The role of wind today, in South Australia, with the LOR2 Market Notice issued


With submissions due this Friday in the current RET Review process, it is was with interest that we were alerted to the LOR2 Market Notice this morning by our display copy of NEM-Watch, which we have set up to alert us on a wide range of different market developments.

Here’s the full text of the alert that we received via email:

AEMO alerts to a LOR2 Market Notice in South Australia

Looking further this morning in this NEM-Watch snapshot from 09:55, we see that:
(a)  wind farm output in South Australia is at the lower end of the range, and that
(b)  demand is quite low (light blue being down towards the bottom of its historical range over the past few years).

2014-05-12-at-09-55-NEM-Watch-withLOR2-in-SA

Because of the low demand, there will be not as many scheduled generators running to meet this demand as would be the case on a higher demand day.
(a)  In this case, wind production is low, so is not contributing significantly to reduced generation from thermal plant – we’ll watch this, as the day progresses.
(b)  The APVI Map indicates that there’s currently about 170MW of PV being input to the South Australian region , so more than 10% of scheduled demand (and climbing).

Drilling further into the South Australian region (using the higher-end ez2viewAustralia dashboard) we see that it’s not just wind that’s not producing at present:

2014-05-12-at-10-20-ez2view-SAregion

With Northern running 2 units, and demand being low, the output at Torrens Island has been squeezed out.

In essence, the Market Notice by AEMO is indicating that, should some large event happen today, there may not be enough plant spinning in South Australia to immediately pick up the slack – in which case the inertia of demand would slow the system down, with tripping of load resulting to restore balance.

A topical reminder of the value of installed capacity for more than just the energy it produces.

Given the tone of the debate about the RET Review, it seems likely that there will be a diversity of views about the relative values of Capacity & Energy – and how that balance might evolve in the future with ongoing build-out of intermittent generation supplies under perhaps the two most important scenarios (with, or without, storage).

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

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