September 15, 2022

THE GND IS TOO CAUTIOUS:

"Remarkable:" South Australia may soon be first big grid to run on renewables only (Giles Parkinson 15 September 2022, Renew Economy)

Even when wind and solar have produced much more electricity than is needed in the state at any one time, it has always had to have some synchronous generators, and always gas fired generators in South Australia, running to ensure some of the principal grid services can still be delivered.

This requirement was last year reduced from four generators to two generators after the installation of four synchronous condensers that are spinning machines, but do not burn fuel, and can deliver many of those same services as synchronous generators.

Now AEMO is looking to reduce that number from two to one.

Most of the time the second one is only running as a backup incase the other gas generators suddenly fails, but a growing confidence in the ability of battery inverter technology to provide those services, and the presence of more "fast start" generators that could quickly switch on in case of an incident, means that AEMO is now thinking about reducing its minimum requirement to one synchronous generator.

The immediate impact of that is that fossil fuel's share of overall generation in the state (including that for export) could fall from its current minimum of around five per cent to just two per cent, because only one synchronous generator will be required.

And that in turn will further reduce curtailment of wind and solar, and on the number of "directions" from AEMO for gas generators to run. That has already fallen dramatically in the last year.

It also means, that with the completion of the new link to NSW due in 2025/26, the state will likely be able to remove the need for even a single synchronous generator when that is connected.

Posted by at September 15, 2022 7:30 AM

  

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