Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Energy Market Operator blaming wind industry for it’s own mistakes

wind-farm-evil-1SA blackout: Wind farm industry ‘hung out to dry’ by energy market operator AEMO  RN By David Lewis for Background Briefing , 4 Nov 16, The organisation that manages the national electricity market has been accused of leaving wind farms “hung out to dry” after the recent statewide blackout in South Australia.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is still investigating the cause of the blackout, which plunged 1.7 million people into darkness on Wednesday, September 28.

The catastrophic power outage sparked furious disagreement about whether the state’s heavy reliance on wind farms contributed to the event.

Giles Parkinson, a veteran journalist and founder of the website RenewEconomy, believes AEMO has added fuel to the fire in a deliberate attempt to deflect attention away from its own role.

“I think people are quite confused about what the market operator seems to be doing and I think some people think it’s more interested in protecting its own reputation at this stage than getting to the bottom of it,” he said.

“It’s basically left the wind industry hung out to dry, leaving enough inference in there for people who do not favour wind to find it guilty and write and declare all sorts of things about the wind industry and the weakness of wind energy.”……..

AEMO made ‘foolhardy’ decisions

Mr Parkinson said he believed the emotionally charged wind-versus-coal debate is distracting from the mistakes AEMO made when preparing for the storm.

He pointed out that when assessing the severity of the approaching weather system, AEMO decided against declaring a “credible contingency”.

“In other words, (AEMO) saw no risk to the transmission or the generation assets despite the fact this storm was approaching and it was packing wind speeds well beyond the stated limits of many of the wind farms that were operating at the time.”

Had AEMO declared a “credible contingency”, it could have intervened in the market by reducing the amount of electricity being produced by generators, including the interconnector to Victoria.

“It was basically running the interconnector not at full throttle but pretty close to full throttle,” Mr Parkinson said……..

David Leitch, the principal at electricity consultancy firm ITK, said he agreed.

“The Heywood interconnector could have been derated an hour earlier so that when the wind generation went off, the Heywood interconnector could have picked up more electricity from Victoria and put it in and that probably would have helped a lot,” he told Background Briefing…….

AEMO unaware of safety settings

AEMO has also been criticised for not having enough information about the safety settings on wind turbines across the state.

In its second report into the blackout, the market operator admits it had no idea how many system faults individual wind farms could ride through before shutting down.

Kobad Bhavnagri, the head of Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Australia, described this gap in knowledge as one of the “big issues” with AEMO’s handling of the disaster.

“Now the question is did AEMO have a duty to know about those settings? If not, why not?” he said……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-04/wind-farms-hung-out-to-dry-by-energy-market-operator-aemo/7992768

November 5, 2016 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, South Australia, wind

1 Comment »

  1. The Editor
    The Advertiser

    Neither wind tower nor interconnector failure initiated the September 28 blackout, it was first and foremost the electricity transmission network ─ no collapse of the transmission towers, no blackout.

    Why did the transmission towers fold? Were the towers sub-standard? Were the regulators diligent? We still don’t know the answers to these questions. Yet SAPN and others continue to point the finger at the renewable energy industry (The Advertiser 8/11/16), an industry that played no role whatsoever in the collapse of the transmission towers, and which has been far more reliable than either the fossil fuel power stations (many of whom weren’t even operating) or the electricity transmission and distribution systems.

    If we want to improve the stability and resilience of the SA’s power grid then we need to start at the beginning by ensuring that our monopoly network providers do their job. They need to move with the times and ensure that their networks are capable of providing a resilient and reliable 21st century electricity supply.

    Like

    Comment by Dennis Matthews | November 8, 2016 | Reply


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