Load Shedding in Victoria - 25/01/2019

 
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
But I also respect the reality that says I need the grid at night when my solar fades out.
davesvline
There is a separate thread for that. This thread is about the recent load shedding that occurred as a result of failing base load generation. It happened during the day, when there was plenty of sunshine around, and hundreds of solar generated MW was flowing onto the grid.

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  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Kettles and pots spring to mind here.
I don't know this for sure, but I think making physical threats of violence is against Railpage rules, so no, I won't follow up with that.
RTT_Rules

I presume threats of violence are against Railpage rules too.  Same as is racism, which is why I resisted naming the colour the pots and kettles were calling each other.

BTW, since I threw out the challenge it's only fitting I give you a proper response - one I don't have time to do adequately today - and is too far off topic - but I will get to it.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Two out of ten units offline is a reasonable redundancy allowance. The fact that three out of ten was unavailable on a freakish day created the tipping point. Once again, it was the unreliability of coal fired electricity generation that caused customers to be blacked out. The aim of the load shedding was to reduce demand by 120 - 150MW, which would have easily been generated on a cooler day with the available units, but de-rating etc.

Coal turbines? I don't expect that the blades would last long, do you? lol

Wrong. Units at Vic coal power stations run at +90% of their rated output for most of the year ONLY WHEN THEY ARE ACTUALLY RUNNING! Which is not guaranteed!

So, let's talk about reliability.

Trains are reliable as long as they are on time or not cancelled. Your postie is reliable except when the mail arrives too late for you. Your weather bureau is reliable until they get the forecast wrong. Your subordinate is reliable until he calls in sick. Your coal fired electricity generator is reliable until it breaks down.

Your renewable energy provider is reliable as long as it has a source of fuel.
DirtyBallast
You'd have to look up the reliability expectations for those units. I think you also stated one was off line for planned maintenance as it doesn't count.

The issue is the less you have the less backup you have. Hazellwood and other now closed power stations previously provided that extra redundancy, going into a hot day they would have had more units on line as a just in case, even if not used regularly due to age and efficiency. Doesn't need to be coal thought, could be gas or hydro, however it has to be despatchable, which wind and solar is not. Hence when the coal unit failed, they had nothing else to fall back on.

The standard used to calculate industrial plant availability is hours a year operating / 8760 (hours in a 365 day year). Most minerals processing type equipment is usually rated at >85% per production unit. Higher numbers can be achieved at extra cost through installation of more back up systems and inventory. I'm assuming but don't know that a Closed Cycle Gas Turbine would have a higher level of reliability over coal due to its design and fuel used. The industrial guarantee is the number only.


A summary from the Blakers Report

Deployment of wind, solar photovoltaics (PV) and off-river pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) allows
the National Electricity Market to reach 100% renewable electricity with high reliability and at modest
cost. Wind and PV will replace retiring coal and gas plant at lower cost than the alternative replacement
(new coal and gas).
1. Wind and PV constitutes nearly all new generation capacity in Australia, and half the world’s new
generation capacity (equal to the combined amount of coal, oil, gas, nuclear, hydro and all others)
2. Pumped hydro energy storage (PHES)* constitutes 97% of worldwide energy storage.
3. Wind, PV and PHES combine to ensure affordable grid stability.
4. The cost of both wind and PV continues to fall rapidly. There is no end in sight to cost reductions.
5. The cost of electricity ($/Megawatt-hour) from single new-build generators is approximately:

Wind $65/MWh (in 2016) falling to $50/MWh (2020s)
Solar PV $79/MWh (in 2016) falling to $50/MWh (2020s)
NOTE: this is for using the power as it becomes available from sun and wind, not providing a reliable continuous supply.

Supercritical black coal $66/MWh
Gas $78/MWh
Note: Both are dependent on the energy cost, coal is about right, maybe a bit high for black if buying export grade. Brown is however cheaper. The Gas number above I find high based on international experience and aluminium smelter power contracts.

6. We have modeled the cost of electricity in a 100% renewable electricity system (90% wind and PV
plus existing hydro and bio). The cost includes not just the wind and PV, but also pumped hydro
storage and high voltage (HV) interconnectors between states.
7. At 2016 prices the whole-system cost is $93/MWh. At 2020s prices the cost is $75/MWh.
Note: If i understand this right, he is saying that a solar/wind/pumped hydro network will have a average price of $75/MWh within 10 years. So he has allowed $25MW/h to build pumped hydro including paying for the energy to pump the water back up? If it was that cheap why doesn't it exist now on a larger scale (yes I'm sure there are some opportunities sitting there now not considered like a few mine pits in the Hunter that is under investigation) than now and why are we even considering SNOWY 2.0 which is expensive and building the pumped hydro locations some of the 10,000 locations he has found?

8. About two thirds of Australia’s fossil fuel generators will reach the end of their technical lifetimes by
2036, and will need to be replaced.
9. Wind and PV, supported by HV interconnectors and PHES, will be decisively cheaper in the 2020s
than new coal and gas.
Note: the cost of HV connection to the Snowy 2.0 makes for interesting reading and not aligned with "decisively cheaper". Considering HV lines are a relatively simple structure. ie Mechano set town with wires, I'm curious on how the price of construction can drop so much compared to today?

10. PHES offers ancillary services including high-inertia, fast-ramping and synchronous capacity for
frequency and voltage support.
11. Wide distribution of wind and PV over a million square kilometres to access different weather,
coupled with increased HV interconnection and PHES, confers high reliability at modest cost.
12. Any desired degree of grid stability can be achieved at modest cost by adding more off-river PHES at
multiple locations (and/or demand management).
13. Rooftop PV will continue to expand as costs continue to reduce.
14. Several thousand people will be employed during 2017 and 2018, and beyond, constructing several
gigawatts (GW) of new ground mounted PV, and several more GW of wind, in regional areas.


The rest I agree with and never said I didn't.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

A summary from the Blakers Report ...
RTT_Rules

A proper response to this is way off topic, so I'll just leave there.

For anyone interest in this topic, I urge you to read the work of Blakers & Associates, here http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/publications/, or the summary here.
  RedEyeExpress Locomotive Driver

Location: Melbourne
The highest priority for governments is surely to ensure a 100% reliable electricity supply without blackouts, brownouts or load shedding. They must do whatever it takes, using whatever infrastructure it takes and whatever power sources it takes, without disproportionately increasing the cost to consumers. Not in ten years, not next year but NOW.
I hope it doesn't take widespread blackouts, looting and civil disorder before they get the message.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

A summary from the Blakers Report ...

A proper response to this is way off topic, so I'll just leave there.

For anyone interest in this topic, I urge you to read the work of Blakers & Associates, here http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/publications/, or the summary here.
djf01
Very interesting.  I'm one who 10-15 years ago was a climate skeptic and rather negative about Renewables etc.
Not today.

I still see some roadblocks for PV/Wind/Pumped Hydro.  Primarily Nimby-ism and a failure of political leadership.

One interesting question too is whether the transition to renewables would be faster or slower if our power utilities were still Govt owned?  I suppose whoever is in Govt at the time would determine that to a large extent....
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The highest priority for governments is surely to ensure a 100% reliable electricity supply without blackouts, brownouts or load shedding. They must do whatever it takes, using whatever infrastructure it takes and whatever power sources it takes, without disproportionately increasing the cost to consumers. Not in ten years, not next year but NOW.
I hope it doesn't take widespread blackouts, looting and civil disorder before they get the message.
RedEyeExpress
You really think the power going off for a couple of hours on a hot day is going to cause the collapse of civilisation? No wonder it's impossible to have a sensible discourse about energy policy.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Very interesting.  I'm one who 10-15 years ago was a climate skeptic and rather negative about Renewables etc.
Not today.

I still see some roadblocks for PV/Wind/Pumped Hydro.  Primarily Nimby-ism and a failure of political leadership.

One interesting question too is whether the transition to renewables would be faster or slower if our power utilities were still Govt owned?  I suppose whoever is in Govt at the time would determine that to a large extent....
Carnot
I think if you look at Qld which basically retained ownership of its coal fired power stations very tightly with the notable exception of two power stations then the answer for Vic is unlikely the push towards RE would be as strong.

Qld Gladstone power station, sold to basically Comlaco JV to give Comalco the price stability it needed to finance the construction of Potline 3 at Boyne (based on experience in NZ where a new govt ripped up a power contract) and Millmerran by private organisation as part of Peter Beatie's desperate measure to eliminate further power outages.

Qld's youngest coal power station, Kogan Creek was completed in 2007.

In Vic, if I understand correctly the intention by the SEV was prior to privatization Hazellwood would have been replaced by 2005, likewise in NSW the Liddel power station was due to be closed prior to privatisation and a series of potential expansions of existing power stations under govt control never proceeded under private ownership and others closed. I suspect Northern in SA may also not have closed had it been retained under govt ownership as it was not that old.

Roof top PV solar push would likely have still occurred as it makes sense, sun is up, so is power demand. PV solar, even subsidised off-sets the need for the govt investing in billions for peak load power supply.  However I suspect the rapid rollout of wind would not have occurred.

If you look at many of the projects in Qld that were started by the govt to reduce coal emissions through co-gen and carbon capture schemes, despite the fan fare at the time, all have now been quietly dropped. Carbon capture for coal power stations was always a BS political ploy and the economics never stood up.

I still see some roadblocks for PV/Wind/Pumped Hydro. Primarily Nimby-ism and a failure of political leadership.
Carnot
No, mostly disagree
- PV solar has progressed at one of the fastest rates in the developed world, there is very little opposition and the road blocks are more aligned with acceptance of the technology sitting on roofs for visual reasons. Same issues faced by solar hot water in early days. Roof Top PV growth will start to flatten out around 50-70% of houses and small businesses due to physical constraints.

- Wind, Nimby-ism is very much an issue and survey's done in Scotland found that people with wind farms on their own properties didn't have issues with any of the noise of visual impact but those who didn't did! Wind also has significant technical issues in maintaining grid stability and reliability above levels of 20-25% which are well documented by the power industry. The Green movement is currently on of the largest opposition to many wind farms OS having opposed wind farms in NZ and other locations in the past.

- Pumped Hydro, they haven't even started to pick off locations, so nothing to do with Nimby's, however the technology and costs have not changed a great deal in 50 years so don't expect it to change now because someone in govt says so. Australia already has a number of pumped hydro locations, so its hardly new technology to Australia. The Nimby's and environmentalists will kick in when they start nominating places to build dams.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The highest priority for governments is surely to ensure a 100% reliable electricity supply without blackouts, brownouts or load shedding. They must do whatever it takes, using whatever infrastructure it takes and whatever power sources it takes, without disproportionately increasing the cost to consumers. Not in ten years, not next year but NOW.
I hope it doesn't take widespread blackouts, looting and civil disorder before they get the message.
You really think the power going off for a couple of hours on a hot day is going to cause the collapse of civilisation? No wonder it's impossible to have a sensible discourse about energy policy.
potatoinmymouth
No, but its hard to promote yourself as a leading service provider, modern and developed economy when your power goes off when it gets a bit hot is splashed across international media. Aust Power outage, UAE media. And its not just the actual events which are very rare, but its the ongoing talk in the media in the lead up to summer about how will the country manage.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

the actual events which are very rare
RTT_Rules

Right, so we’re building an electricity system to suit a media narrative then? Just so I’m clear.
  RedEyeExpress Locomotive Driver

Location: Melbourne
potatoinmymouth, no, it probably won't cause the collapse of civilization and my comment above might seem over-the-top. I'm pretty steamed up about the situation - which was aggravated by the Victorian Minister's ill-informed, somewhat misleading comments - even though I wasn't personally affected by the outages. In Ghana and Myanmar they're part of everyday life (have encountered them in both countries as a tourist), but surely in 2019 Australia we have the means to provide a reliable electricity supply.

A key point that's emerged in the discussion is that the power companies have little incentive to maintain - much less build on - coal etc.-generation infrastructure; isn't that only fine if you can otherwise ensure a reliable, affordable supply?

Am definitely impressed by the depth of technical knowledge in this thread!
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
the actual events which are very rare

Right, so we’re building an electricity system to suit a media narrative then? Just so I’m clear.
potatoinmymouth
I wonder if blackouts (oh sorry Minister, brown outs) are one of the factors in the World's Most Liveable City BS that our pollies seem to love talking about so much on the evening news bulletins.

Is that the kind of media narrative you are thinking of?

BG
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Are we expecting rolling blackouts today?
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Well the LNP are hoping, only in Victoria mind you.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
the actual events which are very rare

Right, so we’re building an electricity system to suit a media narrative then? Just so I’m clear.
potatoinmymouth
who said anything about the media? I just said it should be built to provide power such that on a hot day, people are not sitting in the dark or the heat and businesses are idle. Not too much to ask for a developed country is it, emerging markets in hotter climates see to manage?
  62440 Chief Commissioner

You really think the power going off for a couple of hours on a hot day is going to cause the collapse of civilisation? No wonder it's impossible to have a sensible discourse about energy policy.
potatoinmymouth
The big blackout in SA nearly shut down Whyalla for ever, try telling supermarkets that a couple of hours without power doesn't matter when they are throwing out everything from their fridges. City centres without traffic lights in the peak are serious issues. I'm sure most people at home can survive a couple of hours with no power even in 45 deg, but a lot of commerce and industry is critically affected.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
You really think the power going off for a couple of hours on a hot day is going to cause the collapse of civilisation? No wonder it's impossible to have a sensible discourse about energy policy.
The big blackout in SA nearly shut down Whyalla for ever, try telling supermarkets that a couple of hours without power doesn't matter when they are throwing out everything from their fridges. City centres without traffic lights in the peak are serious issues. I'm sure most people at home can survive a couple of hours with no power even in 45 deg, but a lot of commerce and industry is critically affected.
62440
Many businesses affected, luckily we just lost a few hours productivity, others not so lucky. Saw a story on the TV news about a cafe that had to throw out a heap of food after the black..., sorry, brownout hit them right around lunch time. The owner said it would take a month of trading just to recoup the losses by her estimation.

Some people seem to be suggesting that we should just harden up, the power went out in the 70s/80s or whatever, the problem is that we rely on electricity more now in these ragged lives we lead, it is hotter so people rely on AC more, especially the elderly, and we pay a BLOODY FORTUNE for the magical stuff now too.

So what are we paying for? We have among the highest power prices in the world despite our abundant natural resources coal, gas, etc not to mention sun that you can cook with and a fair bit of wind as well.

I reckon we have every right to complain and to try to hold our politicians to account for this mess.

BG
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

These aren't brownouts. The media is using the term incorrectly.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
These aren't brownouts. The media is using the term incorrectly.
kitchgp
More like swallowing the bull$hit served up by the Victorian Minister.

What we saw last week was a rolling blackout.

But because the Minister had said in the AM that there wouldn't be any blackouts we couldn't possibly have had one so she called it a brownout.

Waiting for the ABC fact check to pick up on it. Insert sound of crickets chirping.

BG

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