A good day for wind apart from the choke point

Yesterday was a good day for wind after a slow start. Across the 24 hours from 6am yesterday to 6am this morning the supply ranged from 0.8GW to 3.2GW.

The average for the day was about 44% of capacity which is better than the 30% you expect for a year.

All sources.

The critical period is the low point, the bottleneck or the choke point. The supply only briefly touched the low point but there was a period of almost 2 hours below 1.2GW or 20% of capacity.

That came at a low point of demand and so there was no drama and there will not be an issue most of the time as long as the base of hydrocarbon power and hydro is solid.

But the base is threatened and that was a good day. Remember the day in the sample year when wind delivered less than 3% of capacity and the 29 days under 10%.

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11 Responses to A good day for wind apart from the choke point

  1. RobK

    The contribution of RE is variable on all time scales. The daily graphs of output are generally of low resolution (i.e. plotted in lengthy time blocks) and dont show the surges over much of the grid by the minute . Wind ramps up/down to the cubed power of wind speed. Solar does vary by the minute between substations due to clouds. These swings in supply/demand can be large, increasingly so with more RE.
    A comment from bravenewclimate.com/2015/11/08/the-capacity-factor-of-wind/#more-6726

    Wind power ramp rates

    Wind output is constantly changing and requires the rest of the grid to be flexible enough to ramp up power or shed load to balance wind fluctuation.  This rate of change is just the time derivative of wind power.  The plot below shows this “acceleration rate” throughout the year.  It’s a normal distribution, the symmetry showing that wind power picks up as fast as it drops off, and that the grid needs to be responsive at a rate of 20 MW per minute, in both directions, to cover most conditions.

    As more wind is added, the flexibility of the rest of the grid will have to increase proportionately – double the wind energy would require about 40 MW/min ramp rate.  But this additional ramping ability must be delivered by the shrinking dispatcheable generator sector.  So the intrinsic flexibility of the rest of the grid must increase, and faster than in simple proportion to wind penetration.  Practically that means increasingly strong pressure to shift from coal generation to gas as wind share grows.

    This is a pro-wind quote and doesn’t acknowledge the rapidly changing spot load changes (to coin a term) occuring within the grid.

  2. V_maet

    Wind improved following the impacts of the low pressure system coming across the bight to the east coast.

    As you have rightly pointed out, the minkmjm is the critical component and it doesn’t always come at periods of low demand.

    Here is some examples of multi-day lows of wind output from 2017: https://imgur.com/a/TtsmNM0

  3. iain russell

    Just watching the reliable Lefthead ABC and apparently Adelaide and other bits of SA are out of juice, because of wild weather. Shooorly this is what Muskie’s XXXL battery was meant to fix, wasn’t it? Can one of the tech heads please explain?

  4. hzhousewife

    Along with the above comes the apparent requirement to reduce our “rolled gold infrastructure” which I gather to mean the wires needed to cope with all this, because too expensive and causing our power prices to go up!

  5. RobK

    Can one of the tech heads please explain?

    Refer to my comment above. Wild power swings a problem to contain.

  6. Barry Bones

    Which is why we have gas, hydro and batteries to act as firming capacity

  7. V_maet


    No one is going the build new gas plants and it is almost impossible to get new hydro off the ground due to green tape.

    The Tesla Battery in SA didn’t help when the double islanding event occured in August this year and drove prices to maximum in SA for four hours.

    With the relentless oush for renewables and closure of reliable fossil fuel generation the problems are only going to get worse.

  8. RobK

    Barry you are missing my point. The cacophony of variable imputs from distributed supply (even gas and batteries have to jump to the tune of the weather) is a stark contrast to the relatively constant feed from baseload and peakers. (Peakers only ever being a small % make-up). There are technical reasons why very chaotic fluctuations and multiple varying sources within a network are much harder to distribute. These include fault-current discrimination, power conditioning and ground-current issues. It will require increased control and instrumentation. There will need to be better over sight to monitor this experiment. The problems have not fully delineated, nor have they been costed. All this is outlined in Finkel’s report but he uses different words. The issues I’m bringing up are what will constitute the next phase of expenditure, which, just like “firming “was quietly overlooked originally when the first grand subsidies where forged, these issues will continue to escalate the cost of power. To say that costs will come down is bollocks. The service will suffer and the cost will rise. RE is not ready for prime time. This will become increasingly clear as time passes. The sooner we back off the better. We are being sold an expensive pup.

  9. RobK

    The double islanding event is a prime example of grid reliablity being inverse to grid complexity. A so called “smart grid” has to be a complex, expensive, unstable mass.

  10. BoyfromTottenham

    Here is a new twist on the ‘renewables are great’ line – Tim Cannon-Brookes (co-founder of Atlassian) is spruiking here:
    “Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has called bullshit on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pledge to provide low-cost, non-renewable energy by launching a renewable energy brand he says will reflect Australians’ notion of what ‘fair dinkum’ means”, and “Having registered the Twitter handle Fair Dinkum Power, Cannon-Brookes later specified “it’s not a power company”. “Just trying to reclaim the term to promote Aussie popular view and our world-class innovations,” he wrote.
    Source: https://www.smartcompany.com.au/startupsmart/news-analysis/atlassian-mike-cannon-brookes-bullshit-scott-morrison-renewable-energy/
    Apparently he is also trade-marking the ‘Fair Dinkum Power’ phrase, presumably to stop our PM from using it to promote the government’s policy of ‘low-cost, non-renewable energy’, as he did recently.
    This stuff is straight out of the Alinsky manual. I can only conclude that Cannon-Brookes is a fully paid-up ‘famous person’ front man for the Greens / ALP / Get-Up crowd. But of course he won’t admit it. And the MSM journos won’t ask, will they?

  11. Mark M

    “Fair Dinkum Power”

    As a marketeer, SloMo could take back the initiative, by calling it “asli bijli” (real electricity):

    “The residents of Dharnai are far from satisfied to see lights for the first time in 33 years, courtesy a solar-powered micro-grid set up by the environment watchdog Greenpeace India.

    They now want asli bijli (real electricity) from the government. ”


    But, that would require SloMo to tell the truth.

    Perhaps win an election.

    That aint gonna happen.

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