Why Australia's power prices are going up?

 
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
Can you share the practical turn down capability of the various Qld coal power stations?
RTT_Rules
I can only specifically say for two of them, one is at 35% of TMCR (Turbine Maximum Capacity) and the other 40% without support energy. The others would normally be about the same with some exceptions for cycle, firing system, mill or fuel restrictions.

These are the as sold proven capabilities, sometimes these are lost through not maintaining that capability or simply fear of tripping the unit at low load or lost corporate memory after so many years at baseload.

There is also nothing special about this capability. Plenty of coal fired plants go much lower with some additional technology.

Another factor is that most power on the NEM is bought and sold by Contract, not the pool price. it may be another reason why the coal fired load remains higher.

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  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Meanwhile, sunny days, low demand, and a Bass link that's out of action:
https://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-slashes-output-of-five-big-solar-farms-by-half-due-to-voltage-issues-42232/
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Can you share the practical turn down capability of the various Qld coal power stations?
RTT_Rules
Aaron, how/why do you disagree with this question?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Can you share the practical turn down capability of the various Qld coal power stations?
I can only specifically say for two of them, one is at 35% of TMCR (Turbine Maximum Capacity) and the other 40% without support energy. The others would normally be about the same with some exceptions for cycle, firing system, mill or fuel restrictions.

These are the as sold proven capabilities, sometimes these are lost through not maintaining that capability or simply fear of tripping the unit at low load or lost corporate memory after so many years at baseload.

There is also nothing special about this capability. Plenty of coal fired plants go much lower with some additional technology.

Another factor is that most power on the NEM is bought and sold by Contract, not the pool price. it may be another reason why the coal fired load remains higher.
arctic
Appreciate this, however I still think your original statement regarding base load is a bit rough.

I've lost the site details that has the actual turbine outputs, however from what I used to see they were run around 80-90% most of the higher demand times but not extreme. Currently they are dropping from a combined total of 6200MW to 4400MW or roughly 30%, assuming that 6200MW = 85% = 60%.

However as you said its often linked to contract sales.

Boyne Smelters is pulling 950MW (when I left), 800MW from Gladstone, rest is from Stanwell and/or Callide depending on the year. There are also other big users in CQ with contracts with these stations.

Additionally there is a capacity limit from CQ to SEQ, its been improved, but don't know how much. This may drive limitations on how much the Southern and/or Central coal stations can actually turn down to share the overall turn down. Also depends on where the solar farms and other are feeding in.  
https://www.aemo.com.au/-/media/Files/Electricity/NEM/Network_Connections/Maps/QLD-Generation-V2019-02.pdf

Before solar and wind and growth in gas, the coal power stations had to do most of this on their own and the grid was less flexible back then and swings from high to low during anyone 24h period were less than today, but still not insignificant. Therefore I don't see it as something they lost, but are they capable....??????
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I don’t disagree RTT, I think I must have just miss-touched my phone screen...
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
When following Carnot`s link above we can find more information as to why the solar utilities have switched off sometimes during the day. It has not much to do with reaching the lowest min load the coal guys can do (running at 60% instead of 40%), but more to do with playing the market and hurting your competitor (it is alleged).

https://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-farms-switch-off-en-masse-as-coal-plants-flex-their-muscle-in-queensland-31414/

Is this a deliberate strategy to restrict the amount of solar production? If so, how much is it costing the state-owned generators. (It is not so easy to find out because the nature of most contracts is not revealed, and they are likely to be heavily hedged).
Renew Economy
So if true, not a technical problem but a commercial strategy.

Cheers
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
When following Carnot`s link above we can find more information as to why the solar utilities have switched off sometimes during the day. It has not much to do with reaching the lowest min load the coal guys can do (running at 60% instead of 40%), but more to do with playing the market and hurting your competitor (it is alleged).

https://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-farms-switch-off-en-masse-as-coal-plants-flex-their-muscle-in-queensland-31414/

Is this a deliberate strategy to restrict the amount of solar production? If so, how much is it costing the state-owned generators. (It is not so easy to find out because the nature of most contracts is not revealed, and they are likely to be heavily hedged).
So if true, not a technical problem but a commercial strategy.

Cheers
arctic
Sth Aust played the "we don't need coal" game and look at the damage it caused and SA was able to fall back on the east coast coal generators to keep the lights on. Still 3 years after Nth's closure, SA still does not have a solution for shutting down its gas supply. It can be argued both ways how much SA really needed Nth, however power prices speak for themselves.

In comparison to the parasitic load called SA which is a minor fraction of the total output on the east coast for which if the coal power stations were to closed now or even with 5 years notice, there is or would be no practical solution to replace their 24/7/365 availability.  

Liddle is expected to be the next to close due to age, however with 4 years notice, look at the work being done to replace its output to ensure NSW doesn't face power shortages. ie modernising Bayswater, installation of gas turbines, RE and maybe, SA-NSW link, just maybe someone may make a start on Snowy 2.0, although I'm sure it will miss the time line. All this effort to replace one aging coal power station that rarely runs above 75% output (1500MW).

NSW is also heavily reliant on Qld coal power to keep the lights on as is Vic and SA with an average of 1GW crossing the border any time of the day. A far cry from 20 years ago when the inter-tie was built to enable Qld to source NSW power.

Meanwhile in Qld, despite roll out of PV domestic, solar farms and wind farms, there has yet not been any expansion of storage such as chemical or pumped hydro. With govt money the Kindston pumped hydro may get of the ground but is a mere 250MW, less than one large coal turbine, but will help with the peaks and throughs.

So should the govt and/or regulators be protecting the coal power stations viability until a proven viable alternative is ready and operating? Hell Yes! Unless of course you are ready to return to the 19th century.

....and we still have the EV boom expected to create a much bigger strain on the over night grid supply.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
When following Carnot`s link above we can find more information as to why the solar utilities have switched off sometimes during the day. It has not much to do with reaching the lowest min load the coal guys can do (running at 60% instead of 40%), but more to do with playing the market and hurting your competitor (it is alleged).

https://reneweconomy.com.au/solar-farms-switch-off-en-masse-as-coal-plants-flex-their-muscle-in-queensland-31414/

Is this a deliberate strategy to restrict the amount of solar production? If so, how much is it costing the state-owned generators. (It is not so easy to find out because the nature of most contracts is not revealed, and they are likely to be heavily hedged).
So if true, not a technical problem but a commercial strategy.

Cheers
In comparison to the parasitic load called SA...


NSW is also heavily reliant on Qld coal power to keep the lights on as is Vic and SA with an average of 1GW crossing the border any time of the day... .
RTT_Rules
LOL!

SA exports electricity faaaaar more often than it imports it, and you bloody well know it. They are lifters, not leaners.

It just so happens that on any given day, QLD produces about 1GW of solar generated electricity...
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Dirty Ballast says "SA exports electricity faaaaar more often than it imports it, and you bloody well know it. They are lifters, not leaners."


Yes, they export electricity when no-one needs it during the day when the sun shines, but as soon as it gets dark, they start sucking back.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
It just so happens that on any given day, QLD produces about 1GW of solar generated electricity...
“DirtyBallast”
How much energy do they generate from PV though?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
LOL!

SA exports electricity faaaaar more often than it imports it, and you bloody well know it. They are lifters, not leaners.

It just so happens that on any given day, QLD produces about 1GW of solar generated electricity...
DirtyBallast
SA broke even in 2017-2018 Fin year and last Fin Year had a net surplus of power. That I agree with.

The issue is for SA and my comment of parasitic load still stands for this reason is that when the grid if flush with power, SA is trying to export power. When there is a short fall, SA is trying to import more expensive power which is why SA's wholesale power prices are not declining as much as they should. It would be far better if SA could contribute to the high demand and store power during periods of low demand. As SA lacks practical battery type solutions, the SNOWY 2.0 and SA-NSW HV link will be built to save SA consumers, wait for it $60pa!!! NSW $30pa. At Least SCOMO's tax cuts enables you to buy a carton of milk a day, not a week  and only giving back 1 carton a week of the 10 cartons a week they took of you over the last 4 years since Northern closed.

When Hazellwood closed, much of this extra power from SA came from running its CCGT harder and keeping its Steam gas generators running when the operator had planned to close part of the capacity. This was done because SA could no longer be be dependent on Vic for cheap power any longer, but some of Torrens's Island is planned for closure next year. Thus offsetting any benefit from increased wind and solar, again!

Qld Solar output is now peaking at around 2.7GW or 40% of generation during the middle of the day and around 14-15% of total daily generating capacity in Qld. Exports are around 17% of total generation and mostly consistent apart from 2-5am where it drops off.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Another drama for the extremists.

https://www.energylivenews.com/2019/09/16/could-renewables-be-emitting-the-most-potent-greenhouse-gas-in-existence/

They suddenly worked out that renewables are driving an increase in the gas SF6 and that this gas might contribute to SF6.

1) SF6 has 6 florines in it, do you really need to have a Chemistry Major to know this gas may actually have a positive effect on the environment?

2) Its not new, the issues of this gas have been known for decades and the industry has tried where they can to avoid its use. When I was with Aust Mag Corp in the early 2000's we used it as a cover gas to prevent the liquid Mag from burning the building down during casting. Through test work AMC was able to be a world leader in reducing SF6 use per tonne in casting. But no, the consumer rather buy the cheaper Chinese magnesium products and AMC, Magnola and other Magnesium smelters using far more cleaner technologies in the western world closed.

3) SF6 is a rare type of gas in that it is very heavy, I think the heaviest gas and inert. Which means it doesn't burn or allow combustion and even if the vessel is exposed to atmosphere it won't escape as quickly unlike say Nitrogen or CO2.


Industry wouldn't use if there were practical alternatives.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Dirty Ballast says "SA exports electricity faaaaar more often than it imports it, and you bloody well know it. They are lifters, not leaners."


Yes, they export electricity when no-one needs it during the day when the sun shines, but as soon as it gets dark, they start sucking back.
Donald
Liar.

Look at the live readings, right now.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
LOL!

SA exports electricity faaaaar more often than it imports it, and you bloody well know it. They are lifters, not leaners.

It just so happens that on any given day, QLD produces about 1GW of solar generated electricity...
SA broke even in 2017-2018 Fin year and last Fin Year had a net surplus of power. That I agree with.
RTT_Rules
What's that whirring noise?

Oh, it's just Shane, backpedalling furiously. Laughing
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Dirty Ballast says "SA exports electricity faaaaar more often than it imports it, and you bloody well know it. They are lifters, not leaners."


Yes, they export electricity when no-one needs it during the day when the sun shines, but as soon as it gets dark, they start sucking back.
Liar.

Look at the live readings, right now.
DirtyBallast
Don't look now, but wait for it, oh look now, quickly now, I mean right now, too late, don't look again.

Yep,
So as the sun went down the wind dropped to 85MW and SA was using OCGT, not an issue, but it was exporting this to Vic at over $250/MWh. Now peak is over the wind is picking up, yahhhhh!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
LOL!

SA exports electricity faaaaar more often than it imports it, and you bloody well know it. They are lifters, not leaners.

It just so happens that on any given day, QLD produces about 1GW of solar generated electricity...
SA broke even in 2017-2018 Fin year and last Fin Year had a net surplus of power. That I agree with.
RTT_Rules
What's that whirring noise?

Oh, it's just Shane, backpedalling furiously. Laughing
"DirtyBallast"



Why don't you actually read what I said in context. If you go back a few threads you will also notice I once previously posted that SA is now an exporter, but again like this time. Exporter when we often don't need it!

Overall the grid is now a mess with Victorian's today using power from OCGT generated in SA. The one thing you shouldn't be doing is generating peak load power using peaking technology to move it 1000km away. Hydro you could almost understand and why BassLink was built.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
SA right now at this very second is exporting - but only because our OCGT is oversupplying. If SA was operating only on renewables - 60% of the lights would be out and Vic and NSW would be needing to up their non renewable energy production too.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
What/where are those QLD solar energy numbers DirtyBallast? No word on them?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
What/where are those QLD solar energy numbers DirtyBallast? No word on them?
Aaron
Its all about the timing.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
LOL!

SA exports electricity faaaaar more often than it imports it, and you bloody well know it. They are lifters, not leaners.

It just so happens that on any given day, QLD produces about 1GW of solar generated electricity...
SA broke even in 2017-2018 Fin year and last Fin Year had a net surplus of power. That I agree with.
What's that whirring noise?

Oh, it's just Shane, backpedalling furiously. Laughing



Why don't you actually read what I said in context. If you go back a few threads you will also notice I once previously posted that SA is now an exporter, but again like this time. Exporter when we often don't need it!

Overall the grid is now a mess with Victorian's today using power from OCGT generated in SA. The one thing you shouldn't be doing is generating peak load power using peaking technology to move it 1000km away. Hydro you could almost understand and why BassLink was built.
RTT_Rules
Basslink is broken. Again. Not due back until mid October.

Also, only one out of four units at Loy Yang A is currently operating. One unit is off for planned maintenance, one is still broken with a generator meltdown and not due back until December, and another has a boiler tube leak.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Dirty Ballast says "SA exports electricity faaaaar more often than it imports it, and you bloody well know it. They are lifters, not leaners."


Yes, they export electricity when no-one needs it during the day when the sun shines, but as soon as it gets dark, they start sucking back.
Liar.

Look at the live readings, right now.
Don't look now, but wait for it, oh look now, quickly now, I mean right now, too late, don't look again.
RTT_Rules
Oh, FFS.

The statement was made that South Australia imports electricity as soon as it gets dark, which is INCORRECT.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
It's a national market (on the east coast) that's what interconnectors are all about, and the building of more.It doesn't matter where the stuff is produced, it's who can produce it the cheapest at a particular time. A line on the map representing a state border is totally irrelevant.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-25/energy-companies-gouge-customers-hazelwood-electricity-bill/10910948
Make of it what you will
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Basslink is broken. Again. Not due back until mid October.

Also, only one out of four units at Loy Yang A is currently operating. One unit is off for planned maintenance, one is still broken with a generator meltdown and not due back until December, and another has a boiler tube leak.
DirtyBallast
So we are to place our grid at the mercy of single circuit power lines into other states in the name of RE. Yah!!!!

So, you shut down your aging coal fired capacity and not replace it throwing the state at the mercy of one aging coal power station and one younger coal power station with combined almost no redundancy apart from intermittent wind, predictable, reliable but non continuous solar, maxed out hydro and no expansion in OCGT while shutting older plants and an unreliable connector to Tasmania and your addressing your response to me why????

You should be writing to the Premier.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Don't look now, but wait for it, oh look now, quickly now, I mean right now, too late, don't look again.
Oh, FFS.

The statement was made that South Australia imports electricity as soon as it gets dark, which is INCORRECT.
DirtyBallast
No, I didn't say that nor did others.

What we said is that when the solar and wind output drop, which they typically do each day and not uncommon in the early evening SA is reliant on OCGT, steam gas and in summer frequently imported power to keep the lights on.

At the moment SA is in its windest time of year, so its a regular and almost continuous exporter.

The issue is not that SA imports power, its when the import power which was my original comment of "parasitic"

Maybe this summer maybe different, who knows, lets see but it wasn't last year or before than or before that.

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