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Australia sets new wind energy record, breaks 3GW for first time

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Wind power generation in Australia reached a new record on Tuesday morning, peaking just below 3,000MW for the first time.

The level was reached at 7.55am, with output of 2,988MW of wind capacity – 81 per cent of the rates 3,667MW of capacity in the National Electricity Market.  It broke the previous record of 2,848MW set on December 16 last year.

 

wind update

The figure is for the National Electricity Market, which does not include Western Australia and other remote grids.

The Collgar wind farm in Western Australia was also producing more than 50MW of capacity at the time, and other wind farms in WA were also operating, so he output of wind farms in Australia peaked above 3,000MW for first time. Also, the NEM data does not include wind farms such as Toora, Hampden, Crookwell and Blayney wind farms, which have a combined capacity of 37MW.

With the addition of 26MW of “big solar” – essentially two solar farms, the partly completed Nyngan solar farm and the Royalla solar farm in the ACT, generation of large scale renewable energy in the NEM was also above 3GW.

This does not include rooftop solar, which was producing around 397MW of capacity at the time (rooftop solar tends to peak later in the day).

Here’s another visualisation of the moment at 8am, provided by NEM-Watch. A live update of the output can be seen here. Again, this graph does not include W.A.

wind outpt record

 

The biggest input came from South Australia, with 1066MW of output, closely followed by Victoria, with 1021MW of output, including 388MW from Australia’s largest wind farm, the 420MW Macarthur facility.

NSW accounted for 582M@, Tasmania 210MW, while Queensland delivered a big fat zero. The only wind farm in Queensland is the small Windy Hill facility in the north, which is just 12MW and not registered with AEMO data.  

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  • Neil_Copeland

    It has been really, really windy in SA since yesterday afternoon. 🙂

  • David K Clarke

    There seems to be major contradictions between the two graphs. The first graph shows that the NEM’s wind farm output was highly variable and wind only producing around 200MW a short time before the 3GW peak, but the second graph indicates that wind farm output was much more consistent. It is hard to believe that the variability could be as high as indicated in the first graph over the whole of the NEM.

    • David Osmond

      Hi Dave, I believe the first graph is showing output over a few weeks, if not more. Whereas the 2nd graph is showing output over just a single day, or thereabouts.

      • Yes, indeed. I’ve replaced the graph with key. apologies for that, first graph is over three weeks.

      • David K Clarke

        Thanks David

        • Dave and Dave

          You might be interested to note that wind topped out over 3,200MW overnight – more here:

          http://www.wattclarity.com.au/2015/05/aggregate-wind-farm-output-tops-3200mw-in-the-middle-of-the-night/

          Paul

          • David K Clarke

            Thanks Paul. I’m afraid some of the technical stuff in that explanation is a bit heavy for my small brain.

          • Sorry to hear that, David

            Especially because we’re trying to make complexity more understandable. Obviously have to try even harder!

            Will contact you offline to see if I can understand where you’re stuck.

            Paul

          • David K Clarke

            Paul; if you’d like to give me a call this afternoon, maybe around 3 if that suits, (08 8636 2446) it would be good to discuss some of the stuff on Watt Clarity. I’ll get the page up on my computer while talking to you.

    • Hi David

      As Giles has noted, both charts are correct – it’s just the timescales are different.

      You comment “It is hard to believe that the variability could be as high as indicated in the first graph over the whole of the NEM.”

      I am curious to know what your expectations are, in terms of variability?

      Paul

      • David K Clarke

        I could not read the X scales on either of the graphs. Was under the (apparently false) impression that they were similar. I would not expect all wind farms in the NEM to vary similarly in output over a period of hours, but they might well do so over a period of weeks.

  • If you want to take a look at the daily demand profile by fuel type in the NEM states (SA, Vic, NSW, Qld, Tas) – have a look at the website developed by my colleague Herve Senot and I – Empowerme – http://empowerme.org.au/market.html#. If you have smart meter data available – you can upload to the website and develop your own ‘heat map’. Feedback most welcome.

  • As a PS to this discussion, see the attached NEM-Watch image highlighting the Low Reserve warning that AEMO issued for South Australia today, stemming from some planned transmission maintenance work coinciding with so much wind in South Australia (i.e. having the flow-over consequence of not many thermal units running to provide inertia in the case of interconnector trip)

  • Malcolm Scott

    according to the widget, wind was over 3 GW last night, and is very close right now (4:30 Sunday). Last Sunday it was very little