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Entire state of South Australia without electricity as storm hits

South Australia, population 1.7 million, has no electricity

SA, Storm, Electricity out. 2016.

Tweeted by the Country Fire Service @CFSAlerts

A storm hit, possibly the worst for 50 years. Winds of 90km/hr gusting to 140km/hr. Reports are that everyone is being told to use their radio’s and stay off the streets. The blackout struck at 4.30pm AEST. UPDATE: Power is coming back to some, but questions are being asked about the state which has more renewable energy than any other in the world. See updates below. It sure looks like a management disaster. Want to build subs by torchlight?

How long before someone blames climate change?

—————–

UPDATE#1: Bingo. Just 5 hours for Will Steffen to claim it’s “driven by climate change”:

9:55pm “Storms like the one which knocked out the entire South Australian electricity network are occurring in a warmer and wetter atmosphere, the Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said. “These conditions, driven by climate change, are likely increasing the intensity of storms like the one in South Australia,” he said. “Australians are being affected right now by climate change. “The atmosphere is packing much more energy than 70 years ago… This is a prelude to a disturbing future.

Nevermind that there was a worse storm 50 years ago. What was that a prelude too, Will? Fifty years of better weather.

Witchdoctors have no shame.

——————-

UPDATE #2: Is it due to the high reliance on renewables

The premier says “No” (not surprisingly)

Mr Weatherill said the system worked as it was designed to and rejected suggestions it was the result of SA’s high use of wind power or the decision to shutdown coal-fired power stations in the mid north.

But others say the reliance on renewables has made the network more complex and less reliable: h/t GWPF:

South Australia pays the price for heavy reliance on renewable energy

Wednesday’s event will trigger renewed debate over the state’s heavy reliance on renewable energy which has forced the closure of uncompetitive power stations, putting the electricity network in South Australia under stress.

Earlier this week, the Grattan Institute warned that South Australia’s high reliance on renewable energy sources left it exposed to disruptions. It pointed to the fact that while the renewable energy target had encouraged the development of wind and solar generation, it had the potential to undermine supply security at a reasonable price, because it forced the closure of inefficient power stations without encouraging the construction of the necessary new generation supply sources.

These issues are different to those South Australia is battling at the moment. But the increasing complexity of electricity networks, which are dealing with a more diverse location of power generators such as wind farms in remote locations rather than a small number of big power stations, means that at times of stress such as extreme storms which occurred in the state on Wednesday, outages can take longer to resolve .

South Australia relies more heavily on renewable power than any other region in the developed world.

It wouldn’t have helped that wind turbines are usually turned off during high winds.

More UPDATES posted below.

Channel Nine news. Statewide blackout

Power is out across the entire state of South Australia after fierce storms triggered widespread blackouts.

It is believed lightning bolt struck a transmitter around 3.50pm ACST, which caused the entire network to crash.

Watch a special bulletin…(at the link above. Flights full of passengers arriving were stuck at the airport unable to desembark. People caught in lifts. All trains stopped.)

Skynews

A spokesperson for SA Power Networks says the interconnector did not cause the power outage rather the system has shut down as a response to protect customer safety.

The good news is that when SA blew they didn’t have to shut down the rest of the Eastern States. I guess no one was worried about customer safety in the rest of the national grid.

The best stories about this will come out tomorrow when the people who are off line now get hooked in. We just hope their day is not to bad.

The Australian energy market operator has taken control of the system and restoration has begun.

Federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg told Sky News he can not give an exact time for the restoration of power.

Mr Frydenberg says all hospitals are running on their back up supplies.

The bureau said the wild weather was the result of a front and intense low- pressure system.

It said records suggest such a severe system was last reported across SA more than 50 years ago.

Weather info

The BoM website has the current warnings. UPDATE: Mostly downgraded to “severe weather” in   SA, NSW and VIC.

SA Rain Radars    |  Current Weather Map Australia

I guess we won’t be hearing from South Australians unless they are have a generator, and maybe a satellite dish?

Questions should be asked about how resilient our electrical networks really are. Power can apparently still come in from Victoria, but how many people are getting it? The rest of the weakened storm will hit Melbourne tomorrow. There is a severe weather warning current for Victoria.

h/t David M.

People having fun on twitter @AdelaideStorm

 

 

_______

UPDATE#3: There is back up power but the system needs to be “reset”? 

We are clearly not getting the whole story. Generators work, and interconnectors are connected, but the system was possibly shut for “network protection”? These are not the words of someone describing simple storm damage and poles down.  Hmm?

“Energy generation assets remain intact. At this stage there does not seem to be any damage to the interconnector with Victoria,” he said.

SA Power Networks’ Paul Roberts said they were investigating whether a network shutdown as a protection was the cause.

“We believe — and this is only early information — that there may have been some issue with the interconnector but the state’s power system is shut down I think possibly as a protection,” he said.

“It means we’re not receiving any electricity supply from generators to be able to supply to generators.”

Surely South Australia has some sort of back-up power?

Well, it does, but it has to reset the system.

“There are a series of back-up generators,” Premier Weatherill said.  “Power is restored but the number of hours this may take is something that we don’t yet know.”

 

Live Editing: There have been extensive  changes to the post as new information came in. But it’s goodnight now!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (104 votes cast)
Entire state of South Australia without electricity as storm hits, 8.7 out of 10 based on 104 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/gs82wab

419 comments to Entire state of South Australia without electricity as storm hits

  • #

    Would this have anything to do with SA being the greenest energy state in Australia. Could this portend things to come as Victoria divests itself from coal power?

    784

    • #

      This actually raised an interesting thought in my head.

      I don’t quite know how the national power grid works and what other states are doing, but if Victoria goes ahead and gets rid of 25% of its electricity generating capacity (and foists a $2.5 billion cost on users as reported today: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/politics/25-billion-victorian-power-tax-to-fund-wind-and-solar-farms/news-story/8a733561495a9b2dda046d48a0f5f24e), what an opportunity for NSW and Queensland to take industry from Victoria with the carrot of reliable power.

      Is there some sort of agreement that other states must provide power equitably, or can self-interest rule? Either way, the enticement of cheap power to attract new industry and robber baron power charges to other states would be a very enticing opportunity.

      524

      • #
        RobK

        what an opportunity for NSW and Queensland to take industry from Victoria with the carrot of reliable power.
        A good plan except….the basket case economies will have their hand out for the taxes raised from other’s productivity.

        324

        • #
          Analitik

          NSW can also nail us when we need to buy power from them. But South Australia will have repeat events of today’s nature if Hazelwood is offline for any appreciable period (it won’t need a massive storm) so despite all the Marxist rhetoric, I don’t see Hazelwood being shut without a PROPER thermal replacement

          But we need to get cracking on the replacement as Hazelwood is soldiering on but she’s an old soldier.

          323

          • #
            David Maddison

            Why do you think the Marxists will be prepared to replace Hazelwood? Common sense has nothing to do with it.

            253

            • #
              Analitik

              Self interest rules at the CFMEU

              162

              • #

                Information is scant. It could be just the same bad management creates electricity grids with “bottleneck” vulnerabilities. Apparently the storm has knocked over transmission towers No, just poles (20 or so have toppled according to tweets).

                It strikes me that in a normal western state where there were a couple of power stations (as well as a connection to other states) that kind of damage would knock out some areas but not the whole state.

                It may take days to get to the bottom of why that happened.

                431

              • #
                bobl

                Bottlenecks are called in the Engineering world, Single Points of failure and resilient systems should not have these – in a power system, one needs multiple energy sources in different geographical contexts, for example you could have 5 interconnector lines into SA but if they all run together they remain a potential single failure point to a single storm in a single place.

                Granted this storm WAS severe and widespread at 140km/hr gusts it was around Category 2 severity. I would expect SA isn’t prepared for cyclone intensity storms.

                The cause of single points of failure emerging in my long experience is Budget cuts! You can get away with them “Most of the time”.

                Of course it’s also correct to point out that in such weather windmills must be furled away and the thick cloud means fragile glass solar PV doesn’t work so the millions of solar panels on peoples houses aren’t feeding those houses, energy use goes UP because it’s dark and potentially COLD. At this point there is a maximum load on your baseline infrastructure and SFA on the renewables. Of course it goes without saying that this storm has nothing to do with climate change not the least because for the past 20 years there hasn’t been any global warming to speak of.

                Will Steffan is frankly the first Engineer I’ve ever met that can’t/wont do mathematics. In my opinion he is a disgrace to the profession.

                A challenge Will Steffan, I will do a written debate with you – here on Jo Nova’s website (with Jo’s acquiescence), you can convert us all to greenies – ARE YOU UP TO IT?

                342

              • #

                I’ve put this Comment here, not to push in, but as an indicator as to how something like this can actually happen.

                I have posted this link her at Joanne’s site a number of times across the last few years, but this time, it actually does bear a close reference to what may have happened in South Australia.

                This refers back to the Great North east Blackout of 2003 in the U.S. when something similar happened across what is basically the same (physical) area as South Australia. However, being in the U.S. this area has a far greater population, and because of that, a very much larger number of power plants.

                The link is to the actual timeline of the power failure, but once there, if you want to read the text, then just scroll up.

                What I want to point out here is that, even though this shows the whole timeline, note what actually happens starting at 4.05.57PM. Even though the actual buildup started almost 4 hours earlier followed by a (reasonably) slow buildup, the cascading failure began at that time I have indicated, and look how fast it all happened, and the whole event was over at 4.13, only eight minutes later, and most of the major failures happened in a 16 SECOND block of time.

                Now, South Australia has a much much smaller grid than this, but this can be viewed as an indicator as to just how quickly something like this can happen.

                Most grid controllers would not know where to look as things happen just so quickly.

                Link to Timeline of 2003 Power Failure

                This blackout affected 55 Million people, some for a number of hours, some days, and some weeks, just to get the grid back up online.

                The longest time would have been bringing back online those big nukes, which immediately SCRAMmed safely down, but would take two/three days to get back onto the grid.

                Tony.

                260

              • #

                bobl Will Steffen is not an engineer. In fact he has no understanding of the engineering subjects Thermodynamics and Heat & mass Transfer. Somewhere I read that he studied at a university in Florida USA and he supposedly wrote a thesis on ocean currents. However, Steffen does not have his thesis on the his ANU website. I have been unable to find any PhD theses on the University of Florida site or a graduate list. Is it possible that Steffen obtained a degree from a mail order institution(?) in US (as did a judge (Einfeld) in NSW who was jailed (for untruth in a Statutory Declaration)for a cost of $US10,000)? Steffen was found by a FOI search to be stretching the truth about abuse a few years back. Steffen was also mentioned in the climategate emails as an organiser of a meeting of chief alarmists including Phil Jones of UEA. The meeting, I think, was in an East European (socialist) country

                211

              • #
                Rod Stuart

                Tony
                If I remember correctly, there was an unusually large crop of babies nine months after the 2003 power system failure, conceived in the dark and the cold and some in stuck elevators.
                Watch for the maternity wards in Adelaide will be full to overflowing about the end of June.

                71

              • #
                Bulldust

                Sorry to threadjack but I thought this article at the ABC worth reading:

                http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-29/rushing-to-renewables-risks-sector's-reputation:-uhlmann/7888290

                None is more surprised than me that a political editor of the ABC put out a balanced piece which is somewhat critical of high renewables uptake – to wit, a key quote:

                The blackout of an entire state is a major crisis. Politicians should know that you should never waste one.

                Renewables are the future but, today, they present serious engineering problems. To deny that is to deny the science.

                Those problems can be sorted in time, but rushing to a target to parade green credentials exposes the electricity network to a serious security risk and, in the long run, risks permanent reputational damage to the renewable energy cause.

                The grid is being transformed, and that transformation needs to be managed sensibly, or the entire nation might go to black.

                Political editor from the ABC … IKR? (Short for: I know, Right?)

                100

              • #
                Mari C

                TonyfromOz – I lived (still do live) in an area affected by 2003 blackout, and it was more than just an inconvenience. Most only remember the lack of A/C, the lack of TV, but we had problems with water supply and sewage pumping as well, and those are the things that, after a few days, become much more noticeable than lights at night, A/C, fans, and TV. A huge run on ice – and dry ice – was made, and batteries as well. And those with generators were “Oh, it’s fine, I was prepared” but then whined about lack of water (pressure) and how much the fuel cost.

                I’ve noticed no one thinks about, or considers, water and sewage power requirements until it’s too late. I never see these things discussed in the greenie Free Power For All propaganda, and I wonder if even the greenies have considered all the niceties that modern power plants provide. It isn’t just lighting and entertainment/news – it’s the hidden things, that don’t light up, turn on, cool us or heat us, that need to be considered.

                80

      • #
        Climateskeptic

        I don’t quite know how the national power grid works

        You probably should have stopped there.

        457

        • #
          Analitik

          Do you have anything to add, then? bemused is discussing reasonable issues and possibilities.
          How about you?

          371

        • #
          Climateskeptic

          He is spruiking uniformed opinion about something that by his own admission he knows nothing about. A bit like climate change opinion from armchair amateurs.

          260

          • #
            Analitik

            Rubbish.

            bemused brought up an article describing the pricing consequences of the closure of Hazelwood and then asked a couple of questions about possible flow on effects.

            If anyone should stop posting, it’s you.

            462

            • #
              Climateskeptic

              Focus on the issues

              bemused brought up an article describing the pricing consequences of the closure of Hazelwood

              What has that got to do with this thread?

              351

              • #
                bobl

                UMM EVERYTHING!.

                What is more relevant to this argument that asking how the withdrawal of 25% of Victoria’s baseline energy generation (to be replaced I understand by a feed from NSW) impacts on the reliability (and cost) of SA’s power supply – In my opinion it will make Victoria far less resilient and thereby will make SA almost an energy backwater. For example what would happen if the NSW interconnector then died (say due to a wayward tractor) on a hot 45 degree day in SA and 42 deg in Vic?

                The problem with collectivist (socialists) is they think in averages, never as individuals as in individual high demand days/hours.”The Question is relevant AND topical.

                The answer to it is
                Too much Labor and not enough liberal government means QLD is not far behind SA and TAS in the basketcase sweepstakes. Our current green infested labour party would not build more coal stations in a pink fit – so QLD wouldn’t take advantage leaving only the NSW possibility – yes, it’s a good question? If I was NSW premier without a doubt, I’d say why not export energy for bucks.

                SA might look to WA but WA’s infrastructure isn’t up to it in my opinion, they may well have the political will to build it though. Me given the options available, a nice Nuke station at Olympic Dam would be my suggestion SA can then export that power!

                301

              • #
                OriginalSteve

                Never put a Socialist in charge of anything – except causing trouble – they seem naturally very good at that….useless at anything else…

                Maggie Thatcher had them cold….good on her.

                181

              • #
                Greg

                Thatcher started the whole CAGW scam. Where have you been ?

                Now try to remove the politically motivated ranting and look at the root cause of the mess in S.A.

                10

          • #

            Like you are so different.
            Focus on the issues instead of your usual negativity.

            131

          • #
            AndyG55

            “He is spruiking uniformed opinion about something that by his own admission he knows nothing about”

            A bit hypocritical for you, of all people, to comment about that, isn’t it. !

            230

          • #
            el gordo

            CS there is something happening, the lack of Antarctic sea ice may give us a clue.

            http://acecrc.org.au/news/low-winter-sea-ice-coverage-around-antarctica/

            20

        • #

          My point about the national grid was in respect to the agreements for supply, pricing matters, obligations, structures etc. Would you please explain how these have been established, what the contract details are, the out clauses, etc. Then perhaps you could provide a sensible discussion.

          140

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            There are so many howlers in this article, its a gift that just keeps on giving…

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-29/governments-prioritising-emissions-targets-over-energy-security/7888128

            “Mr Turnbull said he had spoken with Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg about negotiating with his state counterparts to move towards a national renewables target instead of “political gamesmanship” between states”

            Ah…so the trick here is really to use this situation to put the whole ocuntry into an emissions target headlock…I see….”never let a good crisis go to waste…”

            “Experts have dismissed suggestions a reliance on renewable energy was to blame for the outage, following comments from Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who said the blackout in South Australia should prompt questions about the state’s reliance on renewable energy.

            Mr Joyce told the ABC that “the question has to be asked — is the over-reliance on renewable energy exacerbating their problems and capacity to have a secure power supply?”"

            Indeed – its time for adults to run the show….

            South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon also called for an independent inquiry into the power outage, saying “heads have to roll”.

            Here here – the sooner the better….

            “His comments were criticised by fellow South Australian Penny Wong, who told the ABC that Senator Xenophon “crossed the line jumping on television to have a crack”.

            “It was alarmist and frankly it was tacky,” she said.”

            Alarmist…not that the Left would know anyting about that….The Big Lie comes to mind…

            and…..and….and…….the winner….!!!!!

            “Greens MP Adam Bandt said his party would move for an inquiry into the effects of global warming on infrastructure, particularly energy infrastructure.”

            *Speechless*

            50

        • #
          MudCrab

          The real point is that while we might not know a lot about power networks, we pay a lot of good money to people who, nominally, do.

          If this grid fails then in simple terms we either want our money back, or a nice head on a platter.

          120

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        Most power grid operators use the principle of “spinning reserve” to give some protection from single point, and in some cases, multiple point, network failures. With spinning reserve, the generators are powered, and are allowed to spin, but with no electric current being drawn from them.

        Drawing current, i.e. putting a load on the generator, requires more input energy, such as diesel, coal, hydro-flow, etc.

        Solar, and wind turbines are not suitable for spinning reserve, because they are at the mercy of the elements. In fact, when the wind drops at night, is typically when you need to draw on your spinning reserve.

        If there is insufficient spinning reserve to meet demand, during periods of major adverse weather conditions, then you have no option other than to shut down the non-critical parts of the network.

        From my extrinsic viewpoint, that appears to be what has happened.

        120

    • #

      And, as I said to my wife, this is God’s way of having fun with those showing hubris that they can control the climate.

      541

      • #
        PeterS

        Yes it’s ironic. Recall the failed Copenhagen event? They got unexpected freezing temperatures and snowed in for their efforts to try and stop the hypothetical global warming catastrophe.

        311

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        I’d like to have a laugh and agree with you, but God doesn’t do revenge, nor teach lessons in this way. People really were at risk during the blackout, and I’m sure the people at the airports weren’t laughing. God doesn’t do harm to teach a lesson, and with the entire state out of power, the chance of harm is great.

        Call it Karma, call it cause-and-affect, call it dumb ideas always prove themselves.

        112

        • #

          Well, he once flooded the planet and blew away an entire city, so there’s no reason he can’t have fun with those that think they can do the work of God. :)

          210

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-29/sa-weather:-no-link-between-blackout-and-renewables-expert-says/7887052

            “Linking the statewide blackout in South Australia with the state’s heavy reliance on renewable energy is unfounded, energy industry experts say.

            Key points:

            •South Australia has the highest rate of renewable energy in Australia
            •The ‘one in a 50 year’ weather event ‘couldn’t have been prevented or foreseen’
            •SA to be an example for other states and territories when planning for significant weather events

            A severe storm caused the entire state to go dark yesterday afternoon, following serious damage to more than 20 transmission lines.

            That infrastructure failure put extra strain on the interconnector system that links the South Australian electricity grid with the east coast — and tripped safeguards which shut down the power supply to the state”

            Is SA our California?

            Do not look at the little man behind the screen.

            Coming to a state near year. Hazelwood shutdown, anyone? Victoria powered by candles again?

            220

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              Dang…need more coffee…

              Should read – “Coming to a state near you”

              80

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              “That infrastructure failure put extra strain on the interconnector system that links the South Australian electricity grid with the east coast — and tripped safeguards which shut down the power supply to the state”

              Um….common sense says you design for such issues and have the infrastructure set up to handle parts of it being offline. To allow one faulty bit to collapse all of it is….er…. unthinkable.

              180

              • #
                bobl

                “That infrastructure failure put extra strain on the interconnector system that links the South Australian electricity grid with the east coast — and tripped safeguards which shut down the power supply to the state”

                Let me translate this for you.

                It went dark and the solar panels stopped, then the windmills had to be furled away ahead of the storm, demand went up because it was dark and cold and the resulting shift of load onto the interconnector caused it to shut down.

                So don’t be fooled, this has everything to do with the fact that renewabubbles don’t work in storms

                Yes, the “symptom” that government will point at is the evil Victorian interconnector but the root cause is the failure of the home state infrastructure that resulted in shifted load to the interconnector – this is “Basslink II”

                Lost of course is the fact that a well designed power system would have redundant interconnection points – but we won’t mention that ;-)

                210

              • #
                OriginalSteve

                In other words they overloaded their version of the “Basslink II” cable, and the fuse went…..which means thier own internal power generating capacity ( renewables ) wasnt up to scratch….oh the indignity…. *grin*

                170

            • #

              This is actually a very timely event, as it will highlight to other states what going all, or heavily, green could represent. The fact that the entire state lost power is a very worrying situation, no matter what the cause.

              200

              • #
                James Murphy

                Or it will encourage certain zealots to redouble their efforts to increase renewable capacity… that way they can tell themselves that SA has adequate renewable capacity so as to not require interconnectors. even if any sane person can see the magnitude of this folly from a mile away.

                120

              • #
                OriginalSteve

                James, you assume socialist ideology works based on logic – it doesnt….

                Ironically, the soviet union had some of the worst environmental disasters in the world….up the ( green ) workers, huh?

                60

              • #
                Analitik

                Or it will encourage certain zealots to redouble their efforts to increase renewable capacity… that way they can tell themselves that SA has adequate renewable capacity so as to not require interconnectors

                The zealot, Adam Bandt, has already come out with this line of “reasoning”. Tosser

                40

            • #
              Mari C

              “Linking the statewide blackout in South Australia with the state’s heavy reliance on renewable energy is unfounded, energy industry experts say.”

              Of course they say that – their equipment is special.

              “Key points:

              •South Australia has the highest rate of renewable energy in Australia”

              And SA is the state that had the failure.

              “•The ‘one in a 50 year’ weather event ‘couldn’t have been prevented or foreseen’”

              Um, weather forecasting is supposed to be able to pick out these events a day or three in advance. We can track a tropical storm across the Atlantic, why not a nasty deluge heading for Australia? Can’t stop one, but you should know it is on its way!

              “•SA to be an example for other states and territories when planning for significant weather events”

              Failed.

              “A severe storm caused the entire state to go dark yesterday afternoon, following serious damage to more than 20 transmission lines.”

              Whatever caused the failure, it was a cascading effect – once the draw on imported non-green power was too great and that source cut off, the “protections” in place shut down each smaller grid as the power fluctuated too much for the system to bear, yes? And with the windmills shut down, and no solar to speak of, what was there to power the entire grid? Intermittent un-phased power is destructive, or so I have read…

              “That infrastructure failure put extra strain on the interconnector system that links the South Australian electricity grid with the east coast — and tripped safeguards which shut down the power supply to the state”

              The safeguards are not in place for SA grid or customers – they are there for the east coast grid. Reliance on a single source of generated power – reliable, steady, power – is stupid. And if no other option was available, running it through a single series of towers (which it sounds like they did) in a single feed was equally stupid. Redundancy is the key-word when it comes to critical systems, yes? What could be more critical than an entire state’s power supply?

              I don’t think we here in the USofA are any better, even though we don’t rely as heavily (yet) on “renewable” energy. Our grids were designed long ago, and as they’ve been built up and interconnected I doubt anyone looked at the weaknesses they were creating. Thus 2003 – a sagging line took out parts of Canada and the NE USA.

              30

        • #
          AllenFord

          God doesn’t do revenge, nor teach lessons in this way

          Oh, yes he does, otherwise why this quote from Romans 12:19, “for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

          [I'm going to approve this so I can get the following message out.

          We do not want to deal with religious subjects unless they are Jo's chosen topic or relate directly to it. Please avoid religious references unless they have some relevance to the topic at hand. Thanks.] AZ

          10

      • #
        Rod Stuart

        Karma is the universal law of cause and effect. You reap what you sow. You get what you earn… If you give love, you get love. Revenge returns itself upon the avenger. What goes around comes around… Karma is justice. It does not reward or punish. It shows no favoritism because we have to earn all that we receive. Karma doesn’t predestine anyone or anything. We create our own causes, and karma adjusts the effects with perfect balance.

        Mary T Browne

        30

    • #
      Peter Miller

      You know what would be nice?

      If we could fix our electricity distribution systems so that everyone could choose what type of energy they wanted supplied to them.

      Renewable energy (expensive and unreliable) for the greenies, but cheap and reliable coal or gas for the sentient.

      This utopian situation would cure a lot of greenies of their economic blindness, force them to accept reality and have zero effect on the climate.

      431

      • #
        David Maddison

        I have said that before but with the added proviso that those electing to be supplied by expensive “green” energy must not be allowed to rely on fossil or hydro when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow so the green consumer would have no power at those times.

        According to comments on this site it would be technically feasible to do this.

        301

        • #
          Tony Porter

          And we’d also be delighted to stop calling them out on being the HYPOCRITES they all are at present, while at the same time, it would probably mark the beginning of the end of the entire CAGW scam, as they come crawling back to reality to meet us. Admitting there is no such thing as human induced climate change and coal really is a fantastic society building fuel. They might even say to us something like: “You’re NOT deniers, you saved our lives, thank you REALISTS”…

          221

          • #
            rapscallion

            “They might even say to us something like: “You’re NOT deniers, you saved our lives, thank you REALISTS”…”

            Ooooh, look, I’ve just spotted a whole squadron of pigs lining up on the runway . . .

            280

            • #
              Greg Cavanagh

              They’re heading to South Australia to do a fly-over.

              190

            • #
              Tony Porter

              Ooooh, look, I’ve just spotted a whole squadron of pigs lining up on the runway…

              Indeed. I’m pleased you could spot my (dry) humor. My comment was meant to ridicule their chronic and as you’ve pointed out – INCURABLE hypocrisy, where even a taste of their own poison (the reality of the clean / green fossil-free utopia they have been praying for), and hope they will create for everyone, including themselves: will have no effect on their collective misanthropic psychosis.

              20

        • #
          Mark A

          Oh, with smart meters it would be eminently feasible to ration green power, as we know from second to second how much ‘renewable’ power is being fed into the grid. You could turn on or off certain appliances or cut the power altogether, leaving only lighting as essential.

          20

          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            What you suggest, would require either:

            a) The ability of the meter to control each individual outlet in the building; or

            b) A conversion to “smart” appliances, that can identify themselves to the meter.

            I can’t comment about Australia, but New Zealand has had a smart grid for decades.

            This consists of a Ripple Control Unit (RCU) in each meter box. The RCU recognises pulses sent down the supply lines from the nearest distribution substation, and turns off (or on) those perminant appliances that are connected to it. These are typically water heating cylinders, large freezers, etc, that can withstand being turned off at night.

            Of course, those folks with even a little electrical training, can quite easily bypass the RCU. The smarter ones can even do it in ways that the meter-reader does not notice, except that the meter readings are now being taken remotely, so that is no longer an issue.

            Not that I would ever admit to doing such a thing, myself, of course, nor would I encourage others to do it. Interferring with the elecrical distribution system is dangerous and strictly illegal. I mention it merely in the context of providing an historical adjunct to your comment.

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      • #
        Angry

        There should be special hospitals for the “green communists” which are totally powered by wind/solar.

        All greenies should be forced to use them to enjoy the consequences of their own actions.

        Love to see that!

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      • #

        Peter M -a bit difficult to do. But it would make sense to stop all subsidies for any power generation. Then make all suppliers to the grid guarantee the supply for say half hour blocks at take price and if they fail they have to pay a peak price with a margin. For example if a cloud over a solar plant knocks (eg 40%) the generation of the guaranteed block they pay to make up the loss. The same for wind. They would have to withdraw from supply before a storm or pay at peak price if they shut down during a contract period. Economics would then result in very few solar and wind power plants.

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      paul

      at the time of the blackout SA had no coal or gas powered power stations running because they have been pulled apart or mothballed, no power from wind due to high wind speeds and no solar power due to no sun.

      Its pure maths no supply high demand equals no power

      we needed 2 gig and we were generating 6 meg and i am guessing the shortfall could not be provided by the interconnector with victoria

      with victoria dumping 25% of their baseload by closing hazelwood , we in SA are fxxked

      421

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        The interconnectors cannot supply even 1 gigawatt, so the rest had to come from generation capacity in SA. The coal fired was shut down, most of the CCGT was closed down, so only OCGTs left and they are expensive to run and high emissions.
        Like wind turbines (and solar) they cannot supply unless there is conventional power already operating. [ for setting frequency, phase etc.]. SA had to get Pelican Point gas station going and then the OCGTs could also come on stream – the reset of the supply mentioned by the Premier although whether he knew what he was saying is debatable. His waffle about the interconnector being damaged, then not damaged was just trying to spin the disaster. Unfortunately he and his cronies have another 18 months to wreak further damage on the State.

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    • #

      SA is a socialist green experiment. Thank god it is not my state yet, WA.
      This is not just politician,s fault. People chose them, so suffer now. The more you fail, the more pain you go through, the less chance of spreading this desease elsewhere.
      I have gone through my share power blackouts on regular basis in my early communist paradise. In fact, during the summer months these were disguised as maintainance periods. Nothing to do with stupidity, lack of management, poor prediction etc.
      Spot the difference between communism and SA?
      I struggle.

      410

      • #
        Cookster

        Yep SA is a case study of what blind faith in Wind Power and interconnected power grids can bring you. When Hazelwood closes NSW should charge SA an arm and a leg to teach the dreamers a lesson. Typical socialism, lean on others rather than take responsibility for your own problems.

        As for the storm well yes it was bad but yesterday evening a BOM spokesman said these events are not so rare as Mr Steffensen was predictably quick to comment on. After all, what caused the similar or worse storms 50 years ago?

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    • #

      This comment is out of sequence, since it is actually a response to the comment by “bobl” (#1.1.1.1.2) below; but I think it is important for everyone to know:

      The Climate Council “Prof.” Will Steffen said, “The atmosphere is packing much more energy than 70 years ago…”

      That is a blatant falsehood, contrary to the most basic science, and Steffen is unworthy of the title “Professor”. As I wrote in a 2012 post, “Hurricane/Tropical Storm Strength, 1851 – 2010″, the energy per molecule in the atmosphere is proportional to kT, where T is the temperature (in Kelvin degrees) and k is the Boltzmann constant. With a global mean surface T of 288K, the 1K of warming over the last century would change the energy/molecule by just 1/288, which is too small to measure, much less for humans to notice. The record of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes since 1851 confirms this, showing zero trend for the strength of those storms over the full range of the data.

      Steffen is too incompetent and deluded to be allowed a public platform, much less any position of authority.

      Australians really need to have Steffen, not just fired for incompetence or ignored, but indicted on criminal charges (basically, of disturbing the peace with blatant lies, and racketeering in attempting to misdirect the public discourse for political and personal gain). Public officials like Steffen, throughout the western countries, are blatantly lying about climate change, and they MUST be removed, simply to restore sanity to our public discourse.

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  • #
    Fang

    Oh! For a standalone Nuclear reactor generator about now! :)

    410

    • #
      Peter C

      Yes,

      I would like one of those.

      170

    • #
      David Maddison

      It is doable. Personal nuclear reactors are possible. In the 1960′s there were even nuclear powered cardiac pacemakers put in people and some people still live with them. A nuclear powered artificial heart was also partially developed but never implanted in anyone due to various issues.

      70

      • #
        Analitik

        No, nuclear batteries work from the heat of radioactive decay while a reactor sustains a chain reaction.

        Small reactors are used for ships and submarines but a household or even neighbourhood reactor is a fantasy.

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        • #
          David Maddison

          Fair enough. I used the term reactor loosely in this instance. They were more correctly radioisotope thermoelectric generators that were used in pacemakers (and on NASA spacecraft for use in deep space).

          90

        • #
          ivan

          In fact Analitik it wouldn’t take very much modification to use the reactors from nuclear ships to power small to medium towns. Their total output, if it was all used to generate electricity and this is where the modifications are required, is about 1 GW continuous.

          If the Pavlovian response to the word nuclear could be suppressed in the population and these reactors built on a production line then the costs would be very reasonable and each would be a clean replacement for several large diesel generators at once. What is there not to like with that?

          130

          • #
            David Maddison

            In fact, small nuclear reactors of size less than 300MW and that can be mass produced in a factory and transported to site was the subject of an article I wrote which is in Silicon Chip magazine, June 2016.

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            • #

              Yes South Korea have designed small package units in the range 100-300MW. I understand that they can have the plant supplied and running in 2 yrs once all the development approvals are in place. I believe they are supplying a 4 unit plant to the UAE (Emirates). Understand Canada (CANDU reactors) and even Argentina has small package units for sale.

              60

              • #
                Analitik

                All a far cry from a “personal”, home or even neighbourhood power source.
                Reactors will remain utility level generators.

                BTW, check out NuScale for their 50MW LWR proposal

                20

        • #
          bobl

          There are commercial small reactors, biggest problem is security for the toxic radioisotopes used Uranium Hydride or Uranium Nitride, providing they could be securely located a small Nuke would be a beaut supply for a small town. They are supplied charged with fuel then buried in a secure spot, the whole unit is excavated and returned after 30 years when the fuel runs out.

          PS, there are different types of nuclear battery, the pacemaker one was not thermal but rather a so-called beta battery, it just collects electrons emitted from a beta (fast electron) emitter like strontium 90 into a capacitor (like static electricity) and feeds those around a circuit.

          With power requirements for electronics now heading way down, it might soon be possible to run a mobile phone off something like a strontium 90 battery. No need to recharge, ever.

          70

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        This was a surprise to me, so naturally I had to look.
        http://osrp.lanl.gov/pacemakers.shtml

        and small scale nuclear power.
        http://egpreston.com/costofnuclear.pdf

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    • #
      Cookster

      Indeed but that will never happen in public servant dominated Greenie SA. Interestingly SA is the perfect place for Nuclear energy with hundreds of Km of uninhabited coastline. It also has the potential to bury nuclear waste in the vast geologically stable South Australian deserts. But no they will keep pretending they can run the state with windmills guaranteed by NSW’s coal base load.

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Not so, SA is dependent on Victorian coal base load, so if Hazelwood is driven out of the market by the actions of the Victorian Premier then SA will have lots more blackouts.
        We should take up Elon Musk’s idea and send Weatherill, Andrews and other green thinkers (including our ‘glorious leader’ Lord Blancmange) to Mars. One way.

        160

        • #
          Cookster

          Graham, just under half of South Australia’s energy is met by wind and solar one of if not the the highest in the developed world. The rest is brought from Victoria via the transmission lines that failed yesterday. Elon Musk’s power packs will help but not solve the intermittency problem either. For starters how many households can afford $5,000 power pack? I can smell yet another taxpayer funded subsidy.

          And yes the high proportion of public servants in SA does help explain their obsession with wind energy. Why else would that state have such a religious faith in wind and solar energy? Anyone who frequents Jo blog would know that is asking for the trouble we saw this week?

          20

        • #
          ianl8888

          I’d pay money to watch them being loaded on board :)

          20

    • #
    • #
      abt

      Seeing as we know that CO2 doesn’t fry the planet, why not build more good old, cheap, efficient coal-fired power stations. We have vast reserves of coal.

      170

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    A quote from Nick Xenephon
    “This is how not to do [transition to renewables]. I can’t fatham … I can’t believe my state is in darkness at the moment. If heads have to roll, so be it,” he said.

    Need we say more !

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    • #
      Mark M

      Heads should roll! Start with Nick, who helped shut down the coal-fired power station.

      570

      • #
        Angry

        Nick Xenephon is a greenie NUTJOB.
        HE and his ilk are the ones whose heads should roll!

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        • #
          James Murphy

          What if he demonstrates that he has seen the ‘error of his ways’? After all, isn’t this what we want… for people to wake up to the fact that renewables just won’t do the job?

          Jay Weatherill will stay in office regardless of any scandal (he’s proven that already, with other matters not relevant to this blog), and he appears incapable of learning from monumental stuff-ups, but not everyone is like him (are they?)

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      • #
        John

        NX will jump onto any popular bandwagon that will get him on National TV. Love to hear what his counterpart M Roberts has to say. He would be better informed.

        30

    • #
      Doubting Thomas

      Xenephon’s complete lack of the slightest understanding of cause and effect proves how utterly unfit he is for elected office. If, like the Americans, we had elections for most public offices, he’d be unfit for election as dog-catcher.

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      • #
        Cookster

        Nick Xenophon has been caught out by mother nature. Like most of SA he is a victim of his own Green faith in wind power which is not a viable base load energy source and never will be. In the usually Green Left Sydney Morning Herald yesterday it was finally admitted that battery storage isn’t the golden panacea to the intermittency of wind and solar either (see below).

        As I wrote earlier there are few better places on earth to locate a Nuclear power plant than South Australia: Uninhabited coastlines, easy access to cooling water from the Southern Ocean, relatively cheap Uranium from the Beverly mine and potentially easy and cheap disposal of nuclear waste in the uninhabited and geologically stable South Australian deserts.

        Should they do it? Yes. Will they do it? Of course not.

        http://www.smh.com.au/business/south-australia-pays-the-price-for-heavy-reliance-on-renewable-energy-20160928-grqq9k.html

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      john karajas

      There was actually an intelligent question asked on “Our ABC”‘s 7.30 report tonight as to whether South Australia’s 41% reliance on wind power had something to do with today’s power failure?

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  • #
    David Maddison

    All the uranium, thorium, gas and coal in Australia and some states rely on windmills? Idiots!

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    • #
      Bushkid

      That really does put it into perspective, doesn’t it. All the resources you could want, yet they insist on using windmills and intermittent sunshine. And candles last night.

      Frankly, I’d really like them to be able to succeed, I personally don’t want to see any more coal mines or gasification than is absolutely necessary, but the fact is that wind and solar just don’t cut it, and they’re certainly not “carbon neutral” or anything remotely like it. Any kind of liveable modern society depends on reliable base load power generation, and again wind and solar just don’t cut it.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    Labor and the Greens will be happy with the return to the Stone Age.

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    • #
      Another Ian

      Reckon the latte set will be happy tomorrow?

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      • #

        Reckon the latte set will be happy tomorrow?

        Definitely not happy in paradise… this will be blamed on a vast right wing conspiracy to make renewables look inefficient and incompatible with both transmission line lengths from production point to consumption points, and drastic power load variability. Tony Abbott will be blamed for causing the severe storms by not acting two years ago to adjust the global thermostat by throwing money at banks in New York and London, or shutting down ALL of the coal power plants … which … would itself cause blackouts … doh!

        Most people don’t realize it, but when winds get up to 140km/hr, most wind turbines actually need to be halted because they exceed their operation thresholds. Too much intense wind or not enough or no wind, and the brown-outs begin … not to mention that very long transmission lines to remote wind farms increases the possible chance of weather damage, and removes transmission line redundancy that Adelaide would otherwise have, if it had kept a couple of coal fired plants nearby with multiple feed-in lines.

        !!! I HOPE SOUTH AUSTRALIA GOES OUT FOR 2 WHOLE WEEKS !!!
        Because the only way to dislodge the cafe latte set cloud cuckoo ‘green’ fascists, is to embarrass them, expose their dangerous dogmas not grounded in the real world, and to wake up the sleeping apathetic masses of leftist dunder heads to the real danger they are in by humoring the lunatic vocal minorities which have hijacked politics, education, and the media. When will this lunacy end?

        And South Australia wants subsidies from the Federal Government to promote Steel Mills, Refineries, and Ship Building in their SELF SUICIDE STATE? Gimme a break. Imagine all the infrastructure we could build with the BILLIONS we have dumped on globalist ‘green’ carbon reduction schemes that won’t even achieve their stated aims (IF their ‘science’ was correct in the first place) … do you think we could have more redundancy in our power grids? Or even have access to a high technology computerized real-time remote problem reporting system, so that Channel 9, Skynews, and the state Premier don’t look like completely useless and out-of-the-loop knuckle heads that can’t even get access to quick damage assessment reports. Just like the Federal Census … it takes days to get the truth about what actually caused an EPIC FAIL.

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      • #
        Mari C

        Latte set will be bummed, as no latte, no free wifi, etc. All the “free” power in the world and the -grid- is down. Even if the windmills start turning, if they aren’t on-line, there is no power to the grid. And if the grid is down, when it’s repaired it will take a careful finessing of power sources to bring it back up without (more) damage.

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    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      They will blame it on Capitalism. The solution to failed Socialism is always more Socialism.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    It is utterly inexcusable that in a modern Western country like Australia a large and increasingly greater amount of it does not have reliable power generation due to reliance on renewables.

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  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Senior meteorologist John Nairn said records suggested South Australia had not experienced a storm so severe for more than half a century.

    “This depth of the low, this close to the coast, is very damaging,” he said.

    “It’s a very significant event for South Australia. It’s very rare.”

    SMH

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    • #
      RobK

      Yes, yet I just heard on the ABC radio that some boffins have concluded the weather systems from Antarctica aren’t getting as far north since the 1970′s. It sure takes them a while to come to grips with what’s going on.

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      • #
        toorightmate

        Is someone trying to say that Adelaide and surrounds has not experienced 50 kph winds and 30 mm of rain on the same day for at least 50 years.
        Pull the other one!
        What were weather conditions when the jetties were destroyed?

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      • #
        gnome

        1970s. radios (in the commentary.
        Plurals are never (NEVER) apostrophised. If you have trouble with it, try typing all text always without apostrophes and then go back afterwards and add in the ones you really need.

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      • #
        el gordo

        ‘…the weather systems from Antarctica aren’t getting as far north since the 1970′s.’

        Yes the weakening of the subtropical ridge, allowing cyclonic low pressure to hit the mainland, is more common when the SH is in cool phase.

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        • #
          Horace Jason Oxboggle

          They were supposed to hitch a ride on the Ship of Fools!

          00

        • #
          Horace Jason Oxboggle

          But for some reason it left early!

          00

        • #
          farmerbraun

          Sitting here in Godzone, and farming to the weather (as you do), I have, over the last few months , been wanting to read some commentary on what sort of weather farmers in OZ werre experiencing.
          It seemed to me that this season was marked by some event(s), that produced too little warm nor’westerly rain , which warms the soil by about now . . . “normally” :-)

          And while skys were quite clear , and there was consequently a lot of sun over the winter, it didn’t translate into better grass growth. The plant world is late gearing up for the annual burst.

          Looking at the satellite maps today shows a depression of polar origin skating along the bottom of OZ. It’s still cold here in Godzone.

          So what is happening in the tropics/poles to shift these depressions northward , and was it predictable?

          20

      • #
        john karajas

        Must be all this global warming then. (Do I need the sarc. tag here?)

        60

    • #
      el gordo

      All these storms happened during cooler times.

      ‘The local papers also reported a ‘Great Storm’ in 1879, a ‘cyclonic storm’ in 1895, a ‘hurricane’ in 1916 and ‘the worst storm in history’ in 1925.’

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    • #
      unknownknowns

      Was there a total power outage the last time such a storm hit?

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    • #
      paul

      looking at boms sites dont really show massive wind , only 104kph gust at snowtown and 114kph gust at yunta.

      so not as strong as recent storms

      more coming tomorrow so we will wait and see

      50

      • #
        bobl

        114kph gust is still about a Category 1 cyclone, it’s not a small storm by that measure. Especially in a state where its rare to get to this sort of wind speed.

        The government would just be better to say that
        “A storm of this intensity is so rare in SA it’s too expensive to plan for them unlike say in QLD where cyclones are common. We are not surprised there have been problems, we promise to learn from this event and make our infrastructure more resilient where it is economic to do so.”

        30

      • #
        MudCrab

        Look I can’t talk for the Western parts of the state, but quite frankly the ‘MONSTER STORM’ in Adelaide was very lame and if anything nothing compared to the heavy rain we had two weeks ago.

        All the talk about ‘Biggest in 50 years’ and ‘could not have been predicted’ is total bollocks as well. If you have had a storm as recently as 50 years ago you should know damn well what the weather is capable of producing and design accordingly.

        Short answer is the power grid was not capable because it wasn’t good enough.

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    • #
      Cookster

      Actually, I heard another senior meteorologist from the BOM say on Sydney radio yesterday afternoon that these types of weather events are not that rare in South Australia at this time of year. Dissention in the ranks?

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    • #
      Bushkid

      As with all of these supposedly “unprecedented” weather “events”, the records just prove that it’s all happened before within living memory or recorded European settlement history.

      It’s anybody’s guess how often it’s happened before that, but it’s my understanding that the geological record tells us that the land of Oz hasn’t always had a settled record – how utterly unsurprising!

      I’m so sick of hearing news reports and the ever-excited fluff balls on twitter etc going gaga over a bit of weather, just because they think their paltry lifetimes and experiences are all there has ever been to the world.

      40

  • #
    David Maddison

    I wonder if any windmills got destroyed in the storm?

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    • #
      Popeye26

      I certainly hope so – but they had to be shut down due to strong winds (IRONIC).

      What about the solar? Oh, hang on – it’s dark outside – doh!

      Only fools and idiots listen and then take heed of any Greens advice.

      BTW – I was born and raised in SA but live in Sydney now which is why I’ve currently got TV, lights and internet access LOL.

      Cheers,

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    • #
      Horace Jason Oxboggle

      And were any solar panels destroyed/damaged/degraded by debris, or dust then rain?

      20

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    I vote the next recipients of Tasmanian “The Burnt Cable Award” be all SA politicians, for outstanding services in furthering fuedal and financially suicidal green policies…

    South Australia – a shining example of green stupidity can wreck and whole economy.

    At the SA boreder:

    Welcome to SA, partnering with California. BYO solar panel and antibiotics….

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  • #

    See how fast those wind turbines* are spinning
    in the wind!

    * ‘South Australia has close to half of Oz’ wind power
    capacity’ … and yet they do not turn.

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    • #
    • #
      Rollo

      See how fast those wind turbines* are spinning
      in the wind!

      Turbines need to feather their blades in strong winds, presumably using mains power to keep things balanced and under control. What happens when the grid fails ? Do they have battery backup or do they destroy themselves ? Hopefully the latter.

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      • #
        David Maddison

        Good question. Certainly wind turbines need a lot of grid power to operate but where does the power come from when there is no grid power? Comments about grid power consumption of wind turbines at http://www.aweo.org/windconsumption.html

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        • #
          Steve Richards

          They have a diesel generator at the base of each tower, or one generator for a group of towers.

          In the offshore world, one of the tasks the support vessels attend to is to top up the diesel.

          You need electrical power 24×7 ‘cos if the grid goes down you need the thing to point into wind, feathered, brakes on, lube oil pumps running and any cooling fans on as necessary. Also all the telemetry – to inform control what the status is – needs to be running.

          They are a bit like merchant marine vessels, once built and commissioned they are powered up for the next 30 years (for ships). Either self powered via diesel generators or via a shore side connection.

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      • #
        Tony Porter

        Do they have battery backup or do they destroy themselves ? Hopefully the latter.

        And if not the latter the angry unemployed workers who lost their livelihoods as a direct result of this global insanity will destroy the hideous and proven USELESS things… I can see this developing into a major revolt and the sooner the better.

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    • #
  • #
    RobK

    When the wind is a bit high or a bit low, when the sun is masked by cloud or has set for the night;renewables can be very disappointing but not cheap. The inefficient and expensive redundant backup gensets will be spewing lots of CO2 today. I hope there are contingencies to keep people safe. A practice run for things to come.

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    pat

    28 Sept: ABC: SA weather: ‘Serious questions’ after state loses power, Frydenberg says
    By political reporters Matthew Doran and Alexandra Beech
    Updated 1 minute ago
    “Clearly, questions will be raised, serious questions will be raised, that need to be answered as to how this extreme weather event could take out the whole of the electricity supply across a major state such as South Australia,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News.
    “There are actually two interconnectors between Victoria and South Australia, one’s called the Murray link and the other one is called the Heywood interconnector, and the recent spike in prices in the South Australian spot market for electricity was due in part to the upgrade to that interconnector.”
    He said there would be an investigation into the cause…
    South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon described the incident as unprecedented.
    “This is a disgrace. How did this happen? How is an entire state blacked out?” Senator Xenophon told the ABC.
    “The generators don’t work when the wind is blowing too hard. This is one of the great paradoxes in relation to this.”
    Senator Xenophon linked the incident to South Australia’s reliance on renewable energy.
    “I support renewable energy, I support the Renewable Energy Target, but it’s how you achieve it and how you achieve sensible greenhouse gas reduction policies,” he said.
    “This has not been sensible, it has been reckless — we have relied too much on wind rather than baseload renewables, rather than baseload power, including gas which is a fossil fuel but it is 50 per cent cleaner than coal and a good transitional fuel.
    “We need a full independent inquiry. What I’m worried about now is that there are many vulnerable people in my home state that are at real risk of their health so we need to deal with that — this is an emergency.
    “This is a textbook case of how not to do it and I cannot fathom, I can’t believe, that my state is in darkness at the moment.
    “This should not have happened and if heads have to roll, so be it.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-28/sa-weather-'serious-questions'-must-be-answered-frydenberg-says/7886262

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    Dave

    No super storm in northern suburbs of Adelaide city. A lot of ducking the reality of the negative impact of closing down the only viable base load coal fired generator at Port Augusta!!Blaming an inter connector with Victoria that tripped normally…. Sound suspicious.

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  • #
    Graham Richards

    You’ll find a large pert of the problem stems from having to shut their windmills (turbines) down in the high winds so they’d not burn themselves out or be ripped from their foundations.

    Their remaining coal/gas fired power generators cannot cope with the load so it was time to switch off & blame someone or something else…….Not their dumb ass decisions of course!

    Time for Queensland to buy back the electricity retailing sector, drop electricity taxes, and charge the real price for energy. Guarantee all sorts of industry will flock here if reliable realistically priced energy is available for consistent realistic periods. This will allow long term planning and decent returns. Problem of course is what happens when Labor lies it’s way back into office, you know climate BS!

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  • #
    DennisA

    SMH:
    “The state gets around 40 per cent of its energy from wind turbines, however in the current extreme weather the wind is too strong so the turbines aren’t turning.

    In December, Premier Jay Weatherill hosted an energy crisis meeting after the state’s commitment to renewable energy sparked a spike in the prices of fossil-fueled energy, in some cases by as much as 10 times.

    This July, the state government asked the owner of a gas-fueled power station to turn it back on. South Australia is connected to the National Electricity Market via an interconnector with Victoria, however it is believed this connection is currently down.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/south-australia-blackout-once-in-50year-storm-lashes-state-20160928-grqpks.html?eid=email:nnn-13omn655-ret_newsl-membereng:nnn-04%2F11%2F2013-news_pm-dom-news-nnn-smh-u&campaign_code=13INO009&et_bid=29045045&promote_channel=edmail&mbnr=MzgyNDQwMw

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    Mark M

    How many windmills & solar panels need to be installed in South Australia before South Australia’s first extreme weather event is prevented?

    The lunatics are in control.

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  • #
    Andrew McRae

    Never mind that this was caused by lightning strike.
    It’s an indicator of what will happen when renewables absent of buffered energy storage reach critical mass in the grid.
    Blackouts will happen more often until the counter-productive effects of current climate policy are undone.
    You might even call it… a redress rehearsal.

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      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Hi Andrew,
      I understand that there were lots of strikes, but haven’t read that any actually hit any of the power “infrastructure”. Do you have any examples?
      Cheers,
      Dave B

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        Andrew McRae

        I’m sure one of the earliest reports that I read on Wednesday said that lightning had struck transformers. Maybe it had just said infrastructure without being specific. I cannot find that same article now and it did not give a location. It’s possible earliest reports were mistaken. It’s the same dilemma whenever a damaging event involving the government occurs; you never know whether the earliest reports are the least reliable or most reliable.

        However, articles published since then also state it was due in part to lightning strike, but again no location given.

        Winds ripped at least 22 transmission towers from the ground across the mid-north yesterday with about 80,000 lightning strikes recorded, some damaging generation facilities. That caused the automatic emergency systems to cut power across the state.

        Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/wild-weather/2016/09/29/09/06/power-to-remain-out-for-40-000-properties-on-sa-west-coast

        Premier Jay Weatherill said there had been 80,000 lightning strikes across the state. “Some of them hit our electricity infrastructure including our generators. This is making the job of turning the power back on extremely hazardous and difficult.”
        … Mr Weatherill said the weather event had “destructive wind gusts” which saw transmission poles pulled out of the ground. “The count is 22 and climbing,” he said.
        Earlier in the day, he said there was an incident about 3:48pm “which has caused the failure of the entire South Australian electricity network”.

        Read more at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-28/sa-weather-south-australia-without-power-as-storm-hits/7885930?section=sa

        SYDNEY – Severe storms and thousands of lightning strikes knocked out power to the entire state of South Australia on Wednesday, energy authorities said.

        SA Power Networks said repairs to its transmission network were expected to be completed later in the day. “There were more than 21,000 lightning strikes recorded over a 12-hour period from midday yesterday on the West Coast, and as a result it is likely some damage has occurred to our distribution network,” it said.

        Read more at http://www.chinadailyasia.com/asia/2016-09/28/content_15502668.html

        So a vague assertion by SA Power Networks, and the western coast sounds likely, but that’s still not quite the concrete example you’re looking for, sorry.

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      • #
        Andrew McRae

        Sorry, I’ve just realised where I first heard that lightning had caused the outage, it’s right there in Jo’s article where she copied it from Nine News. I must have read the same article before seeing it on Jo’s site. But Nine News have edited their article since it was first published, which is why I didn’t find any mention of transformers when I did a search a few minutes ago.
        The original says: “It is believed lightning bolt struck a transmitter around 3.50pm ACST, which caused the entire network to crash.”
        So I had misremembered it as “transformer” when a transmitter could be transformers or poles or wires.
        The latest version does not mention the “transmitter” strike any more, only that it will all be investigated.
        So was the earliest report the most or least reliable? We may never know.

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        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          Thanks Andrew,
          I also saw the “transmitter”, and wondered about the reliability of that report. And the use of “infrastructure” by premier Weatherill made me think “obfuscation”. Hence my seeking clarity.
          Like you, I still haven’t found it.
          Cheers,
          Dave B

          20

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    David Maddison

    Tens or hundreds of millions of dollars will now need to be invested by the private sector having to invest in private diesel generators to provide reliable power for their organisations in the future.

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      gnome

      I just can’t see the Olympic Dam operator bothering with the SA grid in the future. The submarines can be built with wind/solar power because there’s no commercial imperative.

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      • #
        Horace Jason Oxboggle

        No, gnome. They’ll be built with lots of public servants powering treadmills! The subs themselves will be powered by wind and/or solar. Never underestimate the awesome power of sunlight and wind at a depth of 300 metres or so!

        20

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    Oblivious

    Negative Power prices and how high can the spot price get?

    28/09/2016 19:35 -$592.10 149.52 Actual
    28/09/2016 19:40 $14,000.00 259.51 Actual
    28/09/2016 19:45 -$987.68 334.19 Actual
    28/09/2016 19:50 $578.81 330.09 Actual
    28/09/2016 19:55 -$45.00 368.57 Actual
    28/09/2016 20:00 -$1,000.00 386.76 Actual

    https://www.aemo.com.au/

    50

    • #
      toorightmate

      The price hike is absolute peanuts when compared with the state revenue loss from the State’s industries AND MINES lying idle.

      50

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    BT

    Funny and spooky – I was just on Tim Blair’s site and was served up a University of Adelaide advertisement featuring the motto, “Seek Light”!

    Seek light – too right.

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    PeterS

    This is both ironic and revealing. Given the global warmists are predicting such major weather events what are they proposing to do to keep the electricity flowing? Do they now realise their efforts to move to renewable sources are futile in such severe storms? Imagine having large numbers of wind turbines and large arrays of solar panels destroyed by a single major storm. It would be a catastrophic event if a state relied so much on them, much more serious than any global warming threat. Let SA suffer and be an example of the foolishness and stupidity of the left (also now including the LNP – only One Nation is taking the global warming myth seriously).

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      Analitik

      only One Nation is taking the global warming myth seriously

      I think you need to rephrase that!

      50

      • #
        PeterS

        Why are you saying they don’t believe global warming is a myth? Oh sorry – perhaps I should have said scam. As far as I can see both major parties view man-made global warming as a joke on us.

        30

  • #
    David Maddison

    Can someone explain to me why the last coal fired station in SA had to be blown up with explosives rather than just mothballing it?

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      Analitik

      The chimneys for the Playford station were explosively demolished at the beginning of September. I don’t think Northern has been demolished yet.

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    • #
      Bushkid

      That act smacked of overt symbolism to me. The indecent haste and the manner of destruction looked very like a greenie/labour boast to say – “Look at us, we’ve destroyed the nasty coal burning monster, aren’t we fabulous!”

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    David Maddison

    What? No red thumbs yet? LOL!

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    David Maddison

    Telstra in SA said that backup power to cell phone towers woukd start failing at 8pm SA time.

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  • #

    The South Australian grid’s been shot. Round up the usual suspects. (Don’t mention the renewables.)

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    David Maddison

    Question: How long does natural gas continue to be pumped to households in the event of no grid electricity? Or does the system produce its own electricty to run pumps etc? In any case, most gas appliances these days need electrical power to run their electronics so couldn’t be used in any case.

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    • #
      StefanL

      I bought a small generator to power our gas “instant heat” hot water system, so that we would at least have some hot water when the mains power is off.

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    David S

    It’s so clear that the South Australia problem is due to climate change. Not the weather that comes from it but the idiots who think that renewable energy can prevent these weather events from happening. Without wishing to hurt people in South Australia I hope that these outages become more frequent and more serious to help shock the general population who elect these alarmists to realise that getting rid of coal as your provider of energy is economic suicide.

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  • #
    Ruairi

    Maintaining the electrical grid,
    Needs a constant supply and be rid,
    Of all Green contributions,
    With their half-baked solutions,
    And undo all the damage they did.

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  • #

    Wonder how they are going welding up a couple of submarines in the dark?

    130

    • #
      David Maddison

      They can stick them together with candle wax instead of welding…

      90

      • #
        Yonniestone

        They usually use a process called ‘submerged arc welding’ but with ~ 2000 amps needed the friction caused by renewables should suffice…..

        50

    • #

      Fortunately the entire 50 billion dollar (and counting) fleet doesn’t have to actually exist. It’s more a concept really. And if it does go ahead the metal for the lot represents one day’s Whyalla production. With luck, there’ll be an hour of overtime.

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        PeterS

        By the time they start thinking about building the first submarine we will be so far in debt (trillions by then) we won’t even bother. Besides we’ll probably be just another province of China for that reason so we’ll have the real Chinese submarines in our harbours. They will be nuclear of course.

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      AndyG55

      First step should be to build a decent power station, so they can actually build the submarines.

      First part of the contract. Either HELE coal or combined cycle gas.

      And allow that station to operate 24/365 without having to bother about spinning down for unreliable un-renewables.

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    Analitik

    There are a couple of comments speculating that the SA blackout was caused by wind turbines being shut down to avoid overspeeding. If look at today’s wind generation at the Aneroid Energy site and isolate South Australia, you will see that all was going swimmingly with strong but not excessive output of around 70% capacity factor until the grid suddenly collapsed
    http://energy.anero.id.au/wind-energy/2016/september/28

    If you also check do the same for fossil fuels (you need to remove some Qld power stations that aren’t eliminated by the state checkbox), you will see the real issue is the very low amount of fossil fuel generation that was taking place at the time. The Ladbroke OCGTs were flat out with Hallett ready to ramp for coping with fluctuations but the only other thermal generators online were the Torrens B units so there was very little synchronous inertia available to stabilise the grid.
    http://energy.anero.id.au/fossil-energy/2016/september/28

    The indications are that the Heywood interconnector was lost, islanding the South Australian grid creating a non-credible event. With the high amount of wind production and low amount of synchronous inertia, it wouldn’t have taken much of a trip event to cascade down the whole grid as there would not have been much inertia to drive current through the trip so it could be isolated.

    It’s good to see ElectraNet has been able to begin the recovery of the grid reasonably quickly

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    • #
      Raven

      . . . creating a non-credible event.

      I love that term.
      Perhaps all SA electricity consumers should respond to the challenge and pay their electricity accounts with a non-credible credit card.

      80

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Thanks A,
      Using your first link I turned off all states except SA and it really shows the drop off at 1800.
      I’d wondered how rapidly they all shut down.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      30

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        Sorry, that’s not 1800. The actual time is not clear at that scale, after 1500 certainly and around 1600.
        D

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    dlb

    I might grab some popcorn and head over to comments section of The Guardian tomorrow. Should be entertaining with the lefties blaming global warming for the weather and their critics pointing out the deficiencies of green power.

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      Analitik

      I highly recommend you visit RenewEconomy as well. Giles Parkinson will be in full spin mode and his flock of CAGW fearing, sun and wind worshipping followers will be backing him to the hilt on the reasons why it had nothing to do with renewables.

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      TdeF

      Yep. This is exactly the sort of thing windmills are trying to prevent. Extreme weather. They do this by reducing the world’s CO2, except they don’t. In fact they do not do anything at all. In fact the whole business is without any logical argument at all even if CO2 produces all the world’s storms, which is the new concept being developed by Prof Flannery. Plus all the world’s bushfires. And floods. And longer and more frequent droughts except that doesn’t make sense either.

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        Raven

        Yeah but . . no but . . yeah but . .
        They were right about one thing. Children in SA won’t ever see snow again . .

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        Mari C

        Well, now someone on the greenie side is adding another bad gas to the mix (methane, again) – and blaming its abundance on dammed waters (not cows, this time – oops, no, wait, cows are in the mix, but…):

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/09/28/scientists-just-found-yet-another-way-that-humans-are-creating-greenhouse-gases/?utm_term=.14ba30cd2d1f

        “But if a new study is correct, there’s a big problem: There might be more greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere than we thought. That would mean an even larger need to cut.

        The new paper, slated to be published next week in BioScience, confirms a significant volume of greenhouse gas emissions coming from a little-considered place: Man-made reservoirs, held behind some 1 million dams around the world and created for the purposes of electricity generation, irrigation, and other human needs. In the study, 10 authors from U.S., Canadian, Chinese, Brazilian, and Dutch universities and institutions have synthesized a considerable body of prior research on the subject to conclude that these reservoirs may be emitting just shy of a gigaton, or billion tons, of annual carbon dioxide equivalents. That would mean they contributed 1.3 percent of the global total.”

        Now – my question – how do they differentiate between a man-made body of water and a “natural” body water in the emissions spewing? Is it only man-made bodies of water? Or is this subtle hint that now -water- is a big bad baddie too? And it goes on…

        “Moreover, the emissions are largely in the form of methane, a greenhouse gas with a relatively short life in the atmosphere but a very strong short-term warming effect. Scientists are increasingly finding that although we have begun to curb some emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, we are still thwarted by methane, which comes from a diversity of sources that range from oil and gas operations to cows.”

        Oh noes, we are doomed, doomed!

        [O/T Mari, save it for another time. Lets stay on topic. - Mod]

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    David Maddison

    On “their” ABC News 24 they just said lightning shut down a power station. What power station? SA no longer has any proper power stations.

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    • #
      Analitik

      The lightning strike would have caused a surge, over speeding the (electrically) closest generators which would the trip (fall out of synch) and the reduction in inertia would then allow all the other generators to trip.

      This must be why the recovery has been so fast – a trip from a large short would take a while to identify and isolate

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  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    SA is now truly green , zero emissions from electricity generation .
    Well done keep up the good work .

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  • #

    Oh dear!

    Who would have thought?

    Tony.

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    Vlad the Impaler

    Baby boom in … … … … 9 (months) … … 8 … … … 7 … … … 6 … … …

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    pat

    might be some bits & pieces of interest in the following:

    28 Sept 9.24pm: Australian: Michael Owen: SA blackout, state cops power outages amid wild storms
    Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg has questioned the stability of the South Australian electricity grid following a state-wide power blackout in the midst of a major storm.
    But South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill denies the outage has anything to do with the state’s reliance on intermittent renewable energy and the recent closure of its last coal-fired power station…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sa-victoria-brace-for-one-of-most-extreme-storms-in-decades/news-story/211de4b39dd336be787700ba98fc1fe0

    forbes followup:

    28 Sept: Australian: Ean Higgins: Identified: key trio guiding Wyangala Dam release in Forbes flood
    The state government body that runs the dam said yesterday it had “managed to minimise flooding downstream of Wyangala Dam over recent months, despite persistent and record rainfall and the limited relative capacity of the dam”.
    Mr Harris said the key decisions on dam management were made by staff who all had decades of experience.
    “Our manager water system operations and water delivery manager for the region, who are both directly involved in managing the flood event, have been in their roles for over 25 years and have a wealth of experience managing these events,” he said.
    WaterNSW said its “flood mitigation pre-releases were made in consultation with floodplain stakeholders, emergency services and local government”.
    “WaterNSW made the maximum flood mitigation pre-releases without exacerbating the previous downstream flooding events,” Mr Harris said.
    “Obviously our ability to continue mitigating floods is being reduced as record wet weather continues.’’
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/identified-key-trio-guiding-wyangala-dam-release-in-forbes-flood/news-story/b3b5dd14341fa8280627e27144950181

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  • #
    David Maddison

    SA is marketing this event as due to “extreme weather” rather than faulty “green” energy production technology. And the SA premier keeps talking about their “generators”. What generators? SA has no proper generating plant.

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    • #
      Analitik

      Stop it with the disinformation – it’s not helpful (and a smacks of CAGW hysteria tactics).

      The Torrens and Pelican Point plants are proper baseload generators. The issue is that they all need to be running now that Northern has been shut down but only the Torrens B generators appear to have been online.

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      • #
        dlb

        There is a commenter at WUWT claiming Torrens Island is not running on gas but on fuel oil, as gas is too expensive. Do you anything about that claim?

        30

        • #
          bobl

          Really depends on what type of generator it is, some “gas” plants are diesel generators modified to run on LNG like LNG busses. These usually need to run on a mix of diesel and LNG to keep all the parts nice’n greasy.

          30

  • #
    David Maddison

    SA Premier just said that the chairman of AEMO said it was a weather event not a renewable energy event.

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    • #
      Analitik

      With CO2 being the underlying cause for everything

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    • #
      Raven

      . . the chairman of AEMO said it was a weather event not a renewable energy event.

      Oh, that’s right.
      When ever a big storm hits in other states everyone rushes out to feather all the coal fired power stations.

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    • #
      bobl

      Spin,

      Let me be clear – DEMAND exceeded SUPPLY,

      The SA grid was unable to supply the demand, whatever the failure, their renewables did NOT SUPPLY THE STATE. In a modern grid a statewide outage SHOULD NOT HAPPEN – Period. Shedding maybe, a complete failure – NO. The design MUST be wrong.

      Xenophon is (I can’t believe I’m saying this) right, there are lessons to be learned here and the Premier should be prepared to learn them and say so. Humility is needed here not religious zeal to protect the renewabubbles.

      This says a lot about the parlous state of our (clearly infallible) political class, oh for some humility.

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    ianl8888

    I’ve been trying very hard not to LOL because it really is a serious issue with potential loss of jobs and even lives.

    But the incident that has dissolved my good intentions involves a senior Senator opining that the bankrupted “hot rocks” attempt at power generation (yes, the Flannery one) should be revisited. He has opined this only a month or so after these very expensive drillholes have been cemented up in accordance with environmental requirements. Redrill, anyone ?

    Hahahahahah …… and it was all that nasty weather, not the mickey mouse windmills … hahahahahaha …

    We truly are up $h!t creek without paddles. And we have $50bn of submarines to build without reliable power. Oh, ye clever country :) :)

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      TdeF

      I was in a factory in Tamil Nadu, India last year. All the power went off. People just stand there for a long time until it goes on again when the windmills start to turn again.

      That’s not a real factory and you have to feel sorry for a Nation without coal. What must they think of our insanity on ‘sustainables’? Only a super rich country could afford to cripple their own factories, hospitals, farms and transport for no reason at all except a wild illogical fantasy that the air we breathe out is dangerous to the planet. When you consider India has 60x the population and wishes they had more coal, it makes our behaviour look spoiled, childish and illogical. An example to the world? Of what? No need to answer.

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    James Murphy

    A few friends who live in SA were expecting a big storm, and possible power losses around the state, because, well, that’s what happens when so much of the network is above ground and there’s some wild weather. They weren’t expecting this magnitude or scope of power loss though, and despite some of them being quite “green”, they are looking at the (in)actions of the state government, and not saying a word about climate change. I hope it stays that way.

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    TdeF

    Truly a Goldilocks and the Golden windmills story. Not enough wind or too much wind, too cold or too hot. Either way the windmills are never working when you most need them. Then the interconnector to evil Victorian coal breaks, polluting Victoria with industrial strength CO2 at ridiculous prices. That’s the problem with sustainables, they are unreliables and unpredictables. Except that they will drop out when you most need them in a heat wave or a storm emergency.

    Even if all the crazy windmill mania made sense, how much has the level of South Autralian or world CO2 gone down for all the great sacrifice? What, nothing at all? CO2 is still climbing steadily? All this pain for nothing? Yep, that’s Green logic. You pay heaps to suffer. A type of environmental sado masochism and economic vandalism where no one at all benefits. Clever.

    Now the Victoria government wants the same thing in closing our biggest power station, which will truly leave South Australia without power ever. In fact the Greens want all the world’s coal burning power stations closed, even though CO2 will not go down. That’s because power stations contribute almost nothing to world CO2 and it is all set naturally by our oceans, but that’s real science and Greens do not understand gaseous equilibrium between air and water. It’s a matter of balance, something totally lacking.

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  • #
    Nick

    Well, we just joined the third world… I had a frozen sandwich for dinner tonight and some cold soup… Ah, those were the days!

    140

    • #
      gnome

      A frozen sandwich? You must be one of the few South Australians who have worked out how to keep something cold without power. Publicans all over SA will be lining up at your door to learn the secret.

      30

  • #

    ADDED to the post:

    … the system has shut down as a response to protect customer safety.

    The good news is that when SA blew they didn’t have to shut down the rest of the Eastern States. (I guess no one was worried about customer safety in the rest of the national grid.)

    The best stories about this will come out tomorrow when the people who are off line now get hooked in. We just hope their day is not to bad.

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    • #
      toorightmate

      This shutdown of power to alleviate public safety could lead to taking all the cars off the roads to improve road safety!

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    • #
      AndrewWA

      The term “protect customer safety” in this instance doesn’t mean the safety of South Australians but more likely the safety of all of their electrical devices and installations.

      Fluctuating frequency and voltages are killers for home appliances and control systems.

      Just imagine the damage if these fluctuations were allowed to continue over any extended period of time.

      20

  • #
    TdeF

    The government is responsible for energy security, not the power companies or the electricity market or Victoria or someone else. This demolition job done on South Australia’s previously reliable and adequate power supplies should see the resignation of the Premier who has presided over this devastating nonsense at huge expense. Is this why South Australia gets twice the GST of WA? A desalination plant no one ever needed? Total blackouts? No gain whatsoever for the people of South Australia in this Green energy and windmill nonsense. How are the people of South Australia better off in any way? It is an utter disgrace. Hot summers and stormy days come and go but destroying a state’s infrastructure for a political agenda is an utter disgrace and a betrayal of the very purpose of a government. Wetherill should accept his responsibility for this utter mess and resign.

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  • #

    UPDATE: Bingo! It took 5 hours for Will Steffen to claim it’s “driven by climate change”:

    9:55pm “Storms like the one which knocked out the entire South Australian electricity network are occurring in a warmer and wetter atmosphere, the Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said. “These conditions, driven by climate change, are likely increasing the intensity of storms like the one in South Australia,” he said. “Australians are being affected right now by climate change. “The atmosphere is packing much more energy than 70 years ago… This is a prelude to a disturbing future.

    Nevermind that there was a worse storm 50 years ago. What was that a prelude too, Will?

    The witchdoctors have no shame.

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    • #
      Raven

      Bah . .
      Ironically the biggest thing driven by climate change is Will Steffen.

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      • #
        Cookster

        The problem is Steffan is too readily given a platform whenever the opportunity such as this storm presents itself. He has the credibility not much better than Tim Flannery.

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      Sean

      Climate change is a gift for bureaucrats. It absolves them guilt from faulty planning and maintenance. When New Orleans was devastated by flooding in 2005, people blamed the warm gulf waters for a very strong storm. But the hurricane missed the city and it was poorly maintained levies that crossed through the city (which were not overtopped but collapsed when near full in some sections) coupled with a design that made no provision for shutting the water to those canals from two very large bodies of water. The Army Corp of Engineers who designed and built the system and the city of New Orleans that maintained the levies were the culpable parties for the flooding that occurred. In the Brisbane, Australia floods a few years back, the people responsible for the dams forgot that the catchments were there for water storage AND flood control so didn’t take proper action for the rain that was forecast.
      The people responsible for infrastructure planning have to be made to take responsibility for the consequences of poor decisions rather than be allowed to hide behind a boogeyman.

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    • #
      Dave N

      Are you referring to 1948′s storm? That’s a bit more than 50 years ago ;-)

      http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/26455614

      30

    • #
      Dennis

      Is he planning another Antarctic barbecue expedition?

      10

    • #
      old44

      “are occurring in a warmer and wetter atmosphere”

      11.8c – warmer?

      31

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    Tom O

    Probably what amuses me the most – not about the misery that people will suffer from this – about situations like this are the headlines and the conclusions drawn from them – Worst storm to hit in 50 years, worst flood in 100 years, worst drought in 40 years followed by “predicted by global warming.” No one ever says “how much worse was that (fill in the blank) that happened (fill in the blank) years ago than just happened, and was it, too, caused by global warming?” You can kind of accept the anecdotal “historical (fill in the blank)” since that doesn’t have a recorded precedent, but any other claim only says it was worse before “manmade carbon dioxide” was able to impact the world – assuming, of course, that it does at all now.

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      Dave N

      “No one ever says “how much worse was that (fill in the blank) that happened (fill in the blank) years ago than just happened, and was it, too, caused by global warming?””

      Logical thinking isn’t a forte of alarmists

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    RandyB

    The grid really ‘should’ react to shift the load as illustrated here from a transmission trip leading to a generator trip in Florida in ’08 that rippled all the way across the US grid to Minnesota. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdBB4byrZ6U

    I wonder why there is no data from Australia reported on the worldwide grid map at: http://powerit.utk.edu/worldmap/

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  • #

    Many updates added to the post.
    The language describing this incident is not mere poles and wires breaking. It’s a “network” shut down to “protect” the grid. (Presumably the rest of the nation).

    The Premier says it’s “not renewables” at all (not surprisingly), but many other people are naturally asking that question:
    South Australia pays the price for heavy reliance on renewable energy

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    • #
      Cookster

      Thanks Jo. Refreshing to read some honesty about renewables in the usually faithful Sydney Morning Herald. I hope that finally the chickens are coming home to roost with the Australian public that Wind and Solar will never be the answer for base load energy without huge cost and economic implications.

      The naivety of commenters in Sydney Morning Herald blogs is staggering.The unquestioning faith that Australia has an abundance of Sun and Wind so we could go 100% renewable overnight. Just incredible and a little bit frightening we have people who really believe this stuff. South Australia was a big wake up call but the usual suspects will be lining up to call out “climate change” rather than face up to reality.

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      Roy Hogue

      I can understand shutting down to protect “the rest of” the grid. When a large enough source feeding some part of the grid goes down and it’s not possible to transfer the load to other sources because they can’t handle it, whatever is served by what went down is down with it. The alternative is to risk shut down of parts of the grid that don’t already have a problem and can go on without trouble.

      The politicking and excuse making I also unfortunately understand.

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      • #
        bobl

        Yes, Roy, but it should not shut down a whole state, if say New York state when down in entirety for a couple of days “to protect the USA national grid” would everyone still be silent? Couldn’t happen in the US of A, well sorry it already did, in the US territory of Puerto Pico, substantive cause, the EPA stalling the PR government on the construction of a LNG terminal to support a new LNG power station.

        In the period of a week we have seen two national state completely blacked out caused/compounded by stupid government decisions.

        Also Roy, just a reminder – area wise an Australian state is MUCH BIGGER than your typical USA state.

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        • #
          bobl

          keylexia strikes

          Puerto Pico should be Puerto Rico assuming any PeutoRican are able to read this given they have been living in the dark for a week.

          40

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Bob,

          You’re pointing out that they (SA) hadn’t planned ahead and were not prepared to handle something on the scale of what happened, are you not? Not knowing the details of Australia’s power grid I have no way of figuring out how much should or shouldn’t go down following an initial failure.

          Actually I think a better example than Puerto Rico is the failure that took down the whole northeastern U.S. and part of Canada years ago. That one was pure unadulterated failure to look forward and be prepared for something bad to happen. In Puerto Rico we know there was government interference involved, a different animal, at least to me.

          00

          • #
            Mari C

            2003, and it was unmaintained and saggy over-loaded wires drooping into an un-maintained and over-grown tree filled corridor. When the lines hit the trees, kaBOOM, and cascade failure. I was one of the few lucky ones required to work during the outage – we had generator power, 1, and I was secretary to a fire department, 2.

            Had quite a nice time cooking out and yakking with neighbors, and knew where I could get some nice fresh water, if needed…

            10

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    How long before someone blames climate change?

    When the entire northeastern United States and part of Canada went dark I never heard climate change mentioned. It was global warming then and not a common subject to most of us, certainly not to me for sure. The cause was failure of something at some major distribution center and it cascaded all over so fast no one could do anything about it. No one could blame global warming for it because global warming wasn’t in the nation’s lexicon at that point.

    A 5o year worst storm isn’t a joke by any means. But many a lesser storm has caused power outages. All it takes is lightening hitting the wrong thing or a tree falling where it can do the most harm.

    So now the cause is known, or reasonably suspected. Has the blaming of climate change been retracted? Probably not since the storm can be blamed on it. Never mind that a 50 year worst storm proves nothing because 100 years might disclose far worse weather somewhere in the past.

    The real problem to overcome is that no one except those who understand power, especially using electricity to transmit it over long distances from where it’s generated to where it’s used, has any way to understand the reality behind those electrons moving along the transmission lines and how vulnerable the whole system is to any disruption. It was a revelation to me when I realized that when I do so little a thing as turn a single lightbulb on or off, the system has to adjust for that small change in load. It’s such a trivial thing but what is it to the grid when my air conditioning compressor starts or stops?

    My neighbors see the power lines that run along our back property line and they may even read the “HIGH VOLTAGE” warning signs nailed to the poles or crossarms. But I’m doubtful that the size of the insulators tells most them anything about the dangerous possibilities if there should be a short circuit between two of those wires or to ground.

    Judging by those insulators it could be 30 kV or more up there — not something to play around with or have go wrong. Yet more than once a car has taken out a pole bringing those power lines into the area and I can only imagine what it looks like for the split second it takes for something to cut off the power by what I saw when a high wind brought down a power line about a mile ahead of me one morning on my way to work and a transformer burned up. I was blinded for 5 seconds or more, even from nearly a mile away.

    We want power to do our bidding but we fail to understand that playing with that much power is playing with fire. We fail even more miserably to understand how much power we’re demanding or what it takes to get that much power. The whole world should read TonyfromOz.

    It isn’t even a climate change issue. It’s an issue of keeping a power dependent civilization going or letting it slowly fail.

    I hope it’s all restored soon.

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      Roy Hogue

      SA needed to have a good Boy Scout on hand. Their motto is, “Be prepared.”

      I wonder how prepared we are or whether anyone even knows how prepared we are. I wonder if anyone even cares if we’re prepared or not.

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      Cookster

      The whole world should read TonyfromOz

      Spot on. As soon as I read of the failure of SA’s power supply and their faithful reliance on wind energy I thought of Tony’s excellent contributions to Jo’s blog. The Green promise simply does not add up. And even if it could meet coal generation it will cost a fortune to do so. Just ask the Germans.

      60

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      But others say the reliance on renewables has made the network more complex and less reliable

      More complex isn’t necessarily a problem. But renewables involves hundreds or even thousands of what amount to individual little suppliers to deal with. That kind of complexity is an already known risk from other disciplines. In computer science it’s well known that the more people who work on a project the more difficult it is to manage and troubleshoot the inevitable problems. Communication among the programmers and management becomes the problem and the complexity of the system they’re putting together pales by comparison. I have often wondered how long it will take the electric utilities of America to wake up and realize they have such a problem in dealing with thousands of suppliers, each one providing only a trivial increment of capacity and start demanding to get out from under that problem. But I guess remaining quiet is less stressful on them than fighting. But I know it’s a problem.

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        Cookster

        And as any Accountant will tell you, that complexity and hundreds of little suppliers further adds to the real cost of renewables along with the need to mitigate loss of supply when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
        Wind and Solar will never be the answer, even in a large place like Australia. Blocking High Pressure systems are commonplace in central Australia in winter. As these pass winds can be slight and of course being winter the solar energy is down as well. But no the Green faithful say these obvious obstacles are all a conspiracy of Big Coal or the irrational fear over the other alternative that would be a perfect fit for base energy supply in South Australia: Nuclear energy.

        We had a big fuss in this country when the former prime minister wanted to put a AUD7.00 levy on seeing the doctor to reduce over reliance on the taxpayer. But adding potentially hundreds of dollars to household and business energy bills is apparently okay?

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      Russ Wood

      In South Africa, the majority of the power is generated up in the coalfields of the North-East. So, to get it down to Cape Town and the rest of the South-West, there are TWO (yes, just two) sets of high tension power lines running across the country, about a few kilometers apart. A few years ago, there was a bad grass fire in the Karoo area, which deposited carbon on the power line insulators, so that BOTH sets of lines were down until they could be ‘decarbonized’. At the same time, the only local power generation in the Western Cape was the Koeberg nuclear station, which had taken one of its two generators down for maintenance. So, darkness settled on the Cape! It doesn’t take a bad storm to take out an area’s power, just bad (or unsafe) design of the distribution system.

      30

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        There is a spot in Sylmar California, northeast corner of the San Fernando Valley, where as many as 4 or 5 power lines come into a single distribution station. You drive under them going north on Interstate 5. I’m always at the wheel and the traffic is heavy so I can’t ever get a good count. They come from all over the state. And then there’s more that come into the LA basin at other points from as far away as Hoover Dam.

        The point is that the single choke point in Sylmar could be taken out without much trouble if you really wanted to and it would paralyze Los Angeles for a long time.

        Interestingly, one of those power lines is a high voltage DC transmission system. Handling what must be 500 kv or more judging by the insulators, to convert it to DC for transmission and then convert back to 60 Hz so it can be handled by transformers takes some stuff I would never have suspected could be done just 20 or 30 years ago. Solid state has come a long way.

        I wish better forward thinking had progressed as much.

        20

  • #
    Ian Cooper

    As an outsider, a Kiwi, I’m getting the impression that South Australia leads a charmed life weather-wise. I say this because of how the BOM described the sub-Antarctic storm as a “Cyclone!” New Zealand is hit by two & sometimes three of these sub-Antarctic storms a year, and every year! In my nearly 60 years I’ve never heard authorities refer to such storms as ‘cyclones.’ Is it normal for your met authorities to be prone to hyperbole?

    We’ve been hit by storms with greater wind strength this year than those reported for SA in the past few days. Here they are sometimes referred to as ‘southerly busters’ or their precursors, the Nor’ Westers. So common that they do make the news but not as headlines unless they extra strong, winds gusting to 100 miles per hour (160 kph). Perhaps because of this our electricity providers, originally a Govt. department, ensured that there was robustness built into the network to avoid such an instance occurring here.

    As far as the actual weather goes, blame it on a Negative SAM. Everything else can be blamed on Politicians. Perhaps we could follow the lead of the first person to name a cyclone after a human, Clement Wragge living in Queensland at the time. Wragge earned the displeasure of local politicians when he started naming cyclones after them! We should re-start that tradition perhaps?

    One other culprit in play at the moment is most likely the blocking high lying just south east of NZ. This system has locked in a moist north easterly flow over northern NZ with ensuing flooding along the north eastern coast. This blocking system must be having an upstream impact in keeping the typical sub-Antarctic storms from hitting Victoria & Tasmania first before carrying on to NZ as they usually do. Food for thought.

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    • #
      Analitik

      Meh, it’s WEATHER.

      The SA grid was not vulnerable 5 years ago when the Playford and Northern stations were still running. With those gone, the SA government need to introduce capacity payments for Torrens A, Torrens B and Pelican Point to be online at all times. Otherwise, there is not enough synchronous inertia in the SA grid to survive islanding.

      If the wind turbines installed in SA had systems to simulate synchronous inertia (like Enercon’s Inertia Emulation) then the system MAY have survived last night’s storm but they don’t. The AEMO specifically warned about this in their February update on the SA grid.

      ..

      And it looks like my post at RenewEconomy (content largely as above) has just been disappeared by the moderators

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      • #
        Analitik

        Hang on, it’s back!! But only after Giles has come and had his say (to deny renewables had anything to do with it).
        The Disqus comment system they use over there is wierd.

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    wilbert

    There you go! ZERO human emission …How do you like it now?

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    Another Ian

    Jo

    Interesting that I was told many years ago that you only needed to wipe out 5 pylons to do this to South Australia. Where wasn’t mentioned.

    40

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  • #
  • #
    Leigh

    Perhaps Mr Weather(a)ll should become a “Man For All Seasons”, not just the long summer days when the gentle breezes blow.

    10

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  • #
    Egor TheOne

    That dud SA true b’lver premier and SA government needs sacking and all the green ratbags ran out of town!

    SA is constantly having power problems with or without storms with big reliance on interstate ‘coal powered reserves’.

    The most expensive and unreliable power in the country now, with the recent demolition of the Augusta coal power plant….congratulations green ratbags.

    What should be done is dynamite their useless tax payer funded wind turbine towers of shame!

    Little wonder the SA manufacturing is dying with their dependence on unreliable, expensive and inadequate ratbag green power.

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    Robert Rosicka

    The “experts” have said the blackout in South Australia had nothing to do with the renewable energy mix they have .
    It’s just been confirmed that the bird killing wind farms were not working at the time of the blackout because it was too windy .
    If south oz still had only coal electricity generation would the blackout still have happened ??
    This question needs to be asked .

    91

    • #
      Dennis

      The perfect storm, political storm that is.

      60

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      Yes, all the windmills stopped producing power at the same time in SA. Exactly how long before the blackout hit Adelaide I can’t tell, maybe minutes?
      Thanks, Analytic, for that post at #30.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      40

  • #
    Egor TheOne

    Congratulations SA!

    Thanks to your dud alp state government and Green lunatic energy policy or lack thereof, you have achieved zero emissions!

    Welcome to the dark ages…..’Witch Burnings’ soon to follow.

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  • #
    old44

    Power can apparently still come in from Victoria.

    if Hazelwood is closed down next year as is threatened, Victoria loses 25% of its generating capacity and SA will receive nothing.

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  • #
    David Maddison

    It’s sickening listening to all the green “experts” this morning proclaiming this is not a failure of green energy.

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    TdeF

    There are a lot of contradictions in the news. Lines down, towers down, interconnector down, interconnector up, isolated from the National grid, windmills not working because the wind is too strong but would not work anyway because the grid is down?

    Then Will Steffen. Another Hanrahan. We’ll all be rooned.

    This event seems to be a once in 50 years event. If it happened twice in five years, it just might indicate statistically that something has changed. However once in fifty year events are just that. Rare.

    The upside of this is it has exposed how fragile and inadequate and unsustainable SA’s power grid has become with the interference by politicians to please fringe voters. No one could possibly argue that the state was better off in any way with windmills and turning off power stations. Nor Tasmania who sold all their water for carbon cash, closed their gas turbine for sale and gambled on the rain and power from Victoria.

    These are all evidence of politicians gambling with the safety and energy security of their charges to please fringe voters. If the SA government was a private company, the directors would be facing charges of negligence and irresponsible conduct endangering life and property. They have no excuse for this unconscionable conduct. All at huge public and National expense.

    As for the farce of a socialist Green and mendicant government blaming the failure of market forces, it takes your breath away.

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    Lord Jim

    “The atmosphere is packing much more energy than 70 years ago…”
    Eh? I thought the extra energy was hiding i the ocean.

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    Gerry

    The energy source for the backup power used by hospitals and emergency services is coming from where ?

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      Egor TheOne

      good old fossil fuel generators give hospitals reliable back up… otherwise all on life support and others would be dead.

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        David Maddison

        But how many hours or days backup is there? With Australia increasingly relying on “green” energy we need to be planning for outages of possibly days. And there might not be any fuel resupply for the generators in the absence of power. This is just the beginning as the “green revolution” takes hold.

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    Dennis

    If so called renewable energy from wind turbines and solar systems are the way to the future why does South Australia need an inter-connector to the Victoria electricity grid, and why do they now want funding from the Commonwealth for a second into New South Wales?

    I am asking for a Green explanation please.

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    Egor TheOne

    SA Green Power……. I predict ‘PAIN’.

    40

  • #

    In South Australia, “renewable” energy, means energy that shuts off in low or high wind and causes the whole state of SA to rely on coal-fired power from Victoria, and which then is cut off and has to be ‘renewed’ by Victorian Coal Fired Power.

    Shortly SA will be installing standby diesel generators to cope with the next high wind catastrophe, as Tasmania has. This will make the SA ‘renewable’ energy , more easily renewed. Will SA now swap ‘renewable’ power for Reliable Power?

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  • #

    Victoria is now the Power Lender of last resort for Tasmania and SA. Wait until the Loony Premier of Victoria shuts down the Coal Fired Power Stations in Victoria to see a really large-scale blackout. and all of SE Australia does a North Korea.

    140

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  • #

    As many of you go grocery shopping over the next couple of days, as you walk around your local Coles or Woolies, or others, have a close look at how much cool and cold storage there is, all of it.

    Now refer that back to South Australia.

    EVERY (have you got that, EVERY) Coles and Woolies and all supermarkets dow to the small IGA’s near you. EVERY one of them now has to dump ALL of those products in their cool and cold storage, and completely restock.

    Not just the odd one here and there, ALL of them.

    And there’s much more cold storage out the back of each Supermarket too.

    Also, every Butcher as well, and the list goes on.

    Every one of them across the whole State.

    Tony.

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    • #
      Analitik

      Some will have had the foresight to have installed diesel backups to keep the storages cool for a while.

      The power is being restored fairly quickly so along with the cold weather, the spoilage and waste will hopefully be minimised.

      Not saying it isn’t a total ball$up, although the utilities and the AEMO are holding to the party line (move on – nothing to see)

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      Annie

      The thought of all that food wastage makes my blood boil. Have any of these supermarkets got their own back-up generators?

      50

      • #
        Analitik

        yes – many do but most of the state was back up by 3am

        50

      • #
        Ian Hill

        Hi Annie. I asked my local Woolies checkout operator that very question an hour ago when I went to get petrol and some food supplies. She said she was on duty yesterday around 4:20pm when the power went off and they have a backup generator for lighting and cash register operations only, not for the fridges. If the main power is not back within 30 minutes all refrigeration items need to be replaced. She said there were staff there at 6am restocking and we agreed the waste was terrible.

        In the petrol station shop there was a sign on the icecream fridge saying “no icecreams available” even though they were still there!

        The Advertiser is not available until this afternoon. Perhaps they withheld today’s edition to report the latest on the situation.

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        • #
          Ian Hill

          On page 4 of The Advertiser, according to reporters Jordanna Schriever and Meagan Dillon “the weather bureau is expecting gail-force winds …”.

          At least it rhymes with the expected hale!

          30

      • #

        Next time you shop in your Coles or Woolies, have a real good look. Most times we just shop by rote, and don’t really notice.

        It’s not like at home with just the one fridge. There are banks and banks of cool and cold and frozen storage, and some you see in the store, and just as many out the back. You’re looking at high MegaWatts here, and for nearly all of them, it’s just not worth having backup to cover ….. every unit of that cool and cold storage.

        The temperature is controlled and MUST be kept below set levels, both for cool, and also cold, and Frozen. The temperatures are recorded, and if it rises above the minimum level, then as soon as that happens, it must be thrown out, full stop.

        After the Cyclone hit her, the day following I visited Woolies to see if they had some bread and milk, and I got there, on the off chance that they would even be open. I asked one of the crew how they fared, and they said that around half of the normal say staff turned up for normal opening, and those who did turn up spent most of the day throwing everything out.

        The Power went off at 10.41AM on the Friday.

        I visited Woolies at around 4PM on the Saturday and spoke with the crew member then. he said that when they arrived the (Stockland) Mall backup unit came on line that morning, set manually. The power had been off for just on 20 hours.

        Everything was tossed out.

        The local hospital put out a desperate call around 10AM on the Saturday morning. They had backup, via an UPS, but what they needed most was diesel fuel for the units to actually stay operational. They couldn’t get their own fuel, as no power no pump operations at the Service Station. Luckily a stranded fuel hauling rig rocked up on hearing the message and they fuelled the units from the rig.

        So may things are totally and utterly dependent upon power which is available for the full 24 hours of every day.

        Wait till all the news comes out on this. It’s still early days yet.

        Tony.

        UPS – Uninterruptible Power Supply. Instantaneously detects a loss of power, as it is actually happening, and runs up and then connects an auxilliary power supply, and here be aware that the power from even one of these big units would not be enough to run all the cool, cold, and frozen storage in a Coles or Woolies, as the cost for something like that would be prohibitive, and I feel sure Coles and Woolies high management might consider something like that as part of risk management for an event as rare as that loss of power on this scale would be.

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        • #
          AndyG55

          Our local Coles has backup to the main back fridge only

          Deli goods are taken straight to the fridge if the blackout is likely to be a protracted one.

          Only happened once to my knowledge.. some clown blew the local circuit breakers, took about 2 hours to fix, and it was only with a few block of the shops.

          40

        • #
          Ozwitch

          Imagine the smell and the size of the landfills which have just received the entire State’s supermarket cold storage.

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    Ian Hill

    The tip of the iceberg has now emerged.

    As I drove around for a while last night looking for a service station which was open – not yet knowing the power blackout had affected not only all of Adelaide but also the entire state – I couldn’t help thinking of the hundreds of thousands of children and teenagers with absolutely nothing to do! Yes, this was their first real glimpse of their future.

    I saw Adelaide Airport and it was most surreal with its backup lighting only. I hope someone got a good photo of it. I turned on the radio which is set to the ABC (for the footy scores only) and within three minutes I heard the two C-words. At least one of the announcers did suggest it was because of La Nina but the other announcer was quick to point out we had a similar weather event only two weeks ago. After thirty more seconds I switched it off. There were no major blackouts then.

    For me it lasted 12 hours and it was more convenient for most people that it happened overnight. Thank goodness for candles, a gas stove, an old fashioned kettle and plenty of reading to catch up on.

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    Robert Rosicka

    Just heard a good one ” South Australia partied last night like it was 1846 “.

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    PeterS

    The lies are coming thick and fast from the left. Of course the cause is known (storm bringing down the link from SA to the national grid system) thus isolating them and resulting in the blackout. If they had sufficient alternatives sources of power, be they coal, hydro, gas or nuclear the blackout would not have happened. It’s that simple. If they want to be honest and truthful but still stick to their madness of relying on “clean” energy they should simply say they will install backups and/or redundant links to the national grid. The other thing to note in their madness is they are using climate change as the excuse for having the storm in the first place. Well if that’s the case and we are to see more such storms they better start building those backups and redundancies quick smart or else they will be getting many more blackouts. As usual the left expose themselves as the great hypocrites they are (and that includes Turnbull as the rest of his left-wing party as they also believe in all this crap about man-made global warming).

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    TdeF

    Will someone just suggest that they stop building windmills and turn the power stations back on? Is it so difficult or obtuse?

    This was a man made disaster created entirely and solely by a Green government. Nature is not to blame, unless you consider the process of natural selection is perverted for politicians.

    90

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    crakar24

    TDEF,

    Wednesday morning in the calm before the storm the local papers heralded the intent by another wind power builder to build another “farm” just north of Kapunda spread over 5,600 hectares or some such (one hour south of Port Agutter sorry Augusta). Will the soon to be felt state wide blackout change anything? No the wind station will go ahead under the guise of giving us more stability or some BS.

    90

    • #
      Dennis

      Our leftist politicians will continue to push UN IPCC agenda no matter what, and they will spin the facts to fool the gullible voters.

      40

    • #
      TdeF

      How many windfarms are needed to power a single light bulb? No one knows, so they will keep building them.

      50

  • #
    pat

    plenty of political spin from Weatherill/Frydenberg/Turnbull/ABC/Guardian included:

    29 Sept 11.47AEST: Guardian: Gareth Hutchens: Jay Weatherill accuses Barnaby Joyce of pushing anti-windfarm agenda over blackouts
    South Australian premier says National party leader and deputy PM ‘hates wind power’ so is playing politics when thousands of households still have no power
    In three separate interviews on Thursday morning, the National party leader argued that South Australia had become too reliant on renewable energy, wind in particular, and said its lack of coal-fired baseload power had contributed to the blackout.
    “With the strong reliance on wind power, there is an exceptional draw that’s then put on the network from other sources when that wind power is unable to be generated,” Joyce told ABC radio.
    “And of course in the middle of a storm there’s certain areas where wind power works. It works when wind is [at] its mildest. It doesn’t work when there is no wind; it doesn’t work when there is excessive wind, and it obviously wasn’t working last night because they had a blackout.”…

    But Frydenberg said states such as SA, Victoria and Queensland had also been pursuing unrealistically high renewable energy targets – which was a separate issue – and it was his job to try to harmonise the state-based targets with the national target over coming years.
    “In this case, this was a weather event,” Frydenberg said on ABC’s Radio National.
    “[But] there is a bigger question for us to say: ‘Well, how can we prevent this going forward?’ … There are questions with renewable energy, particularly the fact it is intermittent.”…
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/29/jay-weatherill-accuses-barnaby-joyce-of-pushing-anti-windfarm-agenda-over-blackouts

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    pat

    Porritt begins at 18mins15secs: (paraphrasing) ratification will change things in two ways. first, investors now can see that this is what reality looks like & are asking how do we get out of fossil fuels without being burned? how do we get into renewables INTELLIGENTLY etc? how do we get out of the stuff that’s going DOWN – that’s coal, oil, and gas – & into the stuff that’s coming up? & the reality is TRILLIONS of dollars of new value will be created in this transition, which keeps investors very excited, but a lot of people are going to get hurt because they won’t move fast enough.

    Porritt then spruiks for Clinton. says Trump has long denied climate change is even happening, denies he once called it a hoax, but he absolutely did.
    ***BBC presenter: he says he is now committed to believing.
    Porritt: oh good, good. funny how he has got there eventually. (***PAT – MORE TO COME ON THIS)

    AUDIO: 29 Sept: BBC World Business Report
    India is the latest country to commit to ratifying last year’s Paris Agreement on climate change. The environmental campaigner Jonathon Porritt tells us how the global ratification process is proceeding…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p048k5bk

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    • #
      pat

      re BBC presenter telling Jonathon Porritt Trump is now a believer. hardly.

      reminder – posted on one of jo’s previous threads:

      Trump Picks Top Climate Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition
      Scientific American – 3 days ago

      “fowl” talk:

      26 Sept: E&E News: Robin Bravender: Trump transition pick called ‘fox guarding the henhouse’
      Environmental advocates recoiled today at the news that leading climate change skeptic Myron Ebell is leading Donald Trump’s transition team for U.S. EPA.
      Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute and a prominent foe of environmental advocates and climate scientists, is spearheading Trump’s transition plans for EPA, according to sources close to the Trump campaign (E&E Daily, Sept. 26).
      “Myron Ebell is a longtime climate-science-denying, red-baiting, anti-public-health-protection advocate,” said Daniel Weiss, a longtime environmental advocate. “It’s not surprising that Donald Trump would pick someone so far out of the mainstream. It would be like picking Colonel Sanders to protect your chickens.”
      (Michael) Mann wrote on Twitter today that Ebell’s role in the GOP transition represents “why a Trump presidency would be a threat to the planet.”…
      “If ever there was a case of the fox guarding the henhouse, this would be it.”…READ ALL
      http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060043415

      more to come.

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        Mari C

        Hey – I’d pick Colonel Sanders to protect my chickens. The whole point of his empire was chickens – if he didn’t protect them, they’d not make it to the food-for-people stage! Well, technically, the people he bought the chickens from had to do the protecting, but in a business you generally take fairly good care of your product (relatively speaking – I hate the entire mass-farming mess, but chickens -are- evil cannibalistic little feathered demons when over-crowded, or even just bored) and keeping the chickens safe from outside predators, weather, etc., is a concern.

        Of course, my chickens are layers, not meat-stock, but still…

        10

    • #
      pat

      the CAGW Twitterati went into overdrive on Monday night claiming Donald Trump lied & his team deleted a tweet during the Presidential debate over this exchange:

      CLINTON: Donald thinks that CLIMATE CHANGE is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.
      TRUMP: I did not. I did not. I do not say that.
      CLINTON: I think science is real.
      TRUMP: I do not say that.
      CLINTON: And I think it’s important that we grip this and deal with it, both at home and abroad. And here’s what we can do. We can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs; that’s a lot of new economic activity…
      HOLT: Mr. Trump?
      TRUMP: She talks about solar panels. We invested in a solar company, our country. That was a disaster. They lost plenty of money on that one. (BELIEVED TO BE A REFERENCE TO SOLYNDRA)
      Now, look, I’m a great believer in all forms of energy, but we’re putting a lot of people out of work. Our energy policies are a disaster…

      Clinton’s Chinese hoax reference was to a 2012 Tweet, but note it referred to the CONCEPT OF GLOBAL WARMING, a totally different matter to CLIMATE CHANGE:

      TRUMP’S TWEET: “The CONCEPT OF GLOBAL WARMING was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

      anyway, Juan Vidal from NPR (National Public Radio) tweeted during the debate that Trump’s team had deleted the tweet (THEY HADN’T), posting his so-called proof, which he later claimed wasn’t photoshopped. other MSM types, including Chris Hayes (MSNBC), Kurt Eichenwald, senior writer with Newsweek, contributing editor with Vanity Fair and a New York Times bestselling author, & comedian Patton Oswalt, who has more than 2 million followers, jumped into the frenzied tweeting to mock The Donald. needless to say, it went viral & MSM picked it up as they always do when it suits their “narrative”.

      most MSM failed to identify Juan Vidal/NPR as the source of this nonsense; in fact, most included a retweet instead, so they didn’t have to.
      Mashable was a rare exception:

      26 Sept: Mashable: Jason Abbruzzese: Donald Trump is not deleting tweets, despite claims to the contrary
      Owing to the power of the platform, it appeared that just one user sparked the rumor. The tweet came from NPR writer Juan Vidal, who later deleted the claim but indicated in conversation that he had encountered the screenshot had been real…

      what is real is the Chinese hoax tweet had long ago been outed as a typical Trump joke (leftist zealots have no sense of humour):

      June:

      22 Jun: WaPo: Fact-checking Clinton’s speech on Trump’s business practices
      By Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee
      CLINTON: “He just says that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.”
      This line refers to a 2012 tweet by Trump:
      Early in 2016, Trump explained on “Fox and Friends” that this was a joke: “Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money…And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change.”…

      6 Jun: Politifact: Yes, Donald Trump did call climate change a Chinese hoax
      By Louis Jacobson
      At one point, Clinton said, “Donald Trump says climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.”
      Did he? Yes, though he later said it was a joke…

      January:

      Trump insists it was a ‘joke’ when he claimed the Chinese invented global warming
      Daily Mail – Jan 18, 2016

      19 Jan: BusinessInsider: Colin Campbell: TRUMP: I was joking when I said the Chinese ‘created’ the concept of climate change
      Trump was asked about Sanders’ attack the next day during a “Fox & Friends” interview. He said his accusation against the Chinese was an obvious joke.
      “I think that climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change,” Trump said. “I’ve received many environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China — obviously I joke — but this done for the benefit of China.”
      He added: “Because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you can burn. They couldn’t care less. Their standards are nothing. But in the meantime, they can undercut us on price. So it’s very hard on our business.”…

      now that the above twitter storm has subsided, we get MSM picking this up today re Trump’s Vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence:

      28 Sept: AP: Pence breaks with Trump, says humans affect climate change
      Pence, appearing separately on CNN, said, “let’s follow the science,” but he warned against rushing into environmental restrictions that drive jobs out of the country and put Americans out of work.
      “What Donald Trump said was a hoax is that bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., can control the climate of the Earth,” Pence said. “There’s no question that the activities that take place in this country and in countries around the world have some impact on the environment and some impact on climate.”…

      the joke is Trump has consistently stated he simply doesn’t go along with the idea humans have played “a significant” role in CAGW:

      22 March: WaPo: Brady Dennis: Trump: ‘I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.’
      Give Donald Trump credit for consistency. The Republican presidential front-runner repeatedly has said he isn’t “a believer” that humans have played a significant role in the Earth’s changing climate…

      Debating Trump and Clinton on Climate Change Policy
      He thinks that humans have played a very minor role in whatever climate change has occurred…
      Forbes – 13 Sept

      TRUST IN THE MSM WILL SOON BE ZERO.

      50

    • #
      pat

      Question: was Trump right about CAGW being a Chinese hoax, even though he was joking? you decide:

      27 Sept: ClimateChangeNews: Beth Walker: China cuts pollution at home, grows coal abroad
      China cuts coal at home but state owned companies and banks drive new coal expansion overseas, despite promises of green growth for developing countries
      (This article first appeared on China Dialogue. Emily Franklin, Zhou Jie and Robyn Maby also contributed to the data map)

      Chinese companies and banks are continuing to drive global coal expansion, as state owned companies, backed by state loans, build coal-fired power plants across the world…
      Chinese banks and companies are currently involved in at least 79 coal fired generation projects, with a total capacity of over 52 GW, more than the 46 GW of planned coal closures in the US by 2020 (MAP)…

      (IN CHINA) Yet despite central government attempts to reduce its coal fired power and the toxic smog it produces, there is a surge in new approvals for power plants as a result of pushback from provincial authorities and the perverse incentives created by falling coal prices and government fixed electricity prices…

      A third of the new capacity in the global pipeline is coal (1161/3165 GW) according to estimates a forthcoming paper by Phillip Hannam, a scholar at the Princeton Environment Institute – and nearly 90% of this is in rapidly growing Asian economies…
      In 2015 coal-fuelled plants accounted for 68% of generating capacity built by China in the rest of Asia, and in future this is set to rise, according to an earlier paper co-authored by Hannam…

      Since 2000, China has overtaken Japan to become the leading exporter of coal equipment – offering “bargain” prices to energy-starved countries and increasing its share of global coal exports from zero to 37% (85GW). It may be much higher, since, where data is missing, exports are largely attributable to China.
      China is the largest supplier of equipment to India, which is expected to double its coal capacity by 2031…
      China has no road map for phasing out overseas coal investment…READ ALL
      http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/09/27/china-cuts-pollution-at-home-grows-coal-abroad/

      27 Sept: CarbonPulse: Carbon Markets: China CO2 prices in limbo as uncertainties linger over shift to national ETS
      Prices in most of China’s seven pilot carbon markets are barely budging with limited trading activity as traders fear getting caught out by as-yet unpublished rules on how pilot market allowances will carry forward into the national ETS.

      THE END.

      60

    • #
      paul

      why are you here

      F. O.

      15

  • #

    Take this link to wind power generation yesterday, the day in question here.

    First, click on the MW button, top right of the chart there.

    Then under the chart, UNTICK the total, and then untick all States except South Australia.

    From 4PM, an instantaneous drop to nothing, and other than that one small blip there, it didn’t come back up till around 3AM, and that also was only the same output as the blip, and even now it’s only struggling around an average of 200MW total from a Nameplate of almost 1600MW, so about 12% Capacity Factor.

    Nothing to reference power to, so no wind power. (Say, umm, I wonder if that’s a hint right there says Tony, umm, quite sarcastically)

    Tony.

    140

    • #

      Come on, has no one noticed the obvious thing here. I kept waiting for the question, hoping someone might notice.

      Look at the graph at the above link and do the task so it shows up.

      If the wind gets up to a certain point, then the turbines are turned off. When that happens its a scaled down thing as each individual plant turns off its turbines, so the drop would be stepped, in much the same manner as it shows before the cut, spiky.

      What this shows is a sudden and immediate drop to zero of EVERY turbine in the State, and luckily, power generation was at a relatively high level before the cut, around 900MW, so up close to 60% of all of them running.

      Then it was an immediate crash of all of them, around 600 plus turbines, every single one of them, no output to show, further proved by that small bubble between 9.30 and 11PM, as probably a small plant came on line to provide that reference.

      That absolutely proves that without a reference, then Wind power stops, stone motherless dead. You can’t run on wind power alone. It needs a good reference.

      Tony.

      110

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        Thanks Tony,
        It sure is a dramatic drop. I’ve assumed that was caused by the passage of the cold front with its associated high winds, so all windmills closed down at the same time (to sufficient accuracy). As they’d been operating at 100% of (nameplate?) capacity up to that point, their simultaneous loss would have created a simultaneous extra, significant, and unfulfilled, demand.
        I’ve seen, but can’t remember, the wind speed at which they close down. Is it the same for all, or is there some variation?
        Would they have been able to automatically restart when the wind dropped?
        Cheers,
        Dave B

        40

      • #
        Analitik

        I already posted about it earlier in comment #30- but not many seem to have noticed

        http://joannenova.com.au/2016/09/entire-state-of-south-australia-without-electricity-as-storm-hits/#comment-1841158

        Maybe I need to add an “Umm Bayswater”. Or just message these to you so people will read them.

        51

      • #
        LightningCamel

        Hi Tony,
        Is there any plot of the grid decay to go along with this? Are we looking at no power to show or nowhere for power to go? If the grid has collapsed so that the turbines have “lost reference” then there is likewise no place for turbine output to go and I don’t know enough to understand how the AEMO monitoring system would handle this. And while I’m exposing my ignorance, a few hundred fans whirling around constitutes a fair amount of rotating mass, why is this held to have next to zero rotational inertia as a generator? Another thought would be what happens to the turbines when their connection is chopped?

        10

  • #
    pat

    PM says: “Let’s take this storm in South Australia … as a real wake-up call. Let’s end the ideology and focus on ***clear renewable targets.”

    how about focusing on realistic, cost-effective energy targets instead, which might or might not include renewables?

    29 Sept: Australian: South Australia blackout: wake-up call on renewables, Turnbull says
    by Jared Owens, Rebecca Puddy & Verity Edwards
    Malcolm Turnbull has blasted state Labor governments for imposing “ideological” renewable energy targets, describing the South Australian blackout as a “wake-up call” to focus on energy security.
    The Prime Minister accepted fierce winds and lightning strikes were the “immediate cause” of the statewide power failure, but there was “no doubt” that the “extremely aggressive” shift to renewables had strained the electricity network.
    “I regret to say that a number of the state Labor governments have over the years set priorities and renewable targets that are extremely aggressive, extremely unrealistic, and have paid little or no attention to energy security,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in Launceston.
    “Energy security should always be the key priority. If you are stuck in an elevator, if the lights won’t go on, if your fridge is thawing out … because the power is gone, you are not going to be concerned about the particular source of that power. Whether it is hydro, wind, solar, coal or gas, you want to know that the energy is secure.
    “Let’s take this storm in South Australia … as a real wake-up call. Let’s end the ideology and focus on clear renewable targets.”
    Mr Turnbull said he wanted Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg to open negotiations about achieving a single, national renewable energy target ahead of a summit of state and territory leaders…

    Premier Jay Weatherill insisted the state’s energy mix had nothing to do with the blackout, citing advice from the federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Australian Electricity Market Operator. He accused Mr Joyce of leading a “jihad against wind farms”…
    This is a weather event, not a renewable energy event,” he said.
    “I’ve been working closely with Josh Frydenberg and with the Prime Minister we’re on the same page, and you’ve got these ignorant remarks being made by Barnaby Joyce…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/barnaby-joyce-ignorant-for-blaming-blackout-on-wind-energy/news-story/8846b63ad10c7f3c4ed2bdfa43624ceb

    poor Weatherill…not quite on the “same page” as the PM & Frydenberg, after all.

    50

  • #
    Dennis

    Was the storm in SA yesterday the straw that broke the political camel’s back?

    11:32AMDENNIS SHANAHAN

    Malcolm Turnbull has stormed into the SA blackout debate and called for the ideology of renewables to be put aside.

    The Australian

    50

  • #
    David Maddison

    Why is the term “renewables” used? It implies that traditional sources of energy are running out.

    Whilst there is obviously limits to the supply of fossil fuels there is hundreds of years supply of coal and similarly for nuclear fuels, especially if thorium is utilised and also present stocks of nuclear waste from civilian nuclear fuel cycles (which contain about 98% of their original energy) are dug up and reprocessed.

    There is no sign that “consumable” forms of energy will run out any time soon.

    60

  • #
    David Maddison

    Is that picture of the fallen transmission tower really from SA or just a stock photo? It was used by some sources to support the claim that towers went down but did any towers really fall?

    40

    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      According to the SA govt about 22 or so of these towers fell over but unless all the power in the state ran through these lines it doesn’t explain why the whole state went out , surely the system would be designed to prevent this from happening .

      70

      • #
        toorightmate

        If the towers collapse with 150 kph gusts, they must be designed by the same clowns who try to design submarines in Adelaide.
        Remember the reference to “couldn’t design a canoe”? Well, that statement was correct.

        60

        • #
          MudCrab

          It’s actually worse than that, Toorightmate.

          ASC don’t/didn’t/wont design submarines. Someone else has done that and all they had to do is build and maintain them.

          Or to put it another way, all they really need to do is follow instructions.

          THAT is what they keep screwing up.

          I know personally people who work at ASC. It has gotten to the stage that you can’t even heckle them down pub as the moment you start to tease them about being unprofessional they agree with you.

          60

      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        RR,
        And if they fell over, how did they get power back so quickly? Rebuild them in a few hours?
        Geoff.

        120

        • #
          David Maddison

          Agreed Geoff. Something is not wuite right. Australian Governments now routinely lie. That’s why I asked the question about what is the truth.

          And if they did blow down, how was power restored?

          And if they did blow down, why? Surely they are designed to take these wind loads?

          60

          • #
            Robert Rosicka

            Just seen a photo of a downed pylon , looks like someone stuffed up on the amount of concrete used on each leg , hard to say for sure but to me it’s less than half I would expect there to be .
            Also the others that are twisted and bent over appear to be very lightly built compared to the ones we have in Victoria .

            30

            • #
              Analitik

              Was it a strain tower or a suspension tower?

              A suspension tower is only designed to handle the vertical load of the cable weight plus some light allowance for wind loading. So their foundations can be reasonably small. Also, the towers are more lightly built if they are carrying lower rating (lighter) cables.

              Power transmission engineering standards would be very similar across Australia.

              10

        • #
          Robert Rosicka

          Makes you wonder doesn’t it , more so when the premier says the whole infestructre was demolished .

          40

        • #
          Analitik

          Quite simple – they’ve turned on more gas generators. Torrens A and Pelican Point are running now in addition to Torrens B and some OCGT. If all these had been on last instead of just Torrens B, the grid may well have stayed up with only local blackouts.

          Unlike last night as I explained in comment #30

          50

          • #
            David Maddison

            Do you know why the transmission line pylons failed? Surely they were designed to survive rare weather events?

            40

            • #
              Analitik

              It was pretty rare and when a strain tower goes, then several “normal” towers will fall with it. The point is that towers will sometimes fall but a grid should be able to cope. South Australia’s could not.

              10

          • #
            paul

            yes correct .

            any enquiry will suggest all gas fired power stations to be up and running when similar weather occurs.

            the hard part will be the cost of agreements with plant operators.

            ps i dont wont to be seen as condoning green , i hate it.

            30

          • #
            paul

            Analitik

            do you know why wind cant be bought back on stream even after 24 hours

            is it syncing or price or are they broken

            20

            • #
              Analitik

              Some wind farms have been up since 3am but generation is definitely lower than you would normally expect with the available wind.

              Most likely some have been islanded by the fallen pylons while others are being curtailed so more thermal generators can be kept online while the weather is still wild – ie they’re finally behaving with some semblance of rational conservatism.

              10

      • #
        Analitik

        it doesn’t explain why the whole state went out , surely the system would be designed to prevent this from happening

        Very simply, the grid was designed (or evolved, really) around synchronous generators – low/zero inertia generators were not catered for because they did not make sense from an engineering nor economic point of view. The South Australian grid is operating well out of its design parameters – there is more than one AEMO report that openly states this.

        20

  • #
    Mark M

    The greenies are saying its not renewables fault.

    Solar panels reduce both global warming and urban heat island

    Will using more wind energy help to prevent global warming?
    “Yes! Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important of the global warming pollutants which are changing our climate.”

    That’s what renewables are supposed to do, stop 50-100 year storm events.

    So, yes, it was renewable energy’s fault for failing to stop the extreme event.

    How many more wind farms & solar panels must be installed before South Australia prevents the first drought?

    70

  • #
    Russell

    Can’t help feeling the SA Premier is well-named: Weather – ill.

    110

  • #
    MudCrab

    Here is one for our little friends at the ABC.

    If we can build desal plants just in case we run out of water, then why shouldn’t we build power stations just in case we run out of electricity?

    130

  • #
    John Watt

    Will Steffen is right. It was caused by climate change. Just look at the overreaction by SA Govt driven to panic by AGW. Why waste time developing logical argument when you can have a good “princessy” bout of panic. Why bother planning for system contingencies when you’re already leading the nation in renewables? Instead of touting for nuclear waste business SA should be planning a few nukes to keep the lights on. SA’s “nimby” attitude to 24/7 power sources raises doubts as to their commitment to the Oz Federation!

    80

    • #
      Dennis

      What about building nuclear Submarines and as it would take a couple of decades SA could use the nuclear power plants as back up?

      10

  • #
    David Maddison

    This is an excellent video talking about the massive problems windmills and solar are causing to the US grid infrastructure. Highly recommended! https://youtu.be/gJtv7gkuh1s

    40

  • #
    Alan

    Wow the ABC has produced a half decent article by Chris Uhlmann.
    Number of figures I could question but over all reasonable.
    Would be interested in Tony’s take on this

    40

  • #
    • #
      manalive

      “Renewables are the future but, today, they present serious engineering problems …”

      — Chris Uhlmann.
      Renewables will never be able to supply baseload power.

      90

  • #

    This energy generation chart for each state says it all:

    https://themarcusreview.com/2016/09/29/two-of-these-states-are-not-like-the-others/

    Victoria will be next, just wait and see.

    60

    • #
      David Maddison

      I”m in VIC and have some battery backup and a small generator to keep me with lights and computer network. Not sure if there will be internet or land line or cell phones when the VIC grid fails though.

      20

  • #
    James Murphy

    If I may be so bold as to offer predictions for SA (guaranteed to be as accurate as any IPCC approved climate model):

    - It will never be blamed on “renewables”, but on ageing infrastructure, and various “faults” which will never be adequately explained.
    - Jay Weatherill won’t back down from his ‘renewable energy’ target.
    - Jay Weatherill will embark on a campaign to ‘enhance/protect/safeguard’ SA power security by massively subsidising Tesla-style battery backup units and/or solar panels, rather than doing something which will actually work. There will be a levy, or tax, or similar (“just a few extra cents on your power bill”)
    - there will be at least 1 ‘protect your home from blackouts’ scam run by people who always seem to enjoy conning pensioners out of their money (as distinct from above mentioned government sanctioned programmes).
    - lots more power cuts will occur, all in the name of ‘keeping the public safe’, but really because the system is being destroyed bit by bit.

    120

  • #
    C. Paul Barreira

    24 hours since SA lost power. Lobethal, which I just visited, still has none. And apparently numerous other places as well. Arrogance, ignorance, incompetence and negligence are SA’s basic characteristics. It was not always thus but unelected politicians began wrecking education and the school system well over 50 years ago. Thirty years ago that extended to ways of managing—basically bullying—the staffs involved in schools, hospitals and police. Universities are now no more than training institutes and not very good ones at that. Media are and have been complicit in all this persistent degradation. SA is a failed state, a de facto one-party state and parasite. It was founded for the purpose of property speculation and in that it reckons to have succeeded. Even so, the collapse will come as it has on several previous occasions. It has splurged billions on absurd projects and generated no sense along the way. As a number of intelligent people have done over the past quarter-century and more, the best thing to do is leave for there is no hope here.

    121

  • #
    Get Real

    Surely the windmills were working during the storm. After all there was plenty of wind. I don’t understand??

    10

    • #
      amortiser

      It’s the Goldilocks test for wind power. Wind too strong – no power, wind too weak – no power, wind just right – all hunky dory. The cold front that came through rendered the windmills non operational. With all the clouds, solar became non operational as well. 40% of capacity disappeared in a very short period. Looks like the grid couldn’t cope with that. Hopefully it won’t happen again!!

      10

    • #
      David Maddison

      They are shut down in high winds otherwise they’ll destroy themselves.

      20

    • #
      Analitik

      Read comment #30

      00

  • #
    crakar24

    Another big storm on its way

    20

  • #
  • #
    Mark M

    UPDATE 3-China tells mines to raise thermal coal output again

    “China has ordered major coal mines to raise thermal coal output by another 500,000 tonnes per day, the latest concerted effort by the government to boost supplies to its electric utilities ahead of the winter, sources said on Tuesday.”

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/china-coal-idUKL3N1C41WE

    30

    • #
      Rollo

      Better to burn the coal in modern HELE power stations than your average fireplace! I wonder if the green loons appreciate the difference?

      10

  • #
    Jaymez

    In the latest information the statewide blackout is being blamed on three transmission wires and 23 pylons being knocked out.

    That explanation doesn’t make sense, and if that is really all it took to bring the whole network down, then there are huge design problems.

    We have now been told there was no problem with the Victorian inter-connectivity.

    We know from checking here that the statewide network of wind turbines shut down well before the state-wide black out. The fact that they were shut down has now been confirmed by the State Premier.

    Allegedly SA normally gets about 40% of its power needs from wind farms. But the supply is extremely variable. If you look here you can for instance check the daily output for SA windfarms for the month of August. If you get that chart up and follow the black (mean) line you can see that despite the spread of wind farms across the state, the supply varied daily from 0% of capacity to 80% of capacity daily, with a mean for the month of about 30% of capacity.

    So that average 30% capacity presumably equals about 40% of SA’s total requirements.

    But when there is 0% capacity available then just about every one of of SA’s other power generators, mainly gas with a few diesel, need to be operating.

    As far as I can tell there are 13 gas or diesel power station feeding into the grid from the largest by far at Torrens island with 1,280MW capacity down to the smallest at Lonsdale with 20MW. They are spread throughout the state. Dry Creek, Hallet Cove, Ladbroke Grove, Mintaro, Osborne, Port Lincoln, Quarantine, Pelican Point, Snuggery, Torrens Island, Angaston, Lonsdale and Port Stanvac.

    As you can confirm at http://energy.anero.id.au/wind-energy, all of South Australia’s wind turbines shut down well before the catastrophic event which caused the state wide power outage at 3.48pm. Before they were shut down, which was most likely a built in automatic tethering system due to high wind speeds, they were operating at an average of 70% of capacity across the network. By simple mathematics, this would have been about 90% of South Australia’s entire electricity network needs. So most of the gas turbines were either just idling, or switched off altogether. With a lot possibly being the latter because of the forecast for good winds all day.

    When the wind turbines all started shutting down, these would have all been coming online automatically. Plus they would have called on the full capacity available from the Victorian supply which would have been switched in. The system, working as it should, and also proving that no matter how many wind turbines and solar panels you have, with current technology you still need just as much fossil fuel back up power as you did before the wind turbines and solar panels. Thus bringing into question the cost and CO2 emissions efficiency of currently available renewables.

    But I digress.

    So now you have power coming from all corners of the State feeding in to the network, which is protected by hundreds of transformer stations throughout that network.

    But we are expected to believe that 3 downed transmission lines and at least 23 downed transmission pylons, caused the whole State to be blacked out?

    If that is true, then whoever set the system up that way should be shot. There should still have been large swathes of the network operating, with switches simply isolating it from the rest of the grid.

    The only reason I can think that the network is so open to a single (or two or three) catastrophic events, is that it has to be kept open to enable all of the wind turbine generated energy to be taken advantage of when it is being produced, and to be compensated for when it is producing little or nothing.

    The state, in fact no state, has ever suffered a statewide electricity black out in the past. It doesn’t matter whether it was a one in 50 year storm, all states would have suffered one in the past. SA is the only state with such a huge reliance on wind. There has to be a connection.

    171

    • #
      paul

      how well before blackout did wind shut down

      00

      • #
        Analitik

        The wind farms went offline because of the blackout, not the other way around. But they set the conditions for the blackout to occur in the first place. Look through earlier posts and you’ll see the reasons why.

        00

        • #
          Jaymez

          Absolute rubbish. Even the State Premier agrees the wind farms were shut down before the black out because of the wind speed and gusts.But if you look at the chats I referenced you would have seen this. See the chart here from the same source: https://stopthesethings.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/sa-28-sep-16.png

          10

          • #
            Jaymez

            Many commentators are saying it is just a ‘normal’ cascading effect. But in a proper grid the issue should have been isolated to a small area. I understand how a cascading failure in electrical grids works, but who would be mug enough to connect a whole State’s grid up so that there was no way to stop the cascade throughout the system? Unless there is some reason it has been built to accommodate the wide variability in power from the wind farms?

            Even when you look at the worst examples of cascading power failures in the world, the SA event doesn’t make sense.They really don’t equate to South Australia where I understand there are still many people without power.

            See here for cascading failure explanation and list of worst examples: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascading_failure

            Extract the third world countries and anything more than 50 years ago, and in the whole world we have the following examples:

            - Blackout in northeast America in 2003
            - Blackout in Italy in 2003
            - Blackout in London in 2003
            - European Blackout in 2006

            None of them appear to be on a comparable scale to what has happened in South Australia, or has taken as long to sort out, save for the Blackout in NorthEast America in 2003 which was finally put down to a computer bug which meant an alarm didn’t go off and operators didn’t redistribute power as they should have when a tree hit some wires.

            If you look at each, which I have summarised below, while it is clear how a cascade effect can work, it is also clear that complete grids are able to isolate the problem to a much smaller area, and rectify the problem relatively quickly. Neither is the case in SA and you have to ask why?

            My working theory is that it may be because they have to accommodate the wind farm network variability and clearly haven’t built in fail safe’s for when something like this happens. Really if the main damage was caused in and around Port Augusta, there is no reason why metropolitan Adelaide should be affected, or affected for so long. Authorities warn it could be well into Thursday before full power is restored. Hospitals and other emergency services are still operating using back-up generators and can continue to for at least 72 hours.

            But I guess we will see what excuses they come up with.

            Remember at this stage we are being told, An incident involving infrastructure near Port Augusta, about 320km north of Adelaide, at 3.48pm today prompted the failure of the entire SA network, Mr Weatherill says.

            If the system was working properly the Adelaide metropolitan area should have been isolated with plenty of gas powered turbines to operate on, even if a little shedding was needed.

            Summary of most first world major blackouts in last 50 years.

            European Blackout in 2006: November 4, 2006. More than 15 million clients of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity did not have access to electricity during about two hours on this date. The immediate action taken by the Transmission System Operators (TSO) prevented the disturbance from turning into a Europe-wide blackout. 2 hours and it was stopped from spreading!

            Blackout in London in 2003: A serious power outage that occurred in parts of southern London and north-west Kent on 28 August 2003. Over 90% of London’s population was unaffected. Power came back on after 34 minutes at 19:00 BST, but is reported to have taken about two hours to be restored fully in some areas. The fault was caused by two problems happening withing seconds of each other. There was a transformer fault was due to an oil leak, spotted some weeks before the blackout. The oil had been topped up but the leak had not been cured. The second fault, and the ultimate cause of the blackout, was the fitting of a wrongly rated part in a backup system – similar to fitting a 1 ampere fuse instead of a 5 ampere fuse.

            Blackout in Italy in 2003: I really should just leave the explanation that this was Italy! But it was rather more serious. It affected all of Italy—except the islands of Sardinia and Elba—for 12 hours and part of Switzerland near Geneva for 3 hours on 28 September 2003. It was the largest blackout in the series of blackouts in 2003. Italy’s electricity supplier, ENEL, stated that the power line which supplied electricity to Italy from Switzerland was damaged by storms, causing it to trip and also the two 400 kV power lines between France and Italy to trip due to sudden increased demand from those two power lines. The cascading effect disrupted power supply to Italy from France and Switzerland. ENEL lost control of the grid in the next 4 seconds, with the lines tripped one by one amid the cascading effect. Swiss electricity company ATEL later concurred that a power line between Switzerland and Italy went out for a few hours. The blackout, however, did not spread further to neighbouring countries, such as Austria, Slovenia and Croatia, which are connected to Italy. Only part of the Geneva Canton of Switzerland suffered a power outage for three hours. After three hours, energy was restored in northern regions. Electricity was restored gradually in most places, and in most cities electricity was powered on again during the morning. Rolling blackouts continued to affect about 5% of the population on the next two days (29–30 September) as the electricity company ENEL continued its effort to restore supply.

            Researchers in physics and complex networks have modelled the 2003 Italy blackout as a cascade of failures in interdependent networks. Several nodes in the network of power stations failed, causing a failure of the Internet communication network, which in turn caused a further breakdown of power stations.

            Blackout in northeast America in 2003: The blackout’s primary cause was a software bug in the alarm system at a control room of the FirstEnergy Corporation, located in Ohio. A lack of alarm left operators unaware of the need to re-distribute power after overloaded transmission lines hit unpruned foliage, which triggered a race condition in the control software. What would have been a manageable local blackout cascaded into massive widespread distress on the electric grid.

            No doubt we will get all the excuses in due course.

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            Jaymez

            Sorry Analitik – that was an unnecessarily brash response. I should have said that based on what we can see reported, and when we are told the disaster happened at Port Augusta, it appears to me that the wind farms had already had their turbines tethered which is an automatic function.

            In any event, we all seem to be coming to the same conclusion that the whole system should not have collapsed and that the wind farms are implicated in some way, if only from poor planning.

            I like this: https://stopthesethings.com/2016/09/29/another-statewide-blackout-south-australias-wind-power-disaster-continues/comment-page-1/#comment-430863

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        Analitik

        The wind farms went offline because of the blackout, not the other way around. But they set the conditions for the blackout to occur in the first place. Look through earlier posts and you’ll see the reasons why.

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          Jaymez

          Hi Analitik,

          I’m glad I apologised for my uncustomary brashness before this. I was absolutely certain that the windfarms had gone off line because the State Premier Jay Weatherall (still can’t get it out of my mind that he used to date Penny Wong while at University), had said two things quoted in the article in The Australian. Firstly that the catastrophe happened at 3.48pm, and secondly that wind turbines shut down in high winds. The latter implied to me that they had shut down.

          However I was most convinced because the charts I looked at, time and again, at http://energy.anero.id.au/wind-energy/2016/september/28 was showing very clearly that all power from wind turbines in SA ceased before 3pm on the day. However, I now think the website was showing me AWST (as I am in Perth). 3.48pm in SA is 2.18pm in WA.

          So please accept my apologies.

          Of course I agree with your other contention, that relying on the wind turbines set up the system for failure. If they keep to the line that it was a perfectly natural cascade shutdown that would happen anywhere under the circumstances, then they aren’t being truthful.

          There are systems which are meant to isolate sections of the grid, and in any events where ‘normal’ cascade shutdowns happen ‘normally’ then the rest of the unaffected grid is quick to be recovered. That hasn’t been the case in SA.

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            Analitik

            Cheers. Unlike the greentards, we just want to get to the truth of what happened to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

            I study renewables in the hope something viable gets presented – so far, no luck

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      Analitik

      Torrens B’s units were up as were the Ladbroke and Hallet OCGTs generating around 400 MW at the time of the collapse vs the windfarms 950 MW.

      The real issue was the lack of synchronous inertia online at the time – the thermal generators don’t need to be generating much to contribute to system stability. But it costs money for fuel to keep them online and with the increasing wind driving down he price of electricity, there was no incentive for the thermal plants to be kept running. If the Torrens A units and Pelican Point had been spun up and online, then the blackout may well have been localised rather than statewide.

      There are several posts above describing possible reasons why the blackouts weren’t isolated as you (quite correctly) said they should have been. But lack of synchronous inertia is the key since without it, there won’t be enough of a stability margin to trip the circuit breakers that should provide isolation.

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    Rollo

    Well said Jaymez. The key point is…

    The system, working as it should, and also proving that no matter how many wind turbines and solar panels you have, with current technology you still need just as much fossil fuel back up power as you did before the wind turbines and solar panels.

    I imagine someone will step in at this point and spruik the benefit of those cost effective powerwall battery systems/sarc.

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    Another Ian

    Jo

    Not entirely O/T

    “Soros Paid Algore to Promote Global Warming”

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/soros-paid-algore-to-promote-global-warming/

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    TdeF

    One good thing to come out of this incredible self harm by South Australian politicians is that it is far less likely that Hazelwood will close. Everyone needs it, not least Victoria but also South Australian and Tasmania. The theme comes through constantly that they all rely on Victorian coal, which is perverse given their agenda. So they believe South Australia and Tasmania will be ‘unpolluted’ by closing their coal generators and buying coal power from Victoria.
    So Global warming is obviously a local affair. As Bette Middler said in Ruthless people, “I’ve been kidnapped by Kmart”. A whole state held to ransom by loonies.

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    TdeF

    One good thing to come out of this incredible self harm by South Australian politicians is that it is far less likely that Hazelwood will close. Everyone needs it, not least Victoria but also South Australian and Tasmania. The theme comes through constantly that they all rely on Victorian coal, which is perverse given their agenda. So they believe South Australia and Tasmania will be ‘unpolluted’ by closing their coal generators and buying coal power from Victoria.
    So Global warming is obviously a local affair. As Bette Middler said in Ruthless people, “I’ve been kidnapped by Kmart”. A whole state held to ransom by l–nies.

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      Analitik

      Yep. It’s in the interest of the CFMEU to extort the state but not bring it down. So they will support keeping Hazwelwood open while they extort the state in the construction and running of a replacement coal plant. And the South Australians will want to continue pretending they are renewable while importing Latrobe Valley, brown coal generated power.

      Tasmania don’t actually need the support from the Latrobe Valley if they arbitrage sensibly rather than try to profit excessively through the spring. With the upgraded Heywood interconnector, they’ll have plenty of opportunity to sell timely power at high prices this summer.

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    crakar24

    The bull s%&£t in Adelaide is rising faster than the flood waters, we are now being told when the towers fell over they caused a miss match in the grid frequency which caused the blackout. There are still large swathes of Sa without power I suspect they have been load shed due to limited power from victoria in combination with no wind (too windy still)

    Listening to tv and radio I have decided the state is full of retards.

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      Analitik

      The reason is technically correct but it’s like saying a car’s engine stopped due to low oil pressure when a rod punched a hole in the side of the block, letting the oil out (Alfa Romeo F1 car, 1983).

      The frequency mismatches means that the generators cannot deliver power to the grid but a generator frequency gets mismatched when it is either over or underloaded so its speed changes faster than it can affect the grid frequency. This only occurs when there is not enough synchronous inertia to absorb a sudden demand change.

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        TdeF

        What on earth is ‘synchronous intertia’?

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        crakar24

        What an idiot………..you have phase synchronisation not frequency as the wind turbines (if they are running) produce AC which is converted to DC and then back to AC to match the grid phase and frequency go and get an education

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          Analitik

          Once the generator falls out of phase with the grid, it is unloaded and will run at a different speed to the grid frequency. Yes, phase falls out of line first but the grid frequency will not be maintained if the generator is being driven.

          After this, the generator needs its frequency adjusted to match the grid and then the phase aligned before it can be reconnected. If the generator magically stayed locked to the grid frequency, then a loss of phase alignment could be almost instantaneously recoverable by automated system.

          Is that enough for you?

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        Rod Stuart

        Power generation and angular momentum and a tale of two power stations, for those less familiar with the craft:
        The New Zealand grid is somewhat similar to SA or Tasmania, since the NI has much of the demand and the SI has much of the generation, and they are tied together with an HVDC cable.

        Taranaki Combined Cycle power station has a single machine some 380 MW in capacity. The generator is 500 MVA, making it the largest electrical machine in New Zealand. Because a trip at full load has a huge impact on system frequency, everything but the main machine set, including GT, HRSG, ST, and alternator has double and triple redundancy. The power generation rules stipulate a very large fine should such a machine “fall off” line. It did, one time only on my watch, and the total cost was in the order of a half million NZD. This includes the opportunity cost of being off line as well as the fine. (It was one dinky little limit switch on a hydraulic unit associated with one of the fuel gas compressors wot did it. It didn’t have a redundant twin). The rotor in that machine weighs in at 180 tonnes, so spinning as it does at 3000 rpm it has a great deal of grunt for a few seconds, and because of this it saved a lot of other machines the cost of a fine. (The fine is collected if the event causes a drop in frequency of 1 hz or more for 1 second or more).

        When TVPS was under construction in Tasmania, it met the criteria established for max size of machine of 140 MW. This is because if the loss of a machine larger than this causes a large shift in frequency. It was half built (by Babcock and Brown) when HT noticed that if the 140 MW GT goes down, so does the 70 MW ST. This of course means that rather than one combined cycle machine of 210 MW it should have been two CCGT’s of 120 MW each. In order to allow its connection to the grid, it was necessary to make commercial arrangements with large customers for “interruptable” power supply meaning that very sophisticated equipment capable of opening breakers at the customers’ facilities within a few nano seconds of a CCGT shutdown from full load. (Meaning of course there is little effect on the grid as loss of supply is instantaneously associated with an equal loss of load)

        This is just to demonstrate the magnitude of mayhem that the instantaneous loss of a few hundred MW of wind causes on a system of any size. While rules are imposed on fossil fuelled generators, the cursed windmills get off scott free, and drop out and come back when the spirit moves them (and if they have a reference of course). It seems obvious to me that when the wind blew hard enough, they all came off at once, and like a row of dominoes the whole thing went down as one breaker after another tripped. Then of course even if the wind calmed they couldn’t get back on because there was no reference to which to synchronise. In the real world, some facilities are paid to maintain “black start” capability.

        I suggest the only appropriate fine, if this is indeed the case, would be a collection of left testicles from each politician and each and every wind investor.

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    Egor TheOne

    The SA alp need the Bums Rush Out along with their medieval idea of power supply!

    Of course they will defend their green power with the unions/alp heavy super investment within such a taxpayer funded scam.

    The racket will continue no matter how many blackouts happen until the people themselves revolt against these shysters.

    If incompetence and stupidity were crimes, 99% of all our government…. local, state and federal would be behind bars.

    99% of all the country’s woes have been and are created by these lying deceitful manipulative and incompetent imbeciles.

    The longer we allow them to do as they please, the worse it will become.

    This power/CAGW/true b’lver fiasco is just one of many examples!

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      TdeF

      lying deceitful manipulative and incompetent imbeciles…

      And to think that I went into moderation for just calling them l–nies.
      Well said.

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    Jaymez

    South Australian power users won’t be happy – “With generators re-starting and power out across the state, the price of electricity last night rose to $2000/MWh, compared to Victoria’s to $25/MWh.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sa-victoria-brace-for-one-of-most-extreme-storms-in-decades/news-story/211de4b39dd336be787700ba98fc1fe0

    Of course this will have the greatest effect on commercial users forcing more industry out of the state. The only ‘viable’ industry seems to be tax payer industry in SA like Warships and Submarines where we have no idea what the final bill will be.

    How’s that free renewable energy going there?

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    So now we can say to businesses leaving SA “last one out turn off the… never mind…”

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    David Maddison

    Another excellent video about the disaster of wind and solar in the US.
    https://youtu.be/kU6izpryqqw

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    Geoffrey Williams

    What has just occurred in SA is precisely what we on this website have been predicting for years.This weather event should set back the cause of renewable energy by 10 years or more and perhaps permanently. Renewables energy has to be the Achilles heel of the climate change lie. As such we should use this failure event to advantage and never let up on the argument. This is what happens when ideology is allowed to rule science and politics.
    GeoffW

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    nc

    So did the line failure propagate a resonance issue and with not enough rotating mass initiate out of step protective tripping?

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    Greg

    Mr Weatherill said the system worked as it was designed to

    Outstanding. The system was design to fall on its arse at the first signs of ill weather . Maybe someone should be putting the design criteria under the microscope. If the state power grid was designed to work like this, some top names need to be sacked.

    BTW the guy’s name has be an internet spoof pseudo, right? Mr. Ill-weather said ….. Na ! come on.

    [This was in moderation for language, but I think we can pass it - made me laugh! - Mod]

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    Greg

    It would be interesting to see in what way Mr. Illweather meant the system was meant to do this.

    Was it automatic shut downs to protect the rest of the network from over-load when 20 metallic pylons of light capacity went down? Did the over dependence on “renewable” power sources mean that other parts of the network took far more than their designed load?

    One would think that he infrastructure was originally designed to take this kind of a hit and probably already has done so in the past.

    I see no worth in assuming that to be the case and starting baseless rants, but if I was living in S.A. I would be wanting answers.

    If there is to be an increasing proportion of irregular “renewables” in the network, the existing infrastructure will need beefing up to retain the same resilience to load changes. Whether that has been done should be verifiable.

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    David Maddison

    Since the SA people voted for this green madness, shouldn’t they be allowed to enjoy the fruits of the ballot box and be allowed to freeze in the dark?

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      Annie

      What about the people who didn’t vote for it? We in Vic are lumbered with an i***t of a premier that a lot of us didn’t vote for and some crazy stuff has already happened here.

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        Geoffrey Williams

        Annie, you have our genuine sympathy and the same goes for all the South Australians who are victims of this leftist renewable energy botch! But one does hope that the people who voted for this ‘illweather guy’ will wise up (and rise up) and get rid of him at the earliest opportunity.
        GeoffW

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    Greg

    Mr Weatherill said the system worked as it was designed to …

    Well, I suppose that the good news is that nothing got burnt out as a result of overload, so there is no more loss than the direct weather damage. Maybe that’s what he meant.

    However, it does raise the question of why the system went into a total shut-down as a result of relatively minor and geographically localised damage. This would seem to indicate that there is very little redundancy in the system and very low robustness to the slightest malfunction. It came down like a house of cards.

    It also seems that there was very little anticipation that this could happen and that the grid management are left scurrying around wondering how to reset the system, rather than having some predetermined plan ready to be put into operation.

    This all suggests that there was a lack of appreciation of the lack of resilience or , like the sea defences at Fukupshima, the weaknesses were know well in advance but nothing done to address problem due to short-sighted cost cutting and lack of necessary investment.

    We’ll probably see a lengthy ‘enquiry’ into how this happened as they try to pass the buck and evade responsibility.

    Good time to be a diesel generator salesman in S.A. ;)

    Those with a bit of land will buy a genny, the others will do well to look into having sizeable stock of battery storage and an inverter.

    We are reassured that the hospitals were able to function on back up, but if you needed to get to one it’s unclear how you could call an ambulance, since presumably the whole land-line and cell-phone networks would have been out state-wide as well.

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      Greg

      Look on the bright side: maybe S.A. can apply to be downgraded to ‘developing nation’ status and thus get exemptions from emission reductions and gain grants from the Green Fund to help build a reliable network. ;)

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    Greg

    Looks like in the last 12h, several of the main windfarms have been progressively reconnected to the network. This kind of real time data is excellent.

    http://energy.anero.id.au/wind-energy

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    Greg

    Wondering whether the electrical activity of this storm has any linkage with current strong geomagnetic storms.

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    [...] The Greens are blaming coal (what else?) for causing bad storms and blackouts. Forget that Queensland gets hit with cyclones all the time and the whole state grid doesn’t break. Some greenies are also raging against “the politicization” of the storms. Yes, Indeedy. Go tell that to Will Steffen. [...]

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    Greg

    More info on the nature and scale of the damage and on-going state of reconnection:
    https://www.electranet.com.au/power-supply-restored-to-majority-of-sa/

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    Clare

    Clearly, SA is equvalent to a 3rd world country charging the highest electricity rates in the world!

    [Electricity rates are not part of the topic. And I have no way to judge the accuracy of, "...highest electricity rates in the world," or whether SA is even close to a third world country. Please try to justify such claims with a reference to some reliable source.] AZ

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