Tesla big battery outsmarts lumbering coal units after Loy Yang trips | RenewEconomy

Tesla big battery outsmarts lumbering coal units after Loy Yang trips

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Tesla big battery steps in after big Loy Yang coal unit trips, and arrests and reverses a dramatic fall in frequency – before the contracted coal unit had time to respond.

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HPR frequency fig copy

(Note: See update on second trip and intervention below).

The Tesla big battery is having a big impact on Australia’s electricity market, far beyond the South Australia grid where it was expected to time shift a small amount of wind energy and provide network services and emergency back-up in case of a major problem.

Last Thursday, one of the biggest coal units in Australia, Loy Yang A 3, tripped without warning at 1.59am, with the sudden loss of 560MW and causing a slump in frequency on the network.

What happened next has stunned electricity industry insiders and given food for thought over the near to medium term future of the grid, such was the rapid response of the Tesla big battery to an event that happened nearly 1,000km away.

Even before the Loy Yang A unit had finished tripping, the 100MW/129MWh had responded, injecting 7.3MW into the network to help arrest a slump in frequency that had fallen below 49.80Hertz.

Data from AEMO (and gathered above by Dylan McConnell from the Climate and Energy College) shows that the Tesla big battery responded four seconds ahead of the generator contracted at that time to provide FCAS (frequency control and ancillary services), the Gladstone coal generator in Queensland.

HPR frequeny fig 2 copy

But in reality, the response from the Tesla big battery was even quicker than that – in milliseconds – but too fast for the AEMO data to record.

Importantly, by the time that the contracted Gladstone coal unit had gotten out of bed and put its socks on so it can inject more into the grid – it is paid to respond in six seconds – the fall in frequency had already been arrested and was being reversed.

Gladstone injected more than Tesla did back into the grid, and took the frequency back up to its normal levels of 50Hz, but by then Tesla had already put its gun back in its holster and had wandered into the bar for a glass of milk.

So why did the Tesla big battery respond when not contracted?

One reason is because it can, and so it did.

The other reason is less clear, but more intriguing. It is contracted to provide such grid services by the South Australia government.

The details of that contract are not released, but it wouldn’t surprise if that contract allowed, or even encouraged, such intervention – just to rub in the message about a cleaner, faster, smarter grid to the technology dinosaurs in the eastern states.

Marvellous stuff.

This is just the latest in a series of interventions since the Tesla big battery was officially opened in early December.

hornsdale power reserve copy

It has provided, at the request of AEMO, 70MW of back-up to help meet a critical peak in the day before its opening, entered into the FCAS market, as we highlight here, and discharged at full capacity.

Over the weekend was again illustrating its rapid fire charging and discharging. (See graph above). The rapid re-bidding is likely to change the market forever, particularly when the 5-minute settlement rule finally comes into effect in 2021.

It should be an interesting 2018.

Note: The Tesla big battery is known to the grid as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, as it is located near the Hornsdale wind farm in South Australia, also owned and operated by Neoen. Hence the acronym HPR in such tables.

Update: We just realised that a paragraph explaining the timings of the Tesla intervention went missing in the transfer from one document to another.

To be clear, on the timing of the response of this generators, some did some minor adjustments (1MW) as part of regulation FCAS, the moment they dropped below 50Hz.

The interesting thing here is the speed with which Tesla responded to the contingency FCAS market, which is triggered after frequency gets to 49.8Hz. That was pretty much instantaneous. And they did it from a standing start, unlike the other generators.

Tesla weren’t officially playing in that market, but just wanted to show what they could do. And they did. That’s what’s impressive, and what’s game changing.

As for timing, Loy Yang A started to lose it at 1.58:59 (NEM time). Its biggest drop, from 364MW to 176MW, was at 1.59:19, which is where frequency hit 49.8Hz, and which is where Tesla came in a matter of milliseconds (but recorded in the 1.59:23 time frame).

Gladstone 1, a contingency FCAS supplier, hopped in at 1.59:27. Loy Yang was down to 44MW by then and completely gone in the next 4 second period.

And no, we never suggested this averted a blackout. The point of the story was what Tesla could do. Now, imagine if there was actually a proper market (fast frequency control) for this stuff.

Latest update:  Oops, it happened again! The Loy Yang A number 1 unit, which had been out for maintenance and repairs since tripping in early November, returned to service on Friday morning, and then tripped two and a half hours later.

Again, the Tesla big battery repeated its dose of last week, hopping in with a milli-second respond to help arrest the fall in frequency caused by the sudden loss of 353MW of capacity.

This time, the battery injected 16MW for frequency control before returning to take advantage of the price spike caused by the sudden loss of capacity (prices jumped 50 per cent to $119/MWh).

Again, as we wrote on Thursday, it’s time for the regulators to catch up and actually create a market for Tesla big battery and others like it. That’s the fifth trip of a major coal unit in the past week!.

(Sorry, no new graphs. I’m supposed to be on holidays.

 

 

 

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478 Comments
  1. Mike Dill 3 years ago

    Great so far. Let’s see what happens in the wholesale market as that extra 100MW gets bid.

    • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

      I thought the battery-supplied FCAS being described isn’t bid but instead contracted by the SA govt for just such purposes?

      • John Herbst 3 years ago

        I understand it to be a little of both. What surplus capacity it has after meeting its contract can be bid in other markets, including AEMO’s FCAS. Perhaps the contract ate up most of the capacity leaving only the 7MW remaining at the moment for FCAS? I don’t know whether AEMO payment structures can handle interstate FCAS, or whether it at all matters that the source of the voltage drop was in another state.

        • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

          Possibly the “battery” is many batteries grouped into two functional units, one for short term FFR and the other for dispatch power. I think Dylan McConnell wrote something along those lines on here or on The Conversation recently.

          • neroden 3 years ago

            Yes, that’s almost certainly correct.

    • falstaff77 3 years ago

      $500/kWh installed cost for that battery farm, that backs up a middling wind farm for 90 mins. What’s great about it?

      • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

        That response just soooo misunderstands the significance of a 100MW fast response FCAS element.

      • Mike Dill 3 years ago

        While the price is high, and probably will never be directly recovered, the battery will be able to add to the grid supply when charged, putting downward pressure on the wholesale electric price during times of peak demand. That will create lower retail electric rates eventually, and the value will then flow to the consumer, which happens to be the populous and voters of South Australia.

        • falstaff77 3 years ago

          That would be true … If no other far cheaper sources of power existed to put downward pressure on peak demand. There are cheaper sources.

  2. trackdaze 3 years ago

    Need more of these at the ends and in the middle of the grid.

    • ben 3 years ago

      It would be very interesting to see the market impacts of another three or four of them in SA near the wind and solar farms. Not just power but grid stability and the ability to island for short periods

      • Andy Saunders 3 years ago

        Not too sure it’s useful to island a wind-farm/battery! Might be more useful near a load centre…

        • ben 3 years ago

          Maybe I should have said “help micro grids island” 🙂 Far flung parts of the grid, near generators and demand. Country towns and regional areas.

          • fehowarth 3 years ago

            Seems to work a 1000 kilometers away.

        • trackdaze 3 years ago

          Usefull to a renewable generator store some when its cheap sell some when its expensive.

          • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

            When new battery chemistries see big reductions in storage capacity costs suitable for wind and solar farms it will become a no brainer.

          • Mark Potochnik 3 years ago

            Batteries are already past the tipping point.

          • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

            not quite, otherwise every wind and solarPV farm in the world would be ordering 2-10 hours of storage to do price arbitrage and value add to their RoI. In the domestic market (home storage) $100/kWh is seen as the threshold for decent payback in a period folks can get their heads and balance sheets around. PHES already can deliver at that price (not that $/kWh is the only metric going for storage and in itself is a big oversimplification)

            http://theconversation.com/despite-the-hype-batteries-arent-the-cheapest-way-to-store-energy-on-the-grid-68417

          • Mark Potochnik 3 years ago

            It may be time for batteries on everything! Almost unlimited potential.

          • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

            Also I’m talking about a tipping point where FF are effectively dead in ALL industries. Think about that. 🙂

          • Bobby 3 years ago

            Already past that point Alastair… 🙂

          • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

            Nope, think bigger.

      • itdoesntaddup 3 years ago

        I’ve already seen a number of events while testing that very likely show market response to the battery’s operations. You also have to bear in mind that when the battery is being tested at full output/maximum ramp rate or a high charge rate, AEMO needs to be advised so that they can arrange for compensating levels of generation or cutback from other sources, otherwise the battery could upset grid frequency unnecessarily.

        The interesting thing will be to observe what happens when the testing phase is over, and the battery is operating in a competitive environment.

  3. Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

    Perhaps with this (brilliantly described above) system now testing so well in the early stages, the “NEG” should be adjusted to ‘guarantee’ more grid batteries on the network via a SET (Storage Energy Target). Or to guarantee the Guarantee, so to speak.

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      Oi! Enough with the ageism already!
      If I can get my 72 yo brain around this stuff, there is no excuse for Waffles.
      Well, there’s no excuse for him anyway, but that’s another argument.
      The NEG, in my not so humble opinion, is not fit to be used for toilet paper. And is rapidly disintegrating, despite all attempts to talk it up.
      Renewables 100; Gov’t 0.

      • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

        Sorry Hettie I was aiming that at those who pretend to be smart i.e Malcolm; and not those like you who really are smart.

      • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

        All reference to Mal’s age removed. You’re right age is irrelevant.

        • Hettie 3 years ago

          I suppose then I must delete my response. Shame. I rather liked it.

          • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

            Nah you should’ve left it there – it was a good reply and I’m happy to own my mistakes (even though I edit them out when I see the light).

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            I edited it, as without your comment it didn’t make much sense.
            Appreciate the good nature of your response to the rebuke.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Ren…it is ‘Agile Malcolm’s’ son that is in the know on RE matters.

  4. Ray Miller 3 years ago

    Welcome to the future boys and girls. Giles I love the analogy, as I’ve been speaking to anyone I can, MW’s in ms is got to be worth significantly more than the massive inefficient machines waiting (and being paid) to do something they are incapable of.
    So you almost need a special market for fast ms response devices and then the seconds/minute devices.
    With the prospects of the many vintage plants with decreasing reliability causing more system disruptions maybe the AEMC budget should be used for something productive and buy more battery installations.

    • Scotty 3 years ago

      Powering these batteries from where…? oh yes, GENERATORS…. we actually need investment in more generators….

      • solarguy 3 years ago

        Yep RE generators sweet heart!

        • neroden 3 years ago

          Yep — wind and solar generators!

      • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

        Yep, but not lignite fired ones that fall over in big lumps.

      • Slaven 3 years ago

        to charge these batteries you don’t need that many new power plants because you’re charging them at off peak hours from existing ones.

        that way power plants can function continuously at high efficiency rates of over 65%

        it beats peaker plants in price and efficiency

        • Eric Williams 3 years ago

          Pundits don’t take off peak hours into consideration because it makes them look stupid.

        • Mark Potochnik 3 years ago

          And battery systems install much faster than gas peaker systems…

      • Parax 3 years ago

        The clue is in the name; the Hornsdale Power Reserve stores energy from the Hornsdale Wind Farm.. So yes the GENERATORS used were wind turbines.. and yes you need more.

      • mostlyharmless42 3 years ago

        The whole point of this is that the battery farm was able to immediately step in to fill the power shortfall. A generator system takes time to spin up and come on line.

        Battery farms like this are like the big tanks in a town’s water system. They fill up during times of low demand, then can supply sufficient water pressure during times of high demand, when the utilities can’t possibly keep up.

        They correct the biggest shortfall that renewables like wind and solar have against them — by providing a means of pushing power to the grid when wind or sun are not available, and storing it when it is.

    • solarguy 3 years ago

      Hell, who could disagree with that spot on statement Ray. Oh, sorry there are morons that would!

      • mostlyharmless42 3 years ago

        I suspect that you might find it easier to persuade skeptics if you didn’t first call them morons.

        Insulting people as an opening argument is a rather poor debate tactic — it tends to put them on the defensive, and makes them less likely to accede to any of your follow-on arguments.

        • heinbloed 3 years ago

          There is nothing to be debated.
          Not with morons, not with the clowns.

          • mostlyharmless42 3 years ago

            And that’s why nobody listens to you. Who wants to stick around and be insulted? If your opening salvo is insults, you can’t possibly have anything valid to say… otherwise, you’d start off with that.

            Do you really want to convince people that you’re right, or do you just want to score insult points to make yourself feel superior?

          • Kate 3 years ago

            @mostlyharmless42:disqus Oh, the irony. As if coal lovers haven’t been denigrating their renewable competitors for years.

          • mostlyharmless42 3 years ago

            And did they convince you with their insults?

            You have a perfect opportunity to show just how effective renewables can be with the right mix of components and new technologies. But you waste it by insulting and alienating those you might otherwise sway.

            The deliberate abandonment of civil discourse will not lead to more civil politicians in public office.

          • mostlyharmless42 3 years ago

            The “they did it first” defense didn’t justify my bad behavior when I was a little boy — it certainly shouldn’t work for an adult.

          • anteater 3 years ago

            Have you ever tried to discuss with those ‘skeptics’? They (at least most of them, haven’t come across one who would act differently, but there might be some) wouldn’t listen anyway, even to the most factual reasoning backed by scientific evidence. No wonder then that some are not willing to handle these people with kid gloves as it usually is a total waste of time.

          • mostlyharmless42 3 years ago

            Quite often, in fact… Being a skeptic myself, I know what it takes to convince me — and it ain’t insults.

            You say it’s a waste of time to “handle these people with kid gloves….” How is it a better use of your time to hurl insults at them? Do you think that is a more effective means to convince them?

            In general, I am pushing for more civil behavior in our public discourse. I am sick to death of the nasty vileness that I see between people with opposing points of view.

          • anteater 3 years ago

            As a scientist I am a sceptic, too, but if there is evidence, then I believe it, if it is plausible (at least until better/other evidence is available).

            I don’t think that it is a good idea to hurl insults at people in general, but I can to some extend understand people who do so, because they are so fed up by those (some) so-called sceptics. May I give you an example? I came across one guy who said that climate change is in no way caused by human action, because there is a whole industry behind those who profit from climate change (such as wind turbine manufacturers). Now, guess what. There is a whole industry that profits a lot more from people not believing that human action has a huge part to play in climate change, but this is what this alleged sceptic wouldn’t comprehend. There is nothing that convince people like him.

            ‘In general, I am pushing for more civil behaviour in our public discourse.’

            I am absolutely with you on this one.

            Having said this, what would you do, if you study a subject (at uni) for years, know a lot of papers, laws of nature, facts and so on and then someone who went to the YouTube Academy tells you this is all wrong, they only teach bull at uni and so on. I for one find this extremely insulting. Usually I simply think to myself that the other person is an idiot, but I have some understanding for those who, after countless of these encounters, are fed up and lose their countenance. Imagine you are a doctor of medicine and come across quite a number of patients who know it all better, because they read it on the internet. These doctors surely, too, think to themselves that the person is an idiot. Some may even say it.

          • mostlyharmless42 3 years ago

            It goes both ways. I’m a degreed meteorologist (BS and MS) with 35 years in the field (including numerical modeling, solar-terrestrial interaction, and satellite data processing). I am one of those who don’t think that the observed temperature changes are due entirely to human causes. In fact, much of the observed temperature changes in the last 150 years or so seem consistent with a recovery from the Little Ice Age. And temperatures are on par with what we saw during the medieval warm period*.

            I am certain that we are seeing increases in average temps. And that it is likely that there is an anthropogenic component. However, we don’t know nearly enough to know how much of each there is — and the topic has become too politically polarized to be sure of anything, anymore. We DO need to do more research and try to understand both the natural and anthropogenic changes we are seeing. But basing all future actions on the results of unproven/unverified numerical models (that have yet to produce accurate predictions) is unwise.

            And I do think it is wise to develop cleaner energy sources, with a goal of weaning us off hydrocarbons. But we have to do this in an orderly, phased manner — we just can’t drop fossil fuels without having something ready to take their place. I think companies like Tesla are at the brink of making renewables feasible, and watch their progress with great interest.

            However, I once tried to point out some of the climate change shortfalls to a group of liberal arts types, but was dismissed as not knowing anything, and that they knew better. Seriously, not one of them had an iota of science background or education, and they were dismissing all of my points (backed up with references to various published studies) as being uneducated and science-denying.

            However, I didn’t storm off in a huff and call them morons, idiots, etc. Because I know for sure THAT technique will never convince anyone. Plus, I don’t like to alienate people… it’s not in my DNA. So, I changed the topic and we drank more beer (a much better use of time and a more enjoyable activity than hurling insults).

            *Yes, I know there are studies showing that current temps are warmer, but I haven’t dug deep enough to have faith in their data analysis techniques. Mann, et al., as well as the CRU, didn’t do folks any favors with the sloppy/biased techniques for skewing data analysis in their desired directions.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Interesting point of view but from my reading not consistent with the majority. I wouldn’t imagine that anything in a system as complex as the weather would have a single cause, but there’s no doubting the steep rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide is anthropogenic. Or that the uncontrolled release of plastic into the oceans is anything other than anthropogenic. Basically humans are making a big mess but socially seem inept at solving the problems they are causing. RE is just one of the avenues where this is apparent. An elite seems to gain control of a particular technology and rent seek it to the brink, very reluctant to give up their position. China and India have responded to the West’s control of capital by sacrificing the health of their citizens in a desperate attempt to gain some economic balance. There is no doubt to them that RE offers a way out – air that won’t kill their people but cheap power at the same time. The intransigence of the West means they may well find them outplayed.

          • anteater 3 years ago

            I am a degreed (MS) geoecologist. And I wouldn’t claim that “the observed temperature changes are due entirely to human causes”. Actually, I haven’t come across one scientist who claims that.

            “And that it is likely that there is an anthropogenic component.”

            I think almost all relevant scientists agree on that. Most even agree that not only it is likely, but as close to certain as can get with current methods. What I also know is that so much is at stake, that I for one would rather not wait for another 100 years to take measures, just to be 100% sure that mankind has enough of an impact to destroy humanity. You surely know that the planet will survive anyway and nature in itself, too, but mankind rather not.

            “and the topic has become too politically polarized to be sure of anything, anymore”

            That is why I studied this stuff. Not to convince others, but to know for myself. Seeing what goes on regarding lobbying in politics, what goes on currently is quite alarming. That is where much of the polarization is coming from.

            “(that have yet to produce accurate predictions)”

            As far as I know, the IPCC publishes one rather prudent extrapolation/model and a worst-case on. Guess which one was closest to the actual temperature rises up to now. Hint: It wasn’t the prudent estimate.

            “But we have to do this in an orderly, phased manner”

            But what do we actually do? We build bigger, heavier cars that use up more fuel and consume more energy for production. It is not as if we are moving into the direction of actually saving oil. This brings me to another point. We (you and I) may or may not see the end of oil production, but it surely will end some time soon, say in the next 100 years or so. What I am talking about is mass production of oil. Now, a lot of medicines require oil to be produced. I’d rather save some for coming generations instead of using it all up, but what do I know, I am only a humanist.

            “we just can’t drop fossil fuels without having something ready to take their place”

            We are pretty close, I think. It may not be enough for people to fly over the Atlantic for a weekend to go shopping in some fancy place or to have three long-distance travels a year, but we won’t have to return up on the trees, if we significantly reduce our use of oil.

            “However, I didn’t storm off in a huff and call them morons, idiots”

            Maybe you would, if this happened to you all of the time, including the cleaner and janitor letting you know that they know more than you. At least those who you came across were arts types (who are not exactly my cup of tea).

          • Wallace 3 years ago

            “I am one of those who don’t think that the observed temperature changes are due entirely to human causes. In fact,”

            If you will take a look at global temperature records over time you’ll see that the planet was on a slow path to the next ice age prior to humans warming things up. Not only are humans entirely responsible for observed global warming. Without human produced GHG we would still be on a long term temperature decline.

            Why don’t you take your beliefs to Skeptical Science and see whether research backs them up or proves them wrong? Read up on the Little Ice Age and medieval warming period. Real or not? Global or localized? Do we understand why they might have happened?

            “we just can’t drop fossil fuels without having something ready to take their place”

            We can’t and we aren’t. We are progressively replacing fossil fuels with renewables. Only slowly at this point, we’re just warming up. Renewables only recently became cheap.

            Here’s how the US is doing…

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/353e6ae0c6701e44af8b79d3c26ea01380f477b81c040e9a9805b45ec42aef1a.png

            Wind and solar replaced 6% of fossil fuel generation at the end of last year. It looks like we might be up to 8% at the end of this year.

            And here’s why things are starting to take off…

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ff4b7461ec9a9e5c3f118c2b3cab29342b5d87d68fc80b174e5648c04b7b1413.png

            Look back at 2010. Wind was in the same price range as nuclear and coal. Solar was a lot more expensive.

            Now look at 2017. Wind and solar are the least expensive. And their costs will continue to fall.

            Those price changes will drive the switch from fossil fuels to renewables faster and faster. We won’t shut down coal and gas plants until they are no longer needed, we’ll keep the grid alive. But we’ll replace coal and gas plants each year at an accelerating pace.

          • Dave Scothern 3 years ago

            I wish I had faith that renewable energy would continue to take off in the US. However, he-who-must-not-be-named judges that a resurgence in coal power will bring a resurgence in votes. I think you’re about to see some market distortion. I do hope that your renewables industry continues to thrive and prosper in spite of this.

            Ah well. At worst, we’re one-eighth of the way through this retrogressive adminstration.

          • Wallace 3 years ago

            The price of wind and solar are now low enough that the market is taking over. Only some sort of anti-wind/solar legislation could stop their progress (as far as I can figure things out). And it is extremely unlikely that we’d see anti-RE legislation passed in Congress.

            There’s no future for coal. We’ve closed a large number of coal plants so there’s many fewer places to burn coal. HWMNBN can order more coal to be used but how?

            And, frankly, I think any royal dictate would be largely ignored. Utilities have to attend to what states and consumers want. Especially in deregulated areas where consumers could simply start moving in large numbers to suppliers who sell only or most green electricity.

            Congress just allowed the wind and solar subsidy programs continue on their schedule fade outs (2018 for wind, 2022 for solar – IIRC). Congress isn’t likely to mess with W/S subsidy programs as a standalone piece of legislation.

            And they didn’t go after the EV subsidy program.

            HWMNBN is doing massive damage in other areas and it looks like we’re about to get shafted more via social support programs like Social Security and Medicare. But I think RE and EVs have a life of their own and will be OK.

          • Dave Scothern 3 years ago

            I really hope you’re right. The world needs energy security but it needs green power too. A “bring back the 1980s” drive to subsidise coal back into competition would be a short-sighted way to achieve only one of those goals.

          • Wallace 3 years ago

            Here’s where the US was getting coal in 2014. Things have changed in the last three years but I can’t find any more recent data.

            1. Wyoming 395.7 millions of short tons
            2. West Virginia 112.2
            3. Kentucky 77.3
            4. Pennsylvania 60.9
            5. Illinois 58.0
            6. Montana 44.6
            7. Texas 43.7
            8. Indiana 39.3
            9. North Dakota 29.2
            10 Colorado 24.0
            11. Ohio 22.3
            12. New Mexico 22.0
            13. Utah 17.9
            14. Alabama 16.4
            15. Virginia 15.1
            16. Arizona 8.1
            17. Mississippi 3.7
            18. Louisiana 2.6
            19. Maryland 2.0
            20. Alaska 1.5
            21. Oklahoma 0.9
            22. Tennessee 0.8
            23. Missouri 0.4
            24. Arkansas 0.1
            25. Kansas 0.1

            I think production is down considerably in Appalachia (#2 through 5).

            Coal production in states other than Wyoming just aren’t large parts of the state’s economy. Wind has become a major contributor in several of the listed states (Texas, Colorado, etc.) Political power is shifting.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Sad. So Sad. Wyoming could be exporting about a third of the energy of its coal exports as wind power, with an economic and environmental benefit. Wonderful wind. The best wind.

          • Wallace 3 years ago

            Wyoming has awakened to the potential with wind. Right now plans are being made for a massive wind farm in the SE corner of WY and for transmission lines to the Pacific Coast.

            There’s are two existing HVDC transmission lines not too far from WY and the plan is to hook up to them.

          • Ian 3 years ago

            It’s probably an old argument but the amount of money spent on defending oil supplies could more than pay for battery manufacturing equipment and all the wind and solar you could ever possibly need.

          • Ian 3 years ago

            At present oil is a far more useful resource than coal or gas yet it is being wasted like kid’s chocolates at Easter. Aimless driving from home to work and back again. This is what our generation will be remembered for. We have choked our atmosphere with one of the best gifts we have been given, oil, just for the sake of boring, self-important jobs. At least the possibility of EV and other technologies will help to right this wrong. This is where our efforts should be channeled. Wind and solar electricity technologies have just about grown up, now is the time to nurture batteries and EV. The cost of lithium battery factories is not that great. Taking Tesla’s ground breaking effort as a template $5 billion per 35 GWH factory capacity: $140 million per GWh . Considering whole sale costs for lithium batteries is approaching $100/kWh or $100million/GWh , the build-out of battery factory capacity is not that expensive.

            The greatness of America is to a large measure the control of the oil market, and now there is a potential paradigm shift. Poor Trump, he will be remembered as the president that looked back and turned his country into a pillar of salt.

          • iowavette 3 years ago

            I wasn’t a skeptic until learning of the hockey stick debacle, the research paper suppression and the ongoing adjustments being made to climate data to better fit the models. If anyone would take a look at the condition of weather stations in the developed world and the lack of weather stations around the world, they might take a step back (wattsupwiththat.com). Let the technology develop normally, and we’ll waste much less hard earned taxpayer treasure on one world socialists. The end game for the climate industry has little to do with warming temperatures and a whole lot to do with global socialism.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Ah yes, global socialism…that success story! I’m sure they’re so organised and co-ordinated they dwiddle with all our knobs! Funny how the guys with all the money and power seem to be the global capitalists, including those in so called “communist” countries (well, the concede now they may be “mixed economies”!).

          • fehowarth 3 years ago

            Read that neoliberalism is an ideology masquerading as economics. Can’t help but think the pro-coal, fossil fuels come under same umbrella. All to do with ideology, but not socialism.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            The magic of neo-lib capitalism – by and large owing its success to extractive processes, whether of partaking of the commonwealth of forests or minerals and extracting enormous rents, or using the environment as a cost free sewer, or extracting debt rents for worthless fiat currencies. Most so called capital creation is really debt fuelled asset inflation.

          • DoRightThing 3 years ago

            Global warming has nothing to with socialism, but has everything to do with the physics of greenhouse gases that humanity is pumping into the wafer thin atmosphere as if it were an open sewer.
            The solutions require global change and global cooperation in order to produce energy without fossil fuels, and devise technologies to scrub the atmosphere and draw down CO₂ as quick as possible to reduce the already baked-in consequences.
            You are free to suggest a solution, but the problem is real.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Just as 8Mt of plastic in the ocean per year has nothing to do with socialism, and everything to do with human nature exacerbated by the consumerist model.

            Leadership in the West would help.

          • fehowarth 3 years ago

            I can’t see many wars being fought over sun, tides or wind as we have seen for the last century or so over oil.

          • Ian 3 years ago

            Have you been to the beach over Christmas?

          • Wallace 3 years ago

            The ‘hockey stick’ is real. It’s been confirmed in multiple ways.

            https://www.skepticalscience.com/broken-hockey-stick.htm

            The location of weather stations is a bogus argument. Yes, some are located over asphalt and some over grass. But the temperature record does not take the temperature from one station and average it with the temperatures of others.

            What happens is that the change in temperature for each individual gauge is used. That corrects for “urban hot spots”.

            ” The end game for the climate industry has little to do with warming temperatures and a whole lot to do with global socialism.”

            Two wrongs. The end game for the climate “industry” is to keep us from turning planet Earth into a place where humans would have a hard time surviving.

            As for global socialism, we have to protect the entire planet. It’s not possible to protect only one country or a small number of countries. We’re all in the same boat.

            Protecting ourselves from extreme climate change is no more socialistic than if we we all got together to fight off a killer disease that could possibly kill us all. It’s self defense.

            And the solution turns out to be capitalism.

            Capitalism.

            Look at the growth of the solar and wind industries. Companies are making profits replacing fossil fuel generation with renewables.

            Our traditional car companies are starting to produce EVs because they can see that the market for ICEVs is almost certain to dry up and future profits will be made only by manufacturing EVs.

            Same is starting to happen with storage. Battery manufacturers are building enormous new battery plants because they see an opportunity to earn more money.

            Capitalism.

          • Ian 3 years ago

            Who gives a Toss for the old dichotomy of socialism and capitalism, those are social relics from a different time just like fossil fuels.

          • DoRightThing 3 years ago

            Huber and Knutti (2011) quantified that human attribution as being 74% and 122% due to humans (with a best estimate of around 100% human attribution). In other words, natural variability is not responsible for the observed warming trend.
            http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n1/abs/ngeo1327.html

            Since then, Gillett et al (2012) also examined the human attribution of the warming trend observed. They found that humans are responsible for 102% of observed warming from 1851 to 2010 and 113% of the observed warming from 1951 to 2000 and 1961 to 2010 (averaged together).
            http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011GL050226.shtml

          • Dave Scothern 3 years ago

            I recognise your conundrum. I’d go with lining up a great litany of facts, and leave it to the reader to decide whether the other party is an idiot or not. In other words, set up the punchline but let it be delivered, or not, based on its merits.

          • anteater 3 years ago

            Might work online, doesn’t work in real life. All you can do is walk away. That, indeed, is sad, if you have to walk away as a scientist, because the non-scientist will present an alternative ‘fact’ published by the academy of youtube. Generally I am with you anyway. I don’t really like to haul insults at others, but at times I find it very, very hard not to. Have a pleasant festive season.

          • Dave Scothern 3 years ago

            In real life, agreed. It occurs to me that I’m privileged to live and work among, for the most part, intelligent and courteous people. I work for a major engineering company and most people there are willing to consider logical argument and debate. You’ve helped me realise that I’ve been taking that for granted when I should be grateful for it. Thanks – I’ve learned something today! Best wishes for the Christmas season too.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            I believe lack of civility comes from lack of accountability – significantly promoted by use of pseudonyms

          • Ian 3 years ago

            Mike I can tell you are a Civil Engineer!

          • Dave Scothern 3 years ago

            I believe in this sort of tech and am glad to see it progressing.

            Separately, I couldn’t agree more – civil debate is so much more pleasant. My employer set up an internal social media page which has generally worked well enough, but now and then people throw insults that they surely wouldn’t say face to face. At that point you think, “wait a minute, I could find myself in a meeting with him next week,” and while it hasn’t happened yet, I think it could make for quite an uncomfortable session.

            If it’s not OK when I might see the guy in the near future, I don’t think it should be OK when I won’t see the poster in the near future either.

            Quite happy to accept that my view and someone else’s are different, and to attempt to persuade with facts and argument. At the end of it all, if you don’t buy my point of view, well, OK – it’s probably my tea time, or bedtime, or whatever. Life goes on.

          • sjalan 3 years ago

            Ah Yes, Trump and his showboat of clowns. YEP. Can’t fix stupid.

          • Bob Talbot 3 years ago

            haha , that bloke in the bar with the big mouth who knows all to well he is not going to win his argument goes directly to the insults before he hits the floor out cold as he knew that was his only chance to express his worthless opinion to the masses that really dont give a fuck

          • Jason 3 years ago

            The purpose of public debate isn’t to change the mind of your opponent. It’s to convince the undecided or uninformed in the audience. And to get them onside, tone matters; people like to listen to people they believe they’d like to hang around with.

        • sjalan 3 years ago

          Okie Dokie. An opening salvo in a debate is best served as a knife to the heart of the matter. When simple blunt head in the sand stupidity is the cause of the problem which is generating the debate, call it like it is and then back it up with fact, after fact after fact etc. Back in the early 60’s a California State Senator introduced a bill which said after 1980(?) I think it was, the internal combustion engine would be outlawed in California. Pretty ballsey. BUT the State Senator was correct. It MUST happen and happen sooner than later. Same applies to Coal Power generation. HAS TO STOP. There is no such thing as clean coal.

          • Ian 3 years ago

            A smart politician would read the times and then claim credit for anything good that happens during their tenure. Poor guy way back in the 60’s thinking he could outlaw the ICE. Actually now would be a good time to do this considering the momentum of EV that is already gaining. The EV ball is rolling, it just needs a little kick along. Various European countries are already doing this.

          • Wallace 3 years ago

            Now is a great time to say that a city will ban ICEVs at some date a few years from now. That costs nothing (and can be reversed if necessary). But it puts manufacturers on notice that if they don’t offer EVs that people want to drive then they may suffer many fewer sales as we approach that date.

          • sjalan 3 years ago

            I agree. President Obama saw this and KNEW even with failures along the way EV and the demise of coal and petrol power plants the future will be wind, solar and as much as possible hydroelectric as well. Yes, Solar and Wind are subject to damage but so are all other forms of power generation. In AZ USA we have several megawatt solar plants which are not backed up by battery systems but with this as an example we could easily install multiple megawatt batter systems to carry over solar and wind generation into the night and be ready to recharge the next morning. Add to that individual solar systems on the roofs of home and office buildings, schools and government etc. solar and wind WILL be the major supplier of electricity by say 2050.
            Oh a perfect example of industrial building is the Amazon distribution center in “Amazon Fulfillment Center, Patterson, CA” do a Google Earth view of the facility and you’ll see 2/3 of the roof is covered with solar panels. These companies KNOW it is the future.

    • Trent 3 years ago

      The article states the power station dropped 560MW and the battery injected 7MW. While it responed very quickly the rest of the network needed to find the other 553MW from other generators or shedding load. 7MW would not have been enough to arrest this drop on its own.

      • Giles 3 years ago

        We”re talking about the FCAS market here, not the energy market.

        • rob 3 years ago

          Giles…..this convo is way over my head!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          But I am so glad that my tiny State of S.A. is once again the centre of attention! It has taken me hours to read ALL THE COMMENTS! All I can say if puff along little engine……..we here in S.A are causing the other States and the Feds grief……..And I love it!!!!!!!!!!

        • HenkPoley 3 years ago

          FCAS := Frequency Control Ancillary Services

        • Chris Morley 3 years ago

          No one mentioned energy, Giles – it’s a simple equation involving MW. And yes – FCAS is dispatched in MW, just like generation.

      • Ray Miller 3 years ago

        Yes I appreciate that 560MW was dropped suddenly, but I strongly suggest that AEMO have a monitoring and sampling rate issue at ms time scales which failed to show the true picture.
        For example take my humble fridge with it’s 115W compressor but when starting draws a handful of 20ms cycles at 12A or almost 3kW! Only equipment with the right sampling speed can this be measured.
        So I’m sure all the large rotating machines (and new Tesla battery) all took a collective groan, during the trip event.
        What is clear is that grid battery technology is capable of delivering the first ms to minutes of FCAS and as quick at the energy available in expensive spinning reserve machines, but more efficiently, remotely and unmanned.
        Also as more than one engineer has pointed out, the design of our frequency specifications of the NEM is also likely to be a built in problem.

        With having modular fast ms response, power and energy capability that can be designed to be located in the most advantageous locations not tied to coal mines, gas pipes, water resources etc and could even be moved in months if a short-term need was required.
        My intuition is that using substation distributed battery storage may also offer very tidy efficient solutions to give many times the capital investment in value.

        • Chris 3 years ago

          It makes you wonder, if still in the age of limited battery storage, we wont see hybrid gas powerstations with their own battery storage to computer unused energy and ensure quick deliver when responding to these requests.

          Kinda like how the HDD industry has reinvented the cheaper but slowed disk market by building a hybrid devise with a small amount of SSD. Not the best analogy I know, but you get the idea.

          Might be one of the first steps in replacing the network, as renewable generators come online, the gas stations just convert totally over to battery.

          • Kate 3 years ago

            I think there might be a problem with your ‘post’ button there, Chris.

          • blackpaw 3 years ago

            It makes you wonder doesn’t it?

          • Chris 3 years ago

            Thank-you Kate. It was saying some kind of message that the API service was down, so I just waited a few times trying it. Eventually it posted. Clearly it thought it would then catch-up!

          • Wallace 3 years ago

            Gave me a sort of short cycle Groundhog Day experience….

          • Ray Miller 3 years ago

            Chris that is one possibility and understand what you are saying, but the fundamental issue is the reward penalty equation.
            Everyone needs to make changes work for them and have long term investment/returns. As the NEM was setup last century for 50 year lived plants moving the goal posts is a serious problem and has/will lead to stranded assets. But the investors did know about climate change when the NEM was set up.

            Yes we could bolt on fast response equipment, batteries, flywheels etc to the generators, but things have moved on I expect and now what we know is the distributed energy model is the winner.
            The other leaning from Elon Musk and the solar industry is: make your unit small, efficient and cheap so it can be scaled up and all of a sudden you get 100MW of PV per month installed across Australia “at the load”. Batteries are likely to follow as they are using the same model.
            So it would make more sense in many ways to argue the ideal place would be closer to the loads, design well and duplicate, this is the winning model. It is scale-able, fast, flexible etc. and cheapest option. The NEM location closest to the load is at a substation.

          • Chris 3 years ago

            That’s an interesting comment – small PV generators and battery can replace all of our baseload power, and that we know this model is the winner.

            This is exactly the kind of thinking that politicians have. That one technology has ‘won’, and we should just do this.

        • Chris 3 years ago

          It makes you wonder, if still in the age of limited battery storage, we wont see hybrid gas powerstations with their own battery storage to computer unused energy and ensure quick deliver when responding to these requests.

          Kinda like how the HDD industry has reinvented the cheaper but slowed disk market by building a hybrid devise with a small amount of SSD. Not the best analogy I know, but you get the idea.

          Might be one of the first steps in replacing the network, as renewable generators come online, the gas stations just convert totally over to battery.

        • Chris 3 years ago

          It makes you wonder, if still in the age of limited battery storage, we wont see hybrid gas powerstations with their own battery storage to computer unused energy and ensure quick deliver when responding to these requests.

          Kinda like how the HDD industry has reinvented the cheaper but slowed disk market by building a hybrid devise with a small amount of SSD. Not the best analogy I know, but you get the idea.

          Might be one of the first steps in replacing the network, as renewable generators come online, the gas stations just convert totally over to battery.

        • Chris 3 years ago

          It makes you wonder, if still in the age of limited battery storage, we wont see hybrid gas powerstations with their own battery storage to store unused energy and ensure quick deliver when responding to these requests.

          Kinda like how the HDD industry has reinvented the cheaper but slowed disk market by building a hybrid devise with a small amount of SSD. Not the best analogy I know, but you get the idea.

          Might be one of the first steps in replacing the network, as renewable generators come online, the gas stations just convert totally over to battery.

        • Chris 3 years ago

          It makes you wonder, if still in the age of limited battery storage, we wont see hybrid gas powerstations with their own battery storage to store unused energy and ensure quick deliver when responding to these requests.

          Kinda like how the HDD industry has reinvented the cheaper but slowed disk market by building a hybrid devise with a small amount of SSD. Not the best analogy I know, but you get the idea.

          Might be one of the first steps in replacing the network, as renewable generators come online, the gas stations just convert totally over to battery.

        • Chris 3 years ago

          It makes you wonder, if while still in the age of limited battery storage, we wont see hybrid gas powerstations with their own battery storage to store unused energy and ensure quick deliver when responding to these requests.

          Kinda like how the HDD industry has reinvented the cheaper but slowed disk market by building a hybrid devise with a small amount of SSD. Not the best analogy I know, but you get the idea.

          Might be one of the first steps in replacing the network, as renewable generators come online, the gas stations just convert totally over to battery.

        • Chris 3 years ago

          It makes you wonder, if while still in the age of limited battery storage, we wont see hybrid gas powerstations with their own battery storage to store unused energy and ensure quick deliver when responding to these requests.

          Kinda like how the HDD industry has reinvented the cheaper but slowed disk market by building a hybrid devise with a small amount of SSD. Not the best analogy I know, but you get the idea.

          Might be one of the first steps in replacing the network, as renewable generators come online, the gas stations just convert totally over to battery.

        • Chris 3 years ago

          It makes you wonder, if while still in the age of limited battery storage, we wont see hybrid gas powerstations with their own battery storage to store unused energy and ensure quick deliver when responding to these requests.

          Kinda like how the HDD industry has reinvented the cheaper but slowed disk market by building a hybrid devise with a small amount of SSD. Not the best analogy I know, but you get the idea.

          Might be one of the first steps in replacing the network, as renewable generators come online, the gas stations just convert totally over to battery.

        • Chris Morley 3 years ago

          Ray, don’t be fooled by the notion that AEMO has only a 4-second monitoring resolution. One of their older SCADA (or telemetry) systems had a 4-second refresh time. Today, grid performance equipment monitors frequency at a millisecond timescale and many control systems automatically act on a millisecond timescale.

          • Ray Miller 3 years ago

            Thanks Chris, ALL monitoring systems are challenging and with many accumulated delays in all electronics and telecommunications systems. I have 5ms latency on an optic fibre to the node system, it must be a nightmare for AEMO to operate a real-time complex system with sensor response times, communications and processing delays etc.
            So to assemble and analyze data from a geographic diverse network remotely which contains anything meaningful on sub-cycle samples of the 50hz system would need to be carefully engineered. Every time you have an analogue to digital conversion, you have a sample period, settling period and processing time, you end up with an unavoidable delay.
            We even have energy meters with timing/accuracy issues because they do not sample Voltage at the same ‘instant’ as current.

        • Ian Wilson 2 years ago

          Ray, max-output of Hornsdale is 100MW.

      • Discus 3 years ago

        in reverse..100 7kw powerwalls filled with thousands of @d size cells regulators thought about it, as it looks they take 10 mins for all 1200 powerwalls to reach full 100mw output from graphs. back to your gridless solar farms everyone!

      • Chris Morley 3 years ago

        Trent – you are perfectly correct. If there is a generation shortfall of 560 MW, then there needs to be either 560 MW of alternative generation found, or the load reduced to match the remaining generation. The frequency will recover progressively as the shortfall of generation is regained.

        • Ian 3 years ago

          That is a curious thing. In a small electrical circuit, load must balance power source. But in a massive one like the NEM, is that strictly true? There are many loads and many generators all contributing. Intuitively you could say the grid could not handle a difference between load and generation of 50%. What about a difference of 10% or a difference of 1% or factors smaller than that. We know a household or even a suburb of households can pump rooftop solar into the grid at will without any apparent ill-effects. So, how much tolerance does a big grid actually have? Would a 25GW grid even feel the loss of 560MW of generation? Just posing the question.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            I think someone posted a reply somewhere on this: generators on the network will have somewhere around 3.5MWs/MVA of inertia, plus the grid itself will typically have at least 1MWs/MVA, so at 25GW, you have something like112.5GWs. A persistent deficit of 560MW is 0.5% so will pull the frequency down by about that amount per second if not replaced or about 0.25HZ/s in the first few seconds, so a lot more impact than you would perhaps imagine.

          • Wallace 3 years ago

            Whenever I’ve seen the actual waveform data from a grid it’s been pretty messy.

            This is a recent hour’s data from the UK grid. Variation around a nominal 50 Hz.

            https://dropsafe.crypticide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Screen-Shot-2013-01-15-at-08.28.36.png

          • Chris Morley 3 years ago

            Ian – some good questions, and your intuition is basically correct. A 25 GW grid certainly does feel the loss of a large generator (and small ones too). If one looks at system frequency, it appears (usually) as quite a noisy trace, with each rise or fall representing a change in the generation / load balance. If the system load suddenly increases, the frequency immediately falls as rotating inertia is given up as MW. And vice versa if load suddenly decreases. So, system frequency is varying all the time, usually within the normal operating band of 50 +/- 0.15 Hz. Machine governors and those units dispatched for regulation duty (not nearly as much as there used to be pre-National Electricity Market!) see that the frequency is brought back towards 50 Hz when there is an imbalance. Have a think about this: There will be a bigger bump (frequency change) on the system when a 500 MW generator suddenly trips on a day with lots of PV and wind generation, compared to a day with not much PV or wind. So the bump size is not just a function of the proportion of MW tripped. It also depends on how much inertia the system has at the time.

      • Ian Wilson 2 years ago
    • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

      I’m happy to be a moron that disagrees – ms response is only useful if a clean driving signal is available in milliseconds. Too many cats on a tin roof is havoc. Yes – one day we will have enough intelligent loads and devices to orchestrate an appropriate stabilising response in ms, but by then we will have very few 560MW generators tripping off. The strength of distributed generation is in having millions of small generators close to loads. And thousands of microgrids interconnected by DC links would overcome many of our current problems. But they’ll be with us until we move from centralised generation to distributed.

      • mostlyharmless42 3 years ago

        Hardly a moronic point. Here in the US, we have similar discussions. Supporters of renewables think that putting up more wind or solar farms will solve all their problems. I try to point out that it’s far more complex because our grid is similarly developed over a century based on centralized production of electricity.

        And because this grid has been optimized over a century of centralized energy production, it is NOT a simple matter to suddenly throw hundreds (if not thousands) of new power generation systems on to widely distributed parts of the grid and expect them to work together in harmony.

        Ultimately, I think we’ll see the grid evolve to be able to handle distributed generation, but it won’t (and can’t) happen overnight. Who knows, with systems like the Tesla Powerwall and some alternate means of generation (solar or wind), perhaps a grid won’t be needed for rural and suburban residential use (that would be my dream).

        But say what you want, there is no way solar and wind can currently meet the power needs of cities and industrial centers. Not when current solar panels have an efficiency of ~20% and cost ~1 US dollar per watt (and 2-3 USD per watt installed with supporting infrastructure). New York City, for example, consumes 11,000,000,000 watts on a typical summer day. It’s tough to see that need being met by wind and solar, alone.

        The theoretical max efficiency seems to be ~80%, but if we could get solar panels above 50% efficiency at << $1 (US) per watt, we can talk. (If we could make fusion generation work, it'd be a whole new ballgame).

        • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

          On your figures NY demand on a summer’s day is half the nameplate rating of the Texas windfarms. And $2/W is 11c/kWh levelised cost of energy so probably already in the money in many places – think of all those Walmart roofs or car parking needing shades. It will take time but the technology and prices are enough to make it happen.

          • mostlyharmless42 3 years ago

            I think we’re nearly there… certainly much closer than 10 years ago. The costs are still prohibitive, however.

            A 4.7 kW grid-tie system to meet my modest energy requirements at home is still so expensive that it has a 15 year payback period. And I still can’t use it as a backup power source if the grid fails (not uncommon in my area). If I added a battery backup system, the payback time would exceed the life of the system. (Things like the Powerwall might change that calculus a bit.)

            As I said, the costs need to come down significantly in order to motivate more people to jump into the market. And a less costly option for backup power needs to be available. Oh, and while we’re at it, change the net metering laws so I can sell back ALL excess power I generate; not just limit me to what I use.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Count your blessings then that power is so cheap where you are. I put in a 6.5kW system for my daughter for AUD3.2k after subsidies (about AUD6k without) which is saving her $120/month ie payback of just over 2y. So in 18mths I’ll look at batteries if they’ve come down – at the moment they’re AUD750/kWh which gives well over a 10y payback but AUD500/kWh is about 7y so worth it.

        • Wallace 3 years ago

          Obviously more efficient panels would be great but let’s make sure we are using current prices in our discussions. Here’s 2017 unsubsidized costs for new generation in the US.

          Cheapest on top and most expensive on the bottom.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dde009c4041c88f357933de593c04a85f0a398a3cafa3f45e5458330c838c6c4.png

          “there is no way solar and wind can currently meet the power needs of cities and industrial centers”

          Depending on how one reads that it could be true or false.

          If you’re saying that we don’t yet have enough solar and wind online to power our cities, you’re right.

          If you’re saying that we can’t install enough solar and wind to power our cities, you’re wrong.

        • Ian 3 years ago

          how much would you think should be the maximum spent per person in NY to provide a renewables grid?

          • Wallace 3 years ago

            We know that climate change, let run wild, would be a bill we couldn’t pay. Based on avoiding extreme climate change there’s no practical limit. We could gold plate the system and still be ahead.

            On a more ‘acceptable’ level we probably don’t have to spend anything. Other than what we would otherwise spend.

            Our coal and nuclear plants are aging out. The average lifespan of a US coal plant is 40 years. We’ve got almost no coal plants that won’t be over 40 by 2050. We’re going to spend money to replace those plants.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fa19985e35aa6188bd1e6f504aabe7a6c4a96f5e067359af0e101ee8e6bab365.png

            Our nuclear plants are also getting long in the tooth. Even if we take the chance and push them to age 60 (20 years past their design life) they won’t make it to 2050.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d5c9eba3c41a0d16aef1742795965fe6daecb5af040635b69101f73ebb2943e.png

            But here’s the great thing. Compare the cost of new nuclear, coal, wind and solar based on MWh generated and it costs about half as much to install wind and solar as coal and nuclear.

            Moving to a renewable grid actually saves us money. We spend less to get there. We spend less to operate the wind and solar plants. And we spend less on coal health damage and long term radioactive waste storage.

      • Chris Morley 3 years ago

        Mike, the driving signal is system frequency (which is available everywhere). Some simple smarts can then calculate the rate of change of frequency and act accordingly. This is basically how the existing Under Frequency Auto Load Shedding Scheme (UFALSS) works. Some load is dropped purely on a sufficiently low frequency being reached, whilst other load blocks can be shed (disconnected) based on how quickly the frequency is falling. Immediately prior to the SA blackout (28 Sept 2016), the lack of inertia in SA meant that the frequency fell faster than the UFALSS could react. It fell at about 7 Hz/sec whereas the UFALSS was designed for a maximum fall of about 3 Hz/sec.

        • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

          Sure but in a system with an incredible diversity of response time across the whole network, and very little inertia how do you stop the whole system from chasing its tail. Generally in systems that are distributed you set a hierarchy dictating who does what. It’s fine when you have a few very fast acting devices with limited capacity – they will throw everything they’ve got at the falling frequency and stay on unless the frequency collapses or recovers. If the UFALSS decides to slice off significant load and the low inertia system then goes to overfrequency, all those fast response devices quickly get off. The noise I refer to is not the frequency but devices understanding what the rate of change means: does it mean too many fast devices acted too quickly or that a chuck of load was disconnected. Control theory would tell you that reacting only to an error on frequency will lead to endless oscillation.

  5. Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

    It really does bode well for a transition to a five minute settlement period years sooner than prescribed by the old fossils.

  6. Kevfromspace 3 years ago

    It’s time for a faster inertia market. Bring on Fast Frequency Response across the grid. The AEMC needs to get up to scratch with modern technology!

    • Geoff Roberts 3 years ago

      The Hornsdale Power Reserve is not able to provide inertia.

      The term “synthetic inertia” is confusing to a lot of people and is best abandoned. Fast frequency response is what was delivered and it seems unclear whethe this was in violation of the connection agreement. Everything is shrouded in secrecy lest the ongoing cool vibe developed between Elon and Jay be disrupted.

      Inertia is the key property of synchronous machines that the grid presently relies on to clear faults. The fault current limit of an inverter connected source, like a battery, is the same as its full load rating. This by definition is insufficient to provide the current rise needed to be detected by protection relays which protect life and property especially so on days like today with high winds liable to initiate short circuits on Overhead lines.

      Mechanical inertia is delivered in virtually zero time lag coupling the mechanical energy of the spinning rotor, into electrical energy instantaneously and us certainly not dependent on the non-zero scan time of the control processor running an inverter.

      Some key questions remain as to life of the batteries, under various discharge rate and depth scenario’s.

      Neither good Enginerring nor serious R&D is usually done in front of TV cameras. That is more and more the place where Politics is conducted.