia will be 100% renewables.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#933 Post by PeFe » Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:15 pm

Synchon condensors have been installed finally at Robertstown and Davenport allowing more renewables to enter the South Australian power grid.

From The ABC
Renewables rollout and electricity grid security bolstered by 'shock absorbers' in South Australia

Image
One of ElectraNet's synchronous condensers during construction at Robertstown.(ElectraNet)

Five years on from South Australia's statewide blackout, technology to further stabilise the energy grid has been successfully installed at two sites in the state's north.

Poles and wires company ElectraNet said the four synchronous condensers that had been constructed would also help energy regulators grappling with the implications of the renewables boom.

The condensers act as "shock absorbers" for system faults, supplanting gas and diesel generators in that role.

They could also enable the grid to support more renewable energy more often.

"They operate 24 hours a day, every day, so in the event of a blip on the system, they're available to provide system strength immediately," spokesman Simon Emms said.

"I wouldn't go so far as to say it would prevent it, but it would definitely reduce the likelihood of another system blackout."

Two of the condensers have been constructed at Robertstown and another two at Davenport, near Port Augusta.

Each weighed about 170 tonnes, the company said.

"It has a flywheel, it has a large amount of momentum. In the event of a disturbance on the network, that provides the electrical inertia to power through the fault," Mr Emms said.

Under current energy rules, South Australia is at all times required to have a minimum of four traditional power stations in operation.

But the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said that number could be reduced to two because of the stability provided by the synchronous generators.

South Australia's reliance on renewables has accelerated since 2016 and the addition of the condensers complements a range of other measures, including giant batteries and a solar switch-off scheme, to manage that uptake.

The state already at times meets 100 per cent of its needs from renewable energy, and one in three South Australian homes are estimated to have solar capability.

"As our state's electricity network continues its transition towards renewable energy sources including wind and solar, we needed to ensure that these sources can be effectively managed and distributed in the grid," ElectraNet chief executive Steve Masters said.

"In the past, system strength has been provided by traditional power sources such as gas-fired units, but as more renewable energy enters the grid, traditional power sources operate less often, creating the shortfall [in system strength]."

Mr Masters said the cost of addressing that shortfall to the AEMO amounted to about $34 million "over the past 12 months alone".

He said, when passed onto consumers, the saving "on a typical bill" would amount to between $3 and $5 a year.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-26/ ... /100567580

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#934 Post by PeFe » Fri Oct 29, 2021 5:11 pm

South Australia makes big leap towards 100 pct renewables as wind and solar set free

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In the electricity grid, the transition to green energy is usually incremental. Growth in capacity and production is measured in megawatts and megawatt hours, while the changes in the share of fossil fuels and renewables ebb and surge in fractions of a percentage point.

That’s what makes the great leap forward in South Australia this past week all the more significant. On each of the past eight days, the state has reached a level of more than 100 per cent wind and solar.

On Monday, it reached 100 per cent renewables on solar only. On Wednesday, and again on Friday, it did the same trick with wind only. Indeed, at 2.05am on Friday, wind set a record share of 128.2 per cent of state demand, beating the previous record of 126 pct, according o Geoff Eldridge at NEMlog.

But the big event was news that the shackles are being released on the constraints imposed on the state’s vast and growing resources of wind and solar power. Until now a cap had been imposed for fear there was not enough “synchronous generation” to keep the grid stable.

That meant limits on how much wind could be produced at any one time, depending on prevailing demand, generation and the state of the transmission links to Victoria. Wind and solar had to make way for sufficient gas to be generated if needed.

Image

That’s no longer the case. On Monday, the local transmission company ElectraNet announced the installation of four synchronous condensers had been completed at Robertstown and Port Augusta.

These big spinning machines mimic the actions of gas generators, without burning any fossil fuels. Their mere presence means the limits on wind and solar can be relaxed – in certain conditions – to up to 2,500MW. That’s more than the current installed capacity, but not for long.

Keen grid watchers quickly noticed the changes. On Tuesday, one watcher noted, South Australia moved on from its normal limit of 1,300MW without ramping up the amount of gas generation.

Image

At 2.05am on Friday, wind set a record share of 128.2 per cent of state demand, beating the previous record of 126 pct, according o Geoff Eldridge at NEMlog.

It’s interesting to note that in the past year South Australia has averaged 62 per cent wind and solar, a world-leading figure. In the past month, that share has jumped to 72 per cent, mostly due to seasonal factors, and mild weather.

In the past week, the share of wind and solar has gone up to 81 per cent, and in the last three days it has jumped to 85 per cent, helped by the relaxation of grid constraints on the output of renewables.

The state Coalition government has a target of “net 100 per cent” renewables by 2030, but it is likely to reach that target well before then.

There will still be constraints on the output of wind and solar, but these will mostly be economic, and will mostly focus around the need for wind and solar farm owners to dodge negative pricing events – now mostly caused by the growth of rooftop solar – as much as they can.

The long term solution for those problems will be storage, new transmission links, and new load, such as the renewable hydrogen projects being contemplated, or the switch to renewable contracts like that of BHP, which will now source half of the power needs for its Olympic Dam mine from wind and solar.

Further leaps will come with the opening of the $2.3 billion project EnergyConnect transmission link to NSW, which will inspire a number of other wind and solar and storage projects to be built.

Batteries, operating in “virtual synchronous machine”, are likely to negate the need for more syncons, and will offer multiple other grid services and flexibility too.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/south-austr ... -set-free/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#935 Post by PeFe » Sun Oct 31, 2021 3:20 pm

Port Bonython hydrogen latest.

From Renew Economy
South Australia shortlists seven renewable hydrogen projects for massive export hub

South Australia has short-listed seven major renewable hydrogen projects for its proposed Port Bonython Hydrogen Hub as it ramps up plans to export wind and solar power to the world, as well as neighbouring states.

The state government says the projects amount to “tens of billions” of dollars of investment, and together could produce more than 1.5 million tonnes of green hydrogen a year, potentially turning the state into one of the most significant renewable hydrogen producers in the world.

South Australia already leads the world in the share of wind and solar in its grid. Over the past year, wind and solar has met more than 62 per cent of local demand, which has jumped to nearly 80 per cent in the past week after constraints were relaxed after the introduction of synchronous condensers.

It expects to reach “net 100 per cent renewables” by 2030 (likely well before then) and became an exporter of green energy through new “freeways” such as the $2.3 billion Project Energy Connect transmission link to NSW due to be finished in 2024.

It also aims to export green energy to the world, part of longer term plans to attract at least another 10GW of wind and solar projects, and so produce “500 per cent renewables”, with most being exported in the form of green hydrogen, green ammonia, or other green products.

“Together, the seven shortlisted projects could produce over one and a half million tonnes of hydrogen per annum, which would make South Australia one of the most significant producers of hydrogen in the world.

“The level of investment proposed would make the Spencer Gulf a world class renewable energy industrial precinct and deliver regional jobs growth for decades to come in the towns of Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Pirie – and beyond.”

The government did not identify the names of the project developers, but likely players include France’s Neoen, who have two projects in the state likely to fit the bill – Goyder South and Crystal Brook.

Also possible are international energy giants Iberdrola and Enel Green Power, who also have significant renewable investments in South Australia and big announced hydrogen projects overseas, and billionaire Andrew Forrest, who has announced ambitious plans for 15 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen production by 2030.

“Since coming to office my Government has laid the foundations for South Australia to produce 500 per cent renewable energy by 2050 and reap the renewable jobs and investment bonanza that outcome will deliver,” Marshall said in the statement.

The State Government is now negotiating with shortlisted parties, aiming to finalised arrangements with partners to be announced in coming months. It is understood the offers come from all along the hydrogen production chain.

“The response from industry to the Port Bonython EOI shows that we can turn our 500% renewable energy by 2050 vision into a reality,” energy minister Dan Van Holst Pellekaan said in a statement.

“The Marshall Government stabilised South Australia’s power grid, brought down the cost of electricity and accelerated towards net-100% renewables by 2030.

“The SA-NSW Interconnector means we can export renewable energy interstate – the Port Bonython Hydrogen Hub will allow us to export it internationally.

“South Australia was once known for the challenges in adopting renewables, but in three short years the world now sees us as the success story. Wholesale prices are some of the lowest in the country, we’re the world leader in home batteries, and we’re securely running on over 60% renewables.”

The Port Bonython hub includes access to multiple renewable energy zones and boasts over 2,000 hectares of available land as well as access to an existing deepwater port comprising a 2.4km long jetty.

The site is home to Santos’ fossil fuel processing plant, which receives gas liquids and crude oil piped 659km from the Moomba plant for export, and a diesel fuel import and storage terminal.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/south-austr ... xport-hub/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#936 Post by PeFe » Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:54 pm

The SA government has approved the Maoneng battery at Gould Creek, in the hills behind Elizabeth.

From Renew Economy
Maoneng secures planning approval to build biggest battery in South Australia

Image

Sydney-based solar and battery storage developer Maoneng has received development approval for its pioneering Gould Creek battery in South Australia that will be around double the state’s biggest existing battery at Hornsdale.

The Gould Creek Battery Energy Storage System will be located just 22kms to the north east of Adelaide, and will be sized at a 225MW/450MWh, giving two hours storage and trumping the recently expanded Hornsdale Power Reserve, which is now rated at 150MW/194MWh.

The approval has come from South Australia’s Minister for Planning and Local Government, and has previously won Crown sponsorship support from the Department for Energy and Mining.

Maoneng says the Gould Creek battery will boost South Australia’s grid reliability and network stability by charging from the grid during off-peak periods, allowing it to dispatch electricity to the grid immediately during peak periods.

South Australia already leads the nation, and the world, in the share of wind and solar in the local grid. They met an average of more than 62 per cent of local demand over the last two years, and the local government is aiming for “net 100 per cent” renewables by 2030.

Construction work for the project is expected to begin in late 2022 with completion and operation expected for 12 months later. Maoneng expects construction of the project will deliver up to 160 full time equivalent jobs.

“This approval is good news for all South Australians, as more battery storage will help smooth the transition to clean energy,” said Morris Zhou, Maoneng’s co-founder and CEO.

“South Australia has high levels of renewable energy generation, which is a positive development but can create challenges balancing supply and demand due to the intermittency of renewables.

“Our proposed battery storage will help manage this, supporting local energy reliability and security while also promoting greater uptake of renewables as a whole.”

Maoneng is also working on other big batteries, including 200MW and 400MWh of battery storage on behalf of AGL in NSW, with sites ear-marked at Sunraysia and Lismore, and is also working on a plans for a 240MW/480MWh big battery in Victoria.

The Gould Creek battery is unlikely to remain the biggest in South Australia for long, with AGL planning a battery at Torrens Island that will begin at 250MW with one hour storage but will likely grow to 250MW and 1000MWh over time, and Hornsdale owner Neoen is planning a 900MW/1800MWh battery at Goyder South.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/maoneng-sec ... australia/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#937 Post by PeFe » Wed Nov 03, 2021 2:51 pm

Renewables are absolutely "rockin it" this spring in South Australia.
From Renew Economy
“Remarkable:” South Australia reached 100 pct renewables nearly every day in October

Image
Bungala solar farm.

Wind and solar met 100 per cent of more of local demand in South Australia’s main grid in all but two days in the month of October, surely a new record for a gigawatt scale grid anywhere in the world.

The average share of wind and solar over October was 72 per cent, making a nonsense of claims – gladly echoed by anti-renewable ideologues and pro-nuclear activists – that no grid could possible support more than 50 per cent of variable renewable output.

South Australia is living proof that it can. Over the past year, it has averaged more than 62 per cent wind and solar, and the boost in October is seasonal, thanks to good wind, good sun, and mild weather that leads to moderate demand.

The state Liberal government has a goal of averaging 100 per cent wind and solar by 2030, and will very likely reach that benchmark a lot earlier, thanks to a new transmission link to NSW, the recent removal of many constraints on wind and solar farms, and the introduction of new storage and smart software.

In October, South Australia mostly reached periods of 100 per cent renewables through a combination of wind and solar.

However, solar managed to deliver more than 100 per cent on its own at various points on several days. Wind often delivered more than 100 per cent of local demand overnight and in the early morning.

According to energy data analyst Geoff Eldridge, of NEMLog, the highest average renewables share for a whole day was 99 per cent on October 4, and the lowest daily average for renewables in the month was 49.5 per cent on October 17.

Image

“The maximum output of renewables was 129 per cent of local demand on Sunday, October 3,” Eldridge tells me. The maximum renewables share for a whole day was 107.3% on Sunday, April 4, 2020. “It’s a remarkable transition,” he says.
As the state government has pointed out, the shift to more renewables is being accompanied by lower emissions, lower prices, and improved reliability. It boasts that since 2018 South Australia is the only state not to experience shortfalls of supply.
The state’s three big batteries – at Hornsdale, Lake Bonney and Dalrymple North – play a critical role.

Even though they are mocked for not being able to power a big state, or big energy user for more than a few minutes (actually, none of them are big enough to do that for a single second), they play a crucial role in maintaining grid stability.

They do this by very fast response to frequency excursion, that can give other slower moving machinery time to respond without putting supply at risk.

South Australia is leading in the roll out of battery inverters that can provide synthetic inertia and act as “virtual synchronous machines”.

It has also installed four synchronous condensers that do away with the need to have gas generators provide system strength, and also allow wind and solar farms to operate with fewer constraints. These syncons are expected to be superseded at some point by battery inverter technology.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/remarkable- ... n-october/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#938 Post by rev » Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:26 pm

Quite the achievement.
Has the "renewable grid" been really tested though through severe adverse conditions? The state lost power due to an unforeseen weather event that knocked out power lines, the irony of which was that the main power station is right next to the major population centre of the state yet because some powerlines miles and miles away from here our main population centre was without power.... How would the renewable components cope in a similar or worse weather event? After all we are continually told we need to switch because of climate change that's being affected by our use of fossil fuels primarily (although I note they're now going after cows blowing wind out their rear ends...)....the climate will continue to change regardless of the changes humanity makes, with severe weather to continue..so how will a majority or entirely renewable electricity network cope?

Will losing one wind turbine in a storm cause the whole network to go down like losing a power line in the middle of nowhere did?
Will some damage to the fields of solar panels do it?
Will damage to the battery storage locations do it?

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#939 Post by PeFe » Thu Nov 04, 2021 1:00 am

Another proposed solar project, with a massive amount of storage. The details are very light on at this stage.
From Renew Economy
World’s biggest solar and storage project proposed for South Australia

Image

What is being claimed as the world’s biggest solar and storage project – a 300MW facility with 3.6GWh of storage – has been proposed for South Australia by the Dutch-based solar developer Photon Energy, using Australian technology developed by RayGen.

Photon said in a media release on Wednesday that it had secured 1,200 hectares of land for what it said would be the biggest solar and storage project in the world, beating the current biggest at the Ouarzazate solar thermal facility in Morocco.

It did not identify where the land was secured.

“We are very excited to be developing this innovative and globally significant solar energy storage project in South Australia,” said Michael Gartner, the chief technology officer of Photon Energy and head of its Australian operations.

“The enviable solar resource and need for energy storage due to high penetration of renewables in this region is a perfect match for RayGen’s technology.”

Of course, the Photon project won’t be the biggest solar and storage projects in the world if the Sun Cable project in the Northern Territory goes ahead. That project envisages up to 20GW of solar PV and up to 42GWh of battery storage.

But RayGen’s technology is different, and integrates solar and hydro storage, and it is supported by some big name energy players including AGL Energy, which is backing a pilot facility at Cawarp in Victoria and potentially another at the site of its soon to be closed Liddell coal generator in NSW.

Other backers include the venture capital arms of oil giant Chevron, Schlumberger, and Equinor, who all participated in a recent funding round – along with Photon – that raised $55 million.

Image
RayGen’s solar hydro storage facility under construction in Carwarp.

RayGen is currently building a 4MW/50MWh facility at Carwarp in Victoria, also backed by ARENA, that combines the main features of its technology – mirrors that reflect the sun on to solar towers and concentrated solar collectors, and water-based storage in large pits (see photo above).

The heat extracted from PV Ultra modules is stored as hot water in a thermally insulated reservoir, while electricity from PV Ultra, or the grid, is used to run a chiller to produce near freezing water in a second reservoir. And the stored hot and cold water are used to drive a conventional Organic Rankine Cycle engine.

“This project and partnership with Photon Energy Group support our vision to accelerate the transition to renewable energy,” RayGen CEO Richard Payne said in an emailed statement.

“RayGen’s naturally synchronous thermal turbine and long duration storage – at 24 hours – can support the South Australian grid and unlock a higher proportion of renewable energy. We look forward to sharing more information as this project develops.”

Photon, which says it is developing the South Australia project, says that the total solar generation capacity will be 300MW, although the grid connection capacity will be 150MW. (The excess will be deployed on site for storage).

The total target storage capacity is 3.6GWh, equivalent to 24 hours of storage. Photon says it is working on grid connections and hopes to complete the preparatory work by 2023.

RenewEconomy understands that it is one of a number of projects being proposed by the two parties. But there are a number of questions.

One is where exactly it is located, another is how it will be financed, given both are small companies and Photon to date has been involved in relatively small solar projects, and other projects such as the Lord Howe micro-grid.

RayGen has announced a series of project proposals in recent years, including in Victoria and China, but these have been set aside as the company refined its technology and added the hydro storage component.

RenewEconomy reached out to Photon for more details but did not hear back before publication.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/worlds-bigg ... australia/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#940 Post by PeFe » Thu Nov 04, 2021 4:12 pm

rev wrote:
Wed Nov 03, 2021 7:26 pm
Quite the achievement.
Has the "renewable grid" been really tested though through severe adverse conditions? The state lost power due to an unforeseen weather event that knocked out power lines, the irony of which was that the main power station is right next to the major population centre of the state yet because some powerlines miles and miles away from here our main population centre was without power.... How would the renewable components cope in a similar or worse weather event? After all we are continually told we need to switch because of climate change that's being affected by our use of fossil fuels primarily (although I note they're now going after cows blowing wind out their rear ends...)....the climate will continue to change regardless of the changes humanity makes, with severe weather to continue..so how will a majority or entirely renewable electricity network cope?

Will losing one wind turbine in a storm cause the whole network to go down like losing a power line in the middle of nowhere did?
Will some damage to the fields of solar panels do it?
Will damage to the battery storage locations do it?
I am sure that losing one wind turbine will not bring down the grid, nor will it necessarily "bring down" the wind farm. Turbines are usually built far enough from each other to allow for individual turbines to be "lost". Wind farms have been in South Australia since 2003 and have survived all the storms (including the notorious 2016 one)

I am not quite sure how say a fire would affect a solar farm (and I mean a small fire centred on a panel or a small number of panels, not a bushfire) Solar farms tend to built in large rows sort of like suburbia so I wonder whether the "immediate area" is affected or other parts of the solar farm could continue producing power, but safety protocol requires the whole place shut down....Maybe someone else reading this forum can illuminate us.

And now the really big question......transmission lines ! They are probably the weakest link in the chain. What if another big storm brought down the main transmission line between Port Augusta and Adelaide? Would the whole state be blacked out like last time or would it be a more controlled large blackout leaving some parts of the state with power? I dont know......I do know that the Yorke Peninsula has the ability to be isolated and powered by the North Dalyrymple battery but that is all that particular battery can do.

In January 2020 SA was cut off the NEM due to a storm in western Victoria that cut the Heywood interconnector. At the time SA was exporting 500mw of power to Victoria, with power having 'no where to" it started coming back up the transmission lines into SA which could have resulted in another state wide blackout.
This potential grid threatening crisis was averted by AMEO's emergency plan......immediately gas and wind plants decreased production and the batteries stabilized the grid frequency. Then the AMEO ran the SA grid exclusively with all power sources under their control. (The power plants and batteries were well compensated financially)
This all went well and would be seen as a "well managed crisis" within the electricity production admin sector. Not that it got reported much in the media, News Corps and Sky News and the other right wing media have a policy of of only writing negative stories about renewables and largely ignore South Australia because it is seen as being too successful. Now that News Corp has done a 180 degree turn it will be interesting to see how they treat South Australia in the future.

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#941 Post by PeFe » Fri Nov 12, 2021 3:28 pm

I had written in an earlier post that "pumped hydro was dead in South Australia"....well it seems not quite. One project Baroota is still trying to proceed.

I am surprised by this because I believe pumped hydros costs are way above batteries and with more and larger batteries coming online the market opportunities for pumped hydro would be even slimmer.

From Renew Economy
One pumped hydro project still standing as South Australia heads to 100pct wind and solar

Image

One of the many great mysteries about the vagaries of Australia’s National Electricity Market has been the fate of the grand plans to build big, long storage pumped hydro projects in South Australia.

There were six pumped hydro projects seeking finance just a few years ago, all confident of a role in a grid that is leading the world with the uptake of wind and solar and the penetration of rooftop PV, and which is already forcing the local network into negative demand in the midday sun.

South Australia has sourced 62 per cent of its generation from wind and solar in the past 12 months, and has an official target of reaching net 100 per cent renewables by 2030. It will likely reach that mark well before then, but it will need significant amounts of storage to get there.

The pumped hydro projects held great promise, and were backed mostly by companies with deep pockets. But one by one the projects have fallen away.

Tilt Renewables decided early on that its proposal to use a reservoir in the Adelaide Hills wasn’t going to work, and AGL was then told by its prospective partner, a copper miner, that it preferred to dig for more ore rather than filling its mine pits with water.

EnergyAustralia was excited about the Cultana pumped hydro project, which was proposing to use sea-water, but also found that was going to cost too much.

There were six pumped hydro projects seeking finance just a few years ago, all confident of a role in a grid that is leading the world with the uptake of wind and solar and the penetration of rooftop PV, and which is already forcing the local network into negative demand in the midday sun.

South Australia has sourced 62 per cent of its generation from wind and solar in the past 12 months, and has an official target of reaching net 100 per cent renewables by 2030. It will likely reach that mark well before then, but it will need significant amounts of storage to get there.

The pumped hydro projects held great promise, and were backed mostly by companies with deep pockets. But one by one the projects have fallen away.

Tilt Renewables decided early on that its proposal to use a reservoir in the Adelaide Hills wasn’t going to work, and AGL was then told by its prospective partner, a copper miner, that it preferred to dig for more ore rather than filling its mine pits with water.

EnergyAustralia was excited about the Cultana pumped hydro project, which was proposing to use sea-water, but also found that was going to cost too much.


Sanjeev Gupta’s pumped hydro proposal also appears to have withdrawn, possibly because of his own financial difficulties, but also because the Middleback iron ore mine that was to be used as a reservoir is more profitable being a mine than holding water.

That left only two projects competing for funds being offered by the Australian government, one through the ill-fated Underwriting New Generation Investment (UNGI) program, which so far has come to nothing despite the urgency with which Angus Taylor said he wanted to build dispatchable capacity.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency also offered a $40 million grant for a pumped hydro project in a separate scheme, and revealed 20 months ago – in February, 2020 – that it had chosen its favoured project from a shortlist of four and would reveal all within a few months.

Nothing has been heard of it since. Given the attrition rate of the other projects it was presumed that only two remained in the hunt – Rise Renewables and UPC’s Baroota project near Port Pirie, and the Goat Hill project being pushed by Sunset Power and Delta Energy.

But it now appears that the 250MW/2,000MWh Baroota project is the only one standing. A transmission planning report released by ElectraNet this week, reveals that the 242MW/1,835MW Goat Hill project near Port Augusta, has cancelled its connection agreement.

It also reveals that Baroota is currently working on its own connection agreement. It is, in fact, the only new generation project in the state that is going through the process.

UPC, which was recently bought out by its shareholder AC Energy of the Philippines for $US243 million, notes on its website that to get built by 2025 will require a final investment decision by the end of 2021.

Australia hasn’t built a new pumped hydro project for nearly 40 years, although the Kidston pumped hydro project in north Queensland is currently being built by Genex, after it secured the bulk of its funding from the North Australia Infrastructure Facility and the CEFC.

And, of course, there is the federal government backed Snowy 2.0 that has also begun works. The NSW government says it attracted some 11GW of pumped hydro proposals for its energy infrastructure roadmap which will plot the path to replace its ageing coal generators.

Those projects include proposals from AGL, Alinta and EnergyAustralia, among others, although it is clear that the construction costs of pumped hydro are higher than previously hoped and the returns are not clear because of the uncertainty around policy and market rules.

In South Australia, the issue is made more complex by the construction of the new interconnector to NSW, which will support more wind and solar but could flatten out volatility, the key metric for pumped hydro storage.

Many of these new projects will also come with their own big batteries, and other long term storage options are also on the table, although these face similar uncertainties, along with technology risk.

These include the thermal storage proposal put forward by 1414 Degrees, now with the support of Woodside, and the “solar hydro” storage project put forward by Photon, using concentrated solar technology developed by RayGen.

What’s interesting to note is that South Australia, despite operating at an average 62 per cent renewables, and reaching 100 per cent or more wind and solar on nearly every day of the past six weeks, has managed this with very little storage, and the links to Victoria.

South Australia has just three big batteries at Hornsdale, Lake Bonney and Dalrymple, for a total capacity of 207MW/250MWh, although most of this is used for grid services, including frequency control.

RenewEconomy reached out to the South Australia government, ARENA and UPC, but did not receive a response from any of them before publication.

See also: Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Map of Australia

https://reneweconomy.com.au/one-pumped- ... and-solar/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#942 Post by PeFe » Mon Nov 15, 2021 4:23 pm

South Australia needs more large batteries !
South Australia curtailed nearly as much wind and solar on Sunday as it used

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South Australia produced nearly twice as much wind and solar as it could use at times on Sunday, forcing renewable plant operators to massively curtail their output. The total amount of curtailed at one point nearly equalled total demand.

South Australia leads the world in the share of wind and solar in its grid, but it wasn’t the only state affected by a big surplus of wind and solar over the weekend, with curtailment records falling across the grid.

According to Geoff Eldridge, a data analyst who provides the NEMLog service, the levels of curtailment hit instantaneous records in both South Australia and Victoria, and daily average records across the main grid.

The simple reason is that supply exceeded demand.

And whereas this is not unusual – the capacity of coal and gas plants has always far exceeded average demand (and many gas plants operate at less than 2 per cent of their capacity) – curtailment of technologies with zero marginal cost (the sun and the wind) does seem a bit of a waste.

There is probably no better case for added storage, or to use the excess for technologies such as green hydrogen, but the latter is a few year’s away at least from a rollout of significant scale, and storage capacity remains minimal.

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South Australia has just three big batteries totalling just over 200MW (252MWh) that could have mopped up only a fraction of the excess on Sunday – even if their primary focus wasn’t elsewhere on services such as frequency control.

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And, as we wrote on Friday, the handful of pumped hydro projects proposed for the state have barely advanced, even as it heads towards the state government’s interim target of 100 per cent renewables by 2030 and its longer term ambition of 500 per cent renewables (assuming green hydrogen exports).

Indeed, only one pumped hydro project remains of the six proposed just a few years ago, and storage projects in general are suffering from a lack of clarity over market rules and the fate of major transmission links – and other big wind and solar projects – that could affect the economics of their projects.

Even the new Project EnergyConnect, a new link to NSW with 800MW of export capacity, would not have been enough to absorb the excess power on Sunday.

As for the details of the weekend records, Eldridge says curtailment peaked at 4,897MW at 12pm on Sunday and totalled 39,875MWh for the day. The previous maximums were 3,981.6MW on August 15.

The peak NEM curtailment share of native demand was also a record of 20.69% at 12pm.

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In South Australia, curtailment peaked at 1,306.7MW at 1.55pm, representing a record 93.73% share of SA native demand. Victoria curtailment was also a record max of 2,180.6MW at 1.35pm.

Most of the curtailment was from wind energy, although all the big three solar farms in South Australia were all switched off at various times too dodge negative prices. In many instances, they are required to do so as part of their contracts.

Most of the curtailment also happens at times when rooftop solar is producing the most. See also this analysis: Solar curtailment: You ain’t seen nothing yet

Curtailment in Queensland was exacerbate by a multi day outage of the Liddell to Tamworth 330 kV Line for upgrade work. That meant the excess wind and solar could not find a market elsewhere, such as NSW and had to be curtailed as priced went negative, and coal plants bid low for the right to be dispatched.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/south-austr ... s-it-used/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#943 Post by PeFe » Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:42 pm

The renewables revolution rolls on.....
Rooftop solar helps send South Australia grid to zero demand in world first

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South Australia on Sunday became the first gigawatt scale grid in the world to reach zero operational demand when the combined output of rooftop solar and other small non-scheduled generators exceeded all the local customer load requirements.

The landmark event was observed by several energy analysts, including at Watt Clarity and NEMLog, where Geoff Eldridge noted that a number of measures for South Australia demand notched up record minimums for system normal conditions.

The fact that South Australia’s operating demand could fall to zero, and even into negative territory, was flagged as a possibility this spring by the Australian Energy Market Operator, who noted it would be the first gigawatt scale grid to do this.

Minimum demand is now possibly the biggest challenge for market operators like AEMO, because under current market settings it needs to have a certain amount of synchronous generation to maintain system strength and grid stability.

It does this by running a minimum amount of gas generation, and through the recent commissioning of spinning machines called synchronous condensers that do not burn fuel. It also needs a link to a neighbouring grid, in this case Victoria, so it can export surplus production.

South Australia set a new milestone for negative demand in the local distributed network for the first time in late September, and experienced this for more than four hours in late October.

This new milestone includes the transmission network, which includes some big mining and industrial loads, such as BHP’s huge Olympic Dam operation, that are connected directly into the transmission network operated by ElectraNet.

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According to Eldridge, total network demand as defined by AEMO went negative for the first time in South Australia between 12:20 to 12:50 hrs, reaching a minimum of minus 46.4 MW at 12:35 hrs. It then went negative again from 13:25 to 13:50 hrs reaching a minimum of -15.4 MW at 13:40 hrs.

“This minimum surpassed the previous record of 4.89 MW (51.24 MW higher) at 16:25 hrs Wed September 28, 2016 (the day of SA system black event).

“The record today is the result of increasing SA Rooftop PV penetration on a sunny SA spring weekend day where customer loads are on the low end of the demand spectrum,” he said.

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Eldridge notes that rooftop solar reached a record 95.6 per cent of total demand at 12.35pm, which is a record share. The previous record was 88.3 per cent on October 31. The record maximum output of rooftop solar is 1,301MW, which was reached on Thursday, November 4.

The rest of the supply that pushed operational demand to below zero was made up of another around 100MW of other small non-scheduled generation, likely to be mostly solar but also possibly some bio-energy facilities, according to indicative figures provided by the South Australia government.

We may learn more on that later today if and when AEMO publishes official data.

Sunday’s milestones were just the latest in a series of benchmark achievements for South Australia, which already leads the world in the percentage of wind and solar in its grid.

Wind and solar accounted for more than 62 per cent of local demand in the last 12 months, despite occasionally heavy curtailment because of the limits of a grid with a connection only to Victoria.

The state government has a target of net 100 per cent renewables by 2030, but should reach that milestone well before then, particularly after a new link to NSW is completed in 2025.

AEMO has introduced a range of new measures to cope with the growing share of rooftop solar PV, which is expected to double in size over the next 10 years.

It has introduced a “solar switch-off” mechanism, which it has deployed once so far, but is also looking at smarter and more sophisticated solutions such as creating load through dynamic response of battery storage and appliances to help soak up the excess solar.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/rooftop-sol ... rld-first/

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Re: News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#944 Post by rev » Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:13 pm

So electricity prices will be going up in the not too distant future.
Yay.

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