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SA Solar Thermal plant is a copy of US plant that was out of action for one third of its life so far

Crescent Dunes, Solar Thermal Plant. Photo.

Crescent Dunes, Solar Thermal Plant, USA.   | Wikimedia  Author, Amble.

A company called SolarReserve is planning to build the new Aurora 150MW solar thermal plant at Port Augusta, which is apparently a copy of their Crescent Dunes plant in the US. But that project has been offline for most of the time since last October. The whole SA government is meant to be running 24/7 off “solar power”, which allegedly only has about 8 hours of energy stored up (as heat in the molten salt block). So an 8 month break will be a bit of problem for the SA government (except of course, we all know that the real baseload backup here at 4 or 5am everyday, and most of the day in winter, is ultimately the very fossilized gas and coal.) Since the project only began working in Sept 2015 it managed to operate for all of one year and one month before it went offline for 8 months due to a leak. The SA State Energy Minister is not concerned saying it was a construction issue and SolarReserve “have learnt from that”.

The 150MW myth: most of the time it will be less, a lot less

Here’s an ominous number: Crescent Dunes has worked at an average capacity factor of only 16%. That would mean an average generation of just 24MW of power from the 150MW plant. Theoretically, they are aiming for a capacity factor of 51.9%. (Yes, according to Wikipedia, it is not 51.8%, or 52%, but 51.9%. Very specific spin then?) — Thanks to Graeme No 3 and AndrewWA in comments for their help. And from TonyfromOz who says: “Everything about this SouthAus plant is the hyped to the max best case scenario that NO plant on Planet Earth has achieved yet…”

Should they close their Solar-Parliament each winter?

The South Australian government might want to switch their summer holidays to winter, because Crescent Dunes production in summer was three times as high as their best winter month. (30GWh in Sept 2016 compared to 9GWh in February 2016). SA may well be better off if Parliament has to shut down for winter, but how do you run hospitals and schools on one-third of the power?

Not low-cost:

State Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis is not a man you want negotiating your deals:

“This deal is an incredible outcome for South Australians. It locks in low-cost power for our schools, hospitals and trams while also boosting supply to the broader market in order to reduce power bills for households and businesses.”

In pure NewsSpeak — a $70-plus-per-MWhr-deal is “low cost” now compared to what — the shockingly high prices of the National Electricity Market which have just doubled? For most of the last 15 years the average wholesale price of electricity in SA was around $30/MWhr (See fig 1).

This genius deal is so good, Premier Jay Weatherill is going to waste $2.6 million to sell it to South Australians.

Premier Jay Weatherill has defended allocating $2.6 million to an advertising budget to spruik the plan.

He argued the advertising was necessary to “ensure” investors understood that SA has “a secure energy future” and to protect the state’s reputation against people “seeking to essentially characterise South Australia as having an insecure and unstable energy system”.

 

Here’s Weatherill offering a slight cut to astronomical electricity bills too:

Given the likely capacity factor, and the governments use, how many megawatts exactly will be left to spare?

Jay Weatherill has promised a $50 cut to the average household power bill when a $650 million solar thermal power plant is running, even as experts warn that the technology is in its infancy and largely untested anywhere.

The South Australian Premier yesterday visited the proposed site of the world’s largest solar thermal project, 30km north of Port Augusta, hailing the new 150-megawatt plant as a “game-changer … (that) signals the death knell for coal-fired power stations in this nation”.

Coal is dead sayth Mr Weatherill

Being anti-coal is a religious badge of honor. Here’s a line history will not be kind to:

Mr Weatherill said no form of coal-fired electricity generation, which includes new high-­efficiency, low-emission options, were considered during the tender process.

“There’s going to be no more coal-fired generation,” he said. “Coal is dead”

The solar thermal plant, to be built by US company Solar­Reserve in the state’s mid-north, was “by far the lowest-cost option of the shortlisted bids”, he said.

“The government will pay no more than $78MWh for our power. By way of comparison, you can’t build a coal-fired power station for less than $100MWh,” Mr Weatherill said, hailing the technology as “the future for the world”.

Weatherill knows coal is more expensive even though he didn’t consider it. All the other world leaders building 1600 coal plants in 62 countries must be kicking themselves.

As for $100MWh coal power — Weatherill could have paid $30m to keep the 520MW coal plant going.

Possibly people can come watch birds fry in the sky:

Birds, deaths, Ivanpah, Solar Thermal Plant.

Birds combust in mid-air at Ivanpah, Solar Thermal Plant, USA.  |  (Click to watch the video – how much fun can you have?).

 h/t David Maddison for the youtube link.

Not the largest solar thermal project

Being the biggest in a new immature and rarely used field is not that exciting, but Aurora is not the biggest bar perhaps in a minor technical sense. Everything about this is hyped — spot the weasel words “of its kind”:

The planned 150MW South Australian solar thermal plant will be the largest of its kind in the world, using 12,000 mirrors to direct heat at a 227m tower.

There are at least seven larger solar thermal plants – including the infamous Ivanpah which is more than double the size at 392MW.  Possibly Aurora has the largest solar thermal tower at 227m, as the tower at Crescent Dunes is about 200m. How exciting is that?

As commenter Graeme No.3 tipped — Crescent Dunes cost $1b, only has 110MW, so the new plant is supposed to be bigger, cheaper, more reliable:

There is something seriously amiss with this announcement. Firstly Crescent Dunes at 110MW cost $A1.35 billion and had the cheapest selling price of any solar heat plant in the world at $A178 per MWh.
Now we are told a bigger plant will cost half that, and sell electricity at 40-43% of that “breakthrough price”.

Also the ABC claims it will deliver 495GWh annually, this would require operating at 100% of capacity for 10.4 hours a day for the whole year. That is assuming that the sun isn’t blocked by herds of flying pigs.

Lastly the construction will start next year (after the election?) and will last 2 years. Crescent Dunes took 5 years.

And 130MW is a toy power station.

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SA Solar Thermal plant is a copy of US plant that was out of action for one third of its life so far, 9.3 out of 10 based on 102 ratings

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238 comments to SA Solar Thermal plant is a copy of US plant that was out of action for one third of its life so far

  • #
    Yonniestone

    We were taught as children that taking the life of an animal for consumption was to be quick and humane as extending any suffering lowered ourselves below any base instincts of the animal being taken, to see birds killed in such a way is abhorrent but nowhere near as abhorrent as the people that can somehow justify callously inflicting such indiscriminate suffering on another life for either money or ideology.

    If hell exists I hope its full of wind turbines and solar panels.

    383

    • #
      Roger

      Very telling is the total silence of all the animal rights and eco-activists – their silence suggests that their professed ‘love’ of animals is more likely a hatred of humans who don’t conform to their blinkered world view. Now what a subject that would be for research by an avant-garde, left-wing, experimental psychologist such as Stephan Lewandowsky………

      583

      • #
        Curious George

        Not a total silence. But they don’t own mainstream media:
        http://www.basinandrangewatch.org/CrescentDune.html

        The technology has its teething problems, but the company kept lying about them: It’s only a minor leak, we will be back in production next month. Eight months total. They even have some government support. Here is an exchange of emails:

        To: NREL.gov Website Inquiry

        Wed 8/2, 2:21 PM
        In the period November 2016 – June 2017 your web page did provide following information:
        Turbine Capacity: Net: 110.0 MW Gross: 110.0 MW
        Status: Operational
        while it was down for maintenance. A new technology has teething problems, but operational it was not. Accurate information? By no means.

        Maybe you could consider a modification of a heading “This page provides information on Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a concentrating solar power (CSP) project, with data organized by background, participants, and power plant configuration” by adding “This is information provided to us by third parties. We are a R&D lab; we don’t have resources to verify it.”

        Regards

        From: nrel.gov
        Wed 8/2, 2:04 PM

        Hi, NREL is an R&D lab and we set up this CSP database to provide information that is accurate and helpful to others. We don’t post proprietary information and we don’t know everything that goes on with all projects (which might include some of what you perhaps snarkily call “inconvenient details”). If you care to provide [our contact] with other information on projects, he can decide whether he can include it in some way. Thanks!

        80

        • #
          Gordon

          WAIT A MINUTE!!!!! HOLD ON!!! The proposed battery pack from Musk!!!?? Are you telling me that is not finished YET?! What happened?

          141

          • #
            Dennis

            Still working on charges?

            81

          • #
            Roger

            Calculate what the CO2 emissions will be from the Musk mega-battery during its manufacture ….. use a figure of 150 kg to 200 kg CO2 per 1 kWh of storage capacity - it’s an accurate, researched and published figure.

            Check that against SA’s current CO2 emissions and see what the increase and percentage increase is that the Musk mega-battery will cause today and again in around 8 years when it needs to be replaced ! Increases that your politicians will be directly responsible for.

            Those figures are from the report that IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute produced in their study on CO2 emissions during manufacture of Lithium Ion batteries for the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Transport Administration. (Link to paper at end)

            A Tesla battery releases between 15 – 20 Tonnes of CO2 during manufacture and that is equivalent to the emissions from 8 years driving a diesel or petrol car. But currently Lithium Ion batteries last between 4 – 8 years, Tesla give an 8 year warranty, and so when replaced there is another 8 years-CO2-emissions-equivalent to a normal car.

            http://www.ivl.se/english/startpage/top-menu/pressroom/press-releases/press-releases—arkiv/2017-06-21-new-report-highlights-climate-footprint-of-electric-car-battery-production.html

            31

          • #

            Gordon seems confused that the battery fairies haven’t appeared yet to magically zot this battery into existence.

            Tell us something, Gordon, what is your understanding of the timeline on this?
            Specifically,
            When was the tedner acceptance announcement made?
            What work does the SA government have to finish before Musk builds his battery?
            How long did Musk say his part of this will take?

            22

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Perhaps they should find a new email address that doesn’t include the misleading identifier: .gov.

          They show no signs of wanting to take up the responsibility of actually “governing”.

          But if you are still being paid why bother?

          KK

          71

      • #
        Freedom of Beach

        It is ok Roger. The spontaneous sustainable Carbon Capture has won over the animal rights/eco-activists.

        00

    • #
      Geoff

      How much water does the steam turbine and water cooling system need to operate at the real capacity of 50MW? Is this water sea water or fresh? Is there a fresh water or sea water supply pipeline to the proposed location? If not, what is the cost? What happens to any residues? What about evaporation rates affecting the system? Is there an emergency plane if the mirrors were to go off line and point elsewhere? Do they revert to horizontal if the power fails? What is the DR power supply?

      Is the location chosen based on Nick Xenophon’s party electorate? Did Malcolm Turnbull or Josh Frydenberg make the loan deal with Nick for Nick’s vote? What other “incentives” were involved? Should such be referred to the Federal Police?

      What was Jay Wetherill offered?

      220

      • #
        Dennis

        What will the unions get out of it?

        140

      • #

        The location at Port Augusta is probably based on the need to replace the obsolete Port Augusta coal burning power station which was shut down due to its inability to make a profit for its owners despite the high power prices.

        The water supply for the new plant will presumably use some or all of the existing pipeline that the defunct coal burning power station used for its water requirements.

        The real question is – has Geoff heard of this thing called “Google”?

        15

  • #
    Roger

    “The whole SA government is meant to be running 24/7 off “solar power”, which allegedly only has about 8 hours of energy stored up (as heat in the molten salt block). So an 8 month break will be a bit of problem for the SA government “

    Personally I think that an 8 month break from government activity is quite an attractive prospect – it would show how little of any real benefit or meaning it is that most governments do.

    311

    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      If the govt experiences a blackout of that magnitude, surely helpful neighbors could supply extra lighting by means of a crowd carrying torches surrounding the buildings.

      171

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      “Tell ‘em they’re dreaming….”

      - The Castle

      60

    • #
      Owen Morgan

      I always love it, when some shamelessly self-regarding part of the government threatens to withdraw its services, in the expectation that everyone will freak out and beg them to resume their incredibly inept teaching, their uncivil disservice, or their diversity services, or politically correct law-enforcement. I’m writing in Britain, but I have a funny feeling that the same applies in Australia.

      We shan’t notice the difference. Oh, hang on: yes, we shall, but not in a bad way.

      70

  • #
    Greg

    With night and day being the main factors it would seem to me that 50% would be the theoretical maximum, never a cloud in the sky, no rain, no dust build up etc. Unless they’ve found a way to slow down the spin of the earth at noon local time every day?

    162

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Let’s see. The idea has failed to deliver on promises on any scale so far attempted. Now, on a new and larger scale, it is predicted to be many times as good. How so? Same idea, implemented the same only larger means a failure on an even larger scale.

    The truth is that the project was not intended to be anything but failure. That way, the government has an excuse of trying the idea on an ever larger scale. Again assured of failure. Thereby justifying an even larger next project.

    But wait! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, it is an oncoming gravy train at full speed from the other direction to get yet another load of gravy for the next even larger scale failure.

    It is unsustainable. Only a free and productive high technology economy can produce enough excess wealth to be able to pay for such things. Without abundant, reliable, and low cost energy, such an economy grinds to a halt. It will no longer be able to produce the gravy to fill all those gravy trains. The economy will collapsed.

    As with smoking, the best way to quit is voluntarily. It is not if, it is when will we stop feeding them?

    260

    • #
      Greg

      “Let’s see. The idea has failed to deliver on promises on any scale so far attempted. Now, on a new and larger scale, it is predicted to be many times as good.” No coincidence, that’s how they keep describing why we should try socialism again.

      150

    • #
      clive hoskin

      Definition of insanity?Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

      90

      • #
        Lionell Griffith

        That’s just it. They EXPECT to fail and use the failure as a justification for doing more of the same. Only this time with bigger budgets. Then recycle expecting the same result. Again and again and …. At least as long as the people who pay let them get away with it.

        When will it end? When there is nothing left to take and no possibility to make more. Alternatively, when the productive say NO MORE in a way the government cannot evade. It’s as simple or as difficult as refusing to be a sacrificial goat and stopping feeding them.

        40

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    There is a solution to the bird problem that would also work for the bat/bird windmill problem.
    Encase the project in a mesh barrier like larger versiond of those Japanese golf driving ranges.
    The engineering is easily possible. It is the type of solution being required for other energy projects, like requiring new coal plants to have carbon capture and storage, CCS.
    Of course it is expensive, but as we say, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. And that is not instant involuntary dry fry. Geoff

    260

    • #
      Raven

      . . involuntary dry fry.

      Strewth, Geoff.
      Here we have Jay, carefully thinking this through by turning birds into instant carbon capture, and all he gets is a bollocking . . ;)

      151

      • #
        Roger

        Maybe they could open a take-away fast-food outlet ……

        111

        • #
          Raven

          Funny you should say that, Roger.

          I did some idle math . . (so please check to see if I have it correct)

          Crescent Dunes is smaller than the SA plant and uses 32,000,000 kg of salt.
          South Australia has a population of around 1.7 million.
          The average person has a mass of around 75 kg.

          Sooo . . . if a Crescent Dunes sized plant were to be installed in South Australia, the salt would weigh roughly the same as a quarter of the population.

          Would you like fries with that? :)

          151

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Yep.

          They could call it: ” Red Loser Chicken”.

          On the other hand, there’s a further business opportunity here.

          Build a “Bird Fry” observation deck (no need for hides) and bite the tourists returning from the whale watch platform a little further west on the Great Australian Bight, another $25/head to enrich their South Australian tourism experience watching innovation SA style.

          A self-loading solar coking plant.

          71

    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      Well, of course, a more apropos solution would be to use windmills instead of mesh. In that way, even MORE unreliable energy could be generated AND the windmills would quickly and humanely decapitate the birds before they got to the solar furnace. The windmills and the solar collectors would be out of phase, giving greater on-time, including some night generation. The benefits simply go on and on.

      140

      • #
        jorgekafkazar

        I’d provide you with a pencil sketch of how this equipment would be arranged, but they won’t let me have anything sharp in here.

        211

    • #
      Chris in Hervey Bay

      Cover the plant with 50% shade cloth sounds like a good idea.
      Should work and keep the birds out.

      130

      • #

        Hey, totally off-topic, but I’ve just been doing some work down at Jervis Bay and the locals down there are almost all of them mispronouncing Jervis as jervis (instead of jarvis).

        Hervey Bay was named in a very similar way to Jervis Bay, (after a prominent naval officer, whose name is pronounced “harvey”) I was wondering how do you guys up there pronounce Hervey Bay?

        10

  • #
    beowulf

    CSP the “lowest cost option” and coal power at $100/MWh eh? At least QLD voters are beginning to see through the smoke and mirrors. Anaesthesia Pallet-Jack might have to re-think her 50% renewables policy.

    https://stopthesethings.com/2017/08/16/politics-of-power-queensland-voters-blame-subsidised-renewables-for-rocketing-power-prices/

    160

    • #
      RickWill

      I can see a rapidly growing dislike for renewables as more people connect the dots between their penetration on the grid and increasing power bills. If Queenslanders realise they are sending a cheque south for the LGCs produced in SA with the power they also send south. Can you imagine the headline
      “Queenslanders Subsidises SA Power Experiment”

      The only sane place for renewables is off-grid power. Allowing intermittents to connect to the grid was a serious error.

      Few people appreciate that solar energy has zero or even negative benefit of scale. The energy density is much the same for any given latitude in Australia. A little better inland, far from the coast with less cloud, but that benefit offset by transmission costs.

      At today’s prices for components, households, with a suitable roof, can make their own power for around 70c/kWh in southern Australia. That is where the wholesale price will end up if States continue to increase so-called renewable energy sources. Even this has a problem because it relies on China using Australia’s coal to produce components at current prices. Without coal there is not enough energy out of solar/storage plant to provide any energy surplus. Essentially the whole economy is dedicated to the single function of producing energy. Luxuries cannot be afforded and food becomes the last luxury good for those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

      80

      • #

        #YeahNah check out CHEAP CLEAN STORAGE: off-river pumped hydro IN LOCK-STEP COMBINATION WITH GRID-SCALE WIND POWER AND PHOTOVOLTAICS *AND* a new HVDC backbone — http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/hydro-storage-can-secure-100-renewable-electricity

        …they can do it wholesale for under 10 cents/kWh they reckon. Only ripoff monopoly rent by poles and wires greedies can push that over 20 cents/kWh retail. #ForceMajeure or #Renationalisation will take care of that blood-sucking.

        I’m off-grid here BTW at 3031.au for a lot less than 70 cents/kWh — see the circuit diagram for my tiny off grid setup – it’s the (squashed and rotated) header image on my Twitter account @voltscommissar. The $1,600 battery bank is on track to last five winters, meaning battery replacement costs are under $1.00/day. Admittedly there is a degree fo winter-lifestyle adaptation: memo to self, for goodness sake put a wetback in the wood heater to boost solar hot water before next winter!

        00

  • #
    Tom R Hammer

    “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” He who can’t teach, becomes a political leader in SA.

    241

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      … a political leader in SA.

      You win the prize for the biggest oxymoron of the week. Use sparingly.

      151

    • #
      King Geo

      What does SA really stand for: Stupid As, Sad As, Silly As …….anymore ideas? (apologies to the citizens of SA – you can move interstate or even S.E. Asia where the cost of electricity is actually affordable, ie no RE dependence because they’re not into economic suicide).

      90

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    The world and especially Australia has lost touch with reality.

    When I was studying many years ago there was a saying that an Engineer was someone who could carry out a particular task for a shilling as compared with the pound that a non engineer would need.

    An engineer can do for a shilling what any old fool could do for a pound.

    The real world for most people now is lost somewhere between the TV screen, the computer screen and the buzz of the radio.

    If you can’t think for yourself you end up living the dream,
    the dream.

    Jayes dream.

    KK

    141

    • #

      Was this “many years ago”, when that new-fangled contraption, the automobile, was never going to catch on? Or was it more recently, when that new-fangled scientific idea about continental drift was never going to catch on?

      Thank the Lord that we live here in modern times, stuck on coal-fired power, which will never be superseded by anything, ever.

      22

  • #
    Gerry, England

    I presume being a moron is not a requirement for a politician in SA but just a bonus?

    131

  • #
    Tom O

    I trust that there is no shortage of water in the area that this “power plant” is being built? That is, fresh water, not sea water. It probably ought to be distilled water since these mirrors require millions of gallons of the stuff to stay clean enough to function as per design, and mineral deposits on the surface, as well as dust, won’t be tolerated.

    180

    • #
      joseph

      Not a problem. Another desalination plant is all that is required . . . . . .
      Maybe the one built to supply Adelaide could be dismantled and reassembled up here.
      Lots of employment. Much expense. All good.

      40

  • #
    pat

    jo, you are too cynical. theirABC has no trouble finding supporters:

    15 Aug: ABC: Solar thermal power plant supporters and locals welcome greenlighting of Port Augusta project
    ABC North and West By Khama Reid
    The land is owned by the State Government but Scott Michael and his family have the pastoral lease on it.
    Solar Reserve will, in turn, lease the land from them…
    Mr Michael said it would not interrupt the property’s current business of running sheep and cattle.
    He said there are lots of renewable projects proposed for the region.
    “It’s the way the state wants to go, so might as well be a part of it, I suppose.”…

    Port Augusta woman Vicki Fox was there with her daughter and grandson, Phoenix.
    “I think it’s fantastic,” she said.
    “Basically, we need solar energy. I think it’s wonderful for the region, for the area, for employment, for the sustainability of Port Augusta.”…
    Ms Fox said the closure of the coal fired power station last May was a hit to the community.
    “We were concerned about jobs and the future, so now this looks so positive.”

    Local Aboriginal leader Malcolm ‘Tiger’ McKenzie said he could see many opportunities in the project to boost employment for Aboriginal people…
    Mr McKenzie said he wanted to work with the Government and Solar Reserve to get the best employment outcomes…

    ***PHOTO CAPTION: Photo: Maddie Sarre and Lovisa Muyderman have been campaigning for solar thermal for years.

    Adelaide woman Maddie Sarre campaigned for solar thermal in the past and went to Port Augusta for the community meeting.
    She said the project was exactly what society needed into the future.
    “We need to transition to renewable energy and we want it to be in a way that supports communities that are reliant on these old coal-fired power stations…
    “That’s why it’s so important here.”…

    Lovisa Muyderman also travelled from Adelaide, she said climate change was a huge concern for young people.
    “Especially vulnerable people who have done the least to contribute to climate change but also have the least capacity to deal with this issue.”
    “It’s baseload renewable power, it uses a lot of the same skill sets as traditional coal-fired power does so there’s the chance to provide jobs to the people that have always been supplying us with power — but in a clean, renewable fashion.”…

    Port Augusta businessman John Brittain said his family-owned business would benefit from the construction of a solar thermal plant…
    “It’s awesome for the town,” he said…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-15/port-augusta-welcomes-solar-thermal-power-plant-announcement/8810394

    ***theirABC fails to mention Maddie & Lovisa have been with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, and CAN Australia (ClimateActionNetwork Australia); check the other organisations listed.

    ClimateActionNetwork Australia: National and state organising committee contacts
    South AustraliaOrganisingCommittee: Maddie Sarre AYCC , Lovisa Muyderman, AYCC
    http://www.cana.net.au/organising_committee_contacts

    don’t know if they are still with CAN, but always worth remembering who they are:

    LeftExposed.org: Climate Action Network
    USCAN is a key affiliate of the Climate Action Network-International (CAN-I), a worldwide climate alarmist complex based in Bonn, Germany and dating back to 1989…
    They have close ties with United Nations delegates and communicate privately with UN leadership, but are most active during the United Nations’ “Conference of the Parties,” or COP, and “PrepCons,” Preparatory Conferences ahead of the COP itself…
    Controversies
    Climate Action Network showed its true colors at the 2015 Paris climate conference in confrontations with an international delegation of climate realists. CAN called for the U.N. to eject all skeptics from the Paris talks, but without result, since the skeptic groups had for years held proper credentials from ECOSOC, the Economic and Social Council, the U.N. status controller. Activists were furious that the Heartland Institute, an American libertarian group, showed a new documentary called “Climate Hustle” that debunks claims made by environmentalists sounding the alarm on global warming.

    In a panic, CAN activists pasted more than 1,000 “Wanted” posters outside Paris luxury hotels, falsely accusing skeptics of “having ties to the fossil fuel industry”and calling them “climate change criminals.” CAN had to get the posters with the help of New York City-based global crowd broker Avaaz, which had organized hundreds of thousands of people worldwide to march in their home locations in favor of a strong climate agreement…

    Donor Network (2006-2014)
    The U.S. Climate Action Network’s has received 236 grants from 54 foundations totaling $13,731,793 (2006-2014). Most donors are members of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, a planning and organizing cartel for Big Green foundations only. The top ten extreme climate agenda donors are: …READ ON
    http://leftexposed.org/2015/12/climate-action-network/

    80

    • #
      Roger

      Looking at all of the quotes above – whch seem to focus on the benefits for local employment and the local economy – perhaps someone locally would like to produce and maintain a graph showing the employment benefits, i.e. jobs created for operating the solar plant against the job losses from closure of the coal plant.

      I imagine there would be a boost to local employment and the local economy during the construction phase but the key is going to be the comparison once it is operational. It would be fascinating to see if the hopes and expectations of those welcoming the plant are met or are shattered. Everywhere else in the world where ‘green energy’ has been held out as a job-creator the opposite seems to have occurred, and Spain is a classic example.

      111

      • #
        GreatAuntJanet

        I live in outback QLD, where we have three largish solar farms constructed (one finished, two underway) within 100km of our little town. The employees used by the part overseas owned companies were mainly FIFO, with a few general labouring casual jobs for a little while. The finished one has someone from 1000km away FIFO to maintain it. Employment benefits vastly overstated, as usual.

        151

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Hmmm.

          Great Aunt Janet?

          I had a great aunt Janet who lived in Queensland early last century – 1920 or there about. Chinchilla as I recall.

          Family history says she was the original Prickly Pear warrior. This apparently started when she read the Queensland Prickly Pear Land Commission’s report that stated:

          “It will never be known – not even remotely – what the pear pest has cost the State. Revenue, homes, and even lives, of all it has taken its toll. In place of well-kept farms, of prosperous homes, and of contented people, one sees all around the desolating blight of pear.”

          Her strategy was to dress herself in red as a disguise to blend in with the cochineal. She’d sneak up on the pricks with a pair of heavy duty wire cutters. She’s snip away all night. In the morning – desolation.

          Darkness reigned.

          This was repeated for years. She was making great progress when all of a sudden she was made redundant by a little South American FIFO worker on a 457 visa- cactoblastis.

          Her wire snippers are a family heirloom today. Passed down from generation to generation they wait for the time they can return to the fray.

          I’m told that deep in the Amazonian jungle (the bit that hasn’t yet been clear-felled) there’s a new bug evolving that’s related to the cactoblastis. In fact it’s cactoblastis’s great aunt, Solablastis.

          50

        • #
          Bitter&twisted

          I’m sure there will be some jobs for “highly skilled” window cleaners.

          00

    • #
      Annie

      ‘Basically we need solar energy…’

      Too right we do….the sort that is beautifully stored, ready for use, in the forms of coal, oil and gas.

      90

      • #
        Annie

        ‘It’s baseload renewable power’!

        Cue: TonyfromOz. You must be sick of trying to explain, in simple terms, what base load actually is?

        90

    • #
      Allen Ford

      I take it that the Misses Maddie & Lovisa have the necessary engineering/scientific/economics background to support their lyrical panegyric regarding the merits of solar power generation.

      If the generation of jobs is the main criterion of the worthiness of the proposal, as seems to be the case, I can suggest an even more productive proposal. Install a zillion bicycles, equipped with DC magnetos, for a zillion cyclists to pedal 24/7, thus killing two birds with one stone, as it were. The unemployment stats would disappear overnight, while the SAs would get all the power they need.

      QED.

      60

  • #
    pat

    comment in moderation re “15 Aug: ABC: Solar thermal power plant supporters and locals welcome greenlighting of Port Augusta project”

    VIDEOS: 15 Aug: ClimateDepot: Marc Morano: Watch: Kids used to promote Gore’s sequel: 11-year old: ‘People are releasing toxic gases that are ruining the world’

    Kids in video exposed to dire climate claims to promote Gore’s sequel and then “inspired” to fix problem. Climate activist Prince EA goes tells kids: “Storms are stronger than ever before…or more drought, wildfires, hurricanes than ever before.”
    “This is like, making me feel sad,” one kids says.
    A boy explains, “I’m like shaking now.”…READ ALL
    http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/08/15/watch-kids-used-to-promote-gores-sequel-11-year-old-people-are-releasing-toxic-gases-that-are-ruining-the-world/

    60

  • #
    Analitik

    I cannot wait for this project to begin construction and come online.
    I’ll be watching for reports of
    1. Construction delays
    2. Cost overruns
    3. Contractual disputes
    4. Commissioning “issues”
    5. Disappointing output
    6. Public Inquiries
    7. Excuses from Solar Reserve and the South Australian government

    The shocking waste of money and resources will at least give us some entertainment as well as providing irrefutable proof to the masses that CSP is as ineffectual and inefficient as wind turbines and utility PV.

    Bring it on :)

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    • #
      Another Ian

      Headlines of union actions too maybe?

      70

    • #
      RickWill

      2.1 Solar Reserve files case under Chapter 11 in USA after bleeding money on Crescent Dunes CSP.
      2.2 Solar Reserves Australian operation supported by SA government.
      3.2 Labor Federal Government steps in to assist Liberal Government in SA to fund completion of Port Augusta CSP.
      7.1 Rebadged Solar Reserve distance themselves from the Port Augusta CSP project blaming government meddling for the technical failures.

      70

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Someone whould tell the gummint in SA when youre in a hole, stop digging…seems their digger is stuck in self-destruct turbo mode……

        Seriously, you cant make this stuff up……

        #CensusFail
        #ATOFail
        #SASolarFail
        #SABatteryFail
        #TassieBurntCable

        I’m sure Ive missed one…..

        20

  • #
    Watt

    ” The whole SA government is meant to be running 24/7 off “solar power”, which allegedly only has about 8 hours of energy stored up (as heat in the molten salt block).”

    Maybe the SA government doesn’t run 24/7. Cosy tax payer funded sinecure that they are. 9-5 should be fine for bureaucracy.

    60

    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      Or they’ll just declare a govt holiday when the weather is overcast.

      60

    • #

      “Maybe the SA government doesn’t run 24/7. Cosy tax payer funded sinecure that they are. 9-5 should be fine for bureaucracy.”

      Or in this case, that’s one day on, and eight months off?

      90

  • #
    pat

    Taiwan doesn’t even have a lot of “renewables” yet, but the Govt definitely doesn’t have its mind on a reliable grid:

    16 Aug: Bloomberg: Mishap Triggers Taiwan Blackout as Power Policies Draw Scrutiny
    With assistance by Samson Ellis, Stephen Stapczynski, Yu-Huay Sun, Dan Murtaugh, Jing Yang, Aibing Guo, and Yuan Gao
    A blackout caused by a blunder at Taiwan’s biggest gas-fired plant is the latest challenge to an electricity grid recently pushed to its limit and to President Tsai Ing-wen’s efforts to reshape the island’s power mix.

    A combination of unusually hot weather, infrastructure damage from typhoons and Tsai’s drive to abandon nuclear power left Taiwan barely able to supply sufficient electricity to residential and business users in the past week. That balance gave way just before 5 p.m. Tuesday when the Tatan power plant, which accounts for almost 9 percent of the island’s generation capacity, stopped after workers accidentally shut off its natural gas supply.

    Tsai publicly apologized for the power outage that hit more than 6 million households and disrupted some semiconductor production. Electricity was restored by 10 p.m., but not before Lee Chih-kung, Tsai’s economy minister, offered his resignation. Both the operator and supplier of the plant, Taiwan Power Co. and CPC Corp., are state-run…

    “The outages hurt President Tsai’s creditability,” Jeffrey Bor, economics professor at Chinese Culture University in Taipei, said by phone. “The impact on the economy is comprehensive. It’s like sending a signal to companies to escape fast, because of the risks of electricity supply disruption.”

    While Tuesday’s outage was caused by human error, the blackouts heightened scrutiny of Tsai’s policies, including a pledge to rid Taiwan of nuclear and cut its use of coal. The island, which plays a critical role in the world’s electronics supply chain, will rely instead under her plan on natural gas, renewables and distributed generation, which entails multiple, smaller power sources that decrease reliance on single plants and can offer greater grid stability…

    Business associations including the Chinese National Federation of Industries had called for slowing the pace of closing nuclear plants…

    Tsai’s apology posted on Facebook late Tuesday included a reiteration of her determination to push forward phasing out nuclear in favor of renewable energy.

    “The government is promoting distributed green energy to avoid the situation where an incident at a single power station can affect the power supply for the whole country,” Tsai wrote. “We will not change course. Today’s incident only makes us more determined.”…READ ALL
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-16/taiwan-s-president-apologizes-for-blackout-affecting-millions

    20

    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      It’s like sending a signal to companies to escape fast, because of the risks of electricity supply disruption.

      To where?

      20

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        Japan

        10

        • #
          ROM

          Yep!

          45 new Japanese coal plants coming up over the next decade.

          “Adani” the queensland coal miner the usual completely hypocritical green blob tried to shut down, will be licking their chops at the prospect of all those new Japanese coal sales needed to run those 45 big coal burning generators.

          And thats after they have supplied a lot of coal to to India.

          10

    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      “The government is promoting distributed green energy to avoid the situation where an incident at a single power station can affect the power supply for the whole country,” Tsai wrote.

      What if that power station is the sun, and it goes below the horizon? What then?

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  • #

    Unintended consequence: Live bird incinerator. How can that not be a bad thing?

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  • #
    AndrewWA

    SA is now going to have:

    + The highest % in Australia of WIND power in it’s energy mix.
    + The largest energy storage battery (by >3x)
    + The largest Concentrating Solar Plant.

    Over >40 years in the Mining Industry the focus was always to be at the LEADING EDGE rather than the BLEEDING EDGE.

    South Australia will continue to haemorrhage and the damage could be terminal due to the impact of the high cost and unreliable power supply strategies.

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    • #
      Dennis

      At a sombre budget breakfast meeting held by a major accountancy firm in Sydney during the PM Keating Labor recession we had to have (because Labor allowed the Australian economy to overheat after deregulating the banks and finance industry and floating the A$), the worst in 60-years here, a senior mining industry executive was the guest speaker.

      In short, he pointed out that the many deterrents to foreign investors at that time was ensuring that foreign investment was in decline. These included native title and sacred site claims. But many more.

      He said that Australia’s national prosperity relies on foreign investment because there is not enough money available from Australians to fund the mining projects and other non-mining ventures proposed and underway. And that as a direct result national prosperity was in decline.

      That Australians would not really notice the adverse impact for a decade or more.

      SA Labor government please note.

      60

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      You forgot the highest unemployment…..

      10

  • #
    TdeF

    Mr Weatherill said no form of coal-fired electricity generation..were considered during the tender process.
    “There’s going to be no more coal-fired generation,” he said. “Coal is dead”

    So disconnect from Victoria’s coal fired generation! Solar people can disconnect from the grid provided by everyone else.

    With the closure of Hazelwood, we cannot afford demands from SA. It’s a deal. No more Victorian coal. No more poisonous CO2 pollution in Victoria so South Australia can live in the world’s lowest CO2. Or is it all nonsense?

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    • #
      Annie

      Exactly my thought TdeF. We should not be bailing them out with what we have left in Victoria. Let them suffer the full consequences of their choice!

      60

      • #
        joseph

        Is it possible those of us who didn’t choose it could still get just a little bit?

        70

        • #
          TdeF

          You could buy Hazelwood or rent. Simpler than all these crazy and utterly unnecessary schemes of Whetherdills.

          60

        • #
          Raven

          Is it possible those of us who didn’t choose it could still get just a little bit?

          An excellent fundamental point, joseph.
          Consumers are deprived of choice.

          Are consumers entitled to electricity supplied at a similar 5 x 9′s availability as is expected (and contracted for) in many large scale IT installations?

          I don’t know how many people have seen inside the infrastructure of a large Telco, but the redundancy built in is quite impressive . . and expensive, too.

          Given that sort of reliability is (roughly) available in the power sector and consumers may well prefer it, then why can’t they choose it?

          As TonyfromOz points out, there are many businesses where 24/7/365 power is a necessity – supermarkets, inner city buildings, smelters, hospitals.

          60

          • #
            Another Ian

            Raven

            I fear that you’d have to lead a hell of a lot of people these days to a dictionary to get that concept of redundancy across

            40

        • #
          Annie

          I do understand what you are saying Joseph. Those of us in Victoria who did not vote for Dopey Dan are lumbered with having to live with the results of the dopiness of those who did vote for him.

          50

          • #
            OriginalSteve

            Comrade Annie, please to be considering glorious Soviet of Victoria and SA, gleaming examples Dear Leaders provide shining path for showing glorious superior Communist way of life is better than evil capitalism, Da, Comrade?

            Is being better, now where is my Trabant?

            30

    • #

      Seems like Queensland coal is keeping the nation ticking over, if you check the AEMO website. Here is a link to the dispatch overview, http://www.aemo.com.au/Electricity/National-Electricity-Market-NEM/Data-dashboard#nem-dispatch-overview

      I wholeheartedly agree, that if Weatherdill says that coal is dead, then stop giving him coal fired electricity! He can suffer in his jocks!

      30

  • #

    You see, the problem with this is that the average person in the street has no concept of what a plant of this nature does, and I’m willing to bet that the Premier and his Minister for Energy also have no idea.

    They would probably believe that ….. blink, as soon as the Sun comes up, hey presto 150MW all day until the Sun goes down, and then, they have this magical after hours power generation for 8 hours, taking it through the night back to Sunup again.

    You can bet no one will ever explain it, and if truth be told, no one would want to listen to an explanation anyway. Easier to believe what they are told by Dear Leader, and after all, why would he mislead them they think, because if he’s wrong, it’ll come back to bite him on his a$$, but who cares, the current Premier will be long gone by then, just another retired politician, sponging off his incredibly huge taxpayer funded Superannuation, and not fielding calls from anyone. Hey, it’s not his problem any more.

    No, there’s no one who will want to know how this works, because they don’t really care, because the people don’t actually get a say in it.

    Look at the Insolation Curve for a plant of this nature, shown at this link.

    I’ll explain it if you want, but it’s fairly self explanatory. What I will point out is the heading ….. “on a typical Summer day”.

    The actual power generated is that red line at the bottom around 50MW.

    The more heat diversion you have (and that is measured in hours) then the less actual heat there is during the normal day for ‘making’ the steam to drive the turbine which drives the generator.

    You either use as much molten salt as you can at the time, or part of it, and divert it for later use, thus having less at the time to generate power.

    Now having seen that diagram, then with the cooler Months, everything is less, (in height) and the time (along the bottom axis) starts later, and note on this, umm, dare I even say it, model, even it is sooper dooper best case with the Sun rising at 5AM, and not setting till 9PM.

    In fact, in Winter, the plant will be incredibly lucky if it even fired up at all, let alone have enough heat to divert it for any time at all, let alone 8 full hours.

    This is a con of the most huge proportion, a plant that will never deliver what we are being told, will cost more than the initial quote, take longer to construct, and will never deliver the power which is being claimed.

    And for only $650 Million.

    These people saw Jay coming, panting like a puppy with the prospect of a bowl of Pedigree in front of its snout.

    Tony.

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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      I predict that this project will never get to the ribbon cutting stage, whilst Mr Weatherill remains premier. It will be much easier to blame him, after he has spent all the money, and left office.

      There are a few “bridges to nowhere”, scattered across multiple countries, that have served as prototypes for this sort of activity.

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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Tony;
      I would stress that the 8 hours reserve is likely to be a mirage also.
      They claim that the molten salt gets heated to 565℃ and cooled to 295℃ when generating steam. But that is close to a minimum tempeature they have to maintain to keep the molten salts mobile. Ivanpah and a number of the Spanish plants can go down to 245℃ but the salts become ‘slushy’ and hard to pump to the heater at the top of the tower, so they used a natural gas fired turbine to generate electricity from before dawn and the exhaust heat from that to warm up the stored molten salts until they were liquid enough to get to the top of the tower.
      Since Crescet Dunes and this plant don’t have natural gas backup and this one has a very tall tower, it is going to be critical to maintain the salts in a liquid state. With the sun dipping towards the horizon hours before the peak electricity demand this plant isn’t going to be generating for 12 hours a day. Probably 9 to 5 would be likely.

      150

      • #
        Raven

        G’day, Graeme No.3,

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understood Ivanpah to be a different design where it heats water (more or less) directly and therefor cools down in the evening and that there’s only incidental energy storage, but none by actual design. i.e. not a CSP design.
        Have I got this wrong?

        40

        • #
          Graeme No.3

          Raven:
          I appear to have made a mistake. Ivanpah appears to be 3 solar tower types. I was under the impression that one at least was a horizontal tube operation. I must have been thinking of some other operation.
          In answer to your question, any tower design is a CSP design, it doesn’t have to have storage. Water is not used as a thermal fluid because of the difficulties of heating it to a high enough temperature without leaks**. Thus the horizontal mirror types tend to use Dowtherm A as a heat collector and secondarily heat water. As thermal solar plants are usually situated inland (and often on plateaus as in southern Spain) there is the possibility of water freezing at night unless warmed.
          Ivanpah has run into problems and has become a byword for dissappointing prformance. It used so much natural gas to generate electricity before sunrise when demand started to increase (and as noted before for the exhaust heat to raise the temperature of the molten salt mixture) that it would have needed a licence for a gas fird plant. The law was hurriedly rewritten.

          The problem with these types is that the bigger you make the mirror field the higher are the losses due to atmospheric absorption (and keeping the mirrors focussed on the target). There is never going to be a solar tower unit outputting 2000MWs (on Earth).

          ** Again I must correct myself, water was used in a small experimental tower type in NSW at Cobar(?). The target was an epoxy carbon black powder mix. I haven’t heard that it ever reached satisfactory operation.

          20

    • #
      Robdel

      All these analyses and projections mean very little to the man in the street. The only events that will bring the crisis to a conclusion will be the constant blackouts and the astronomical electricity bills.

      60

    • #
      AndrewWA

      G’day Tony

      The output from Crescent Dunes, during its very limited production to date, has been 26 – 31 GWh/mo July-Sep but less than 2 GWh Oct – Jan.

      50

      • #
        TdeF

        So they have winter too? What a surprise. That pesky tilt of the earth. I hold Copernicus responsible.

        We know the salt idea is feasible but
        what the world will learn at South Australia’s great sacrifice is whether the idea is practical.

        How does it feel to be a South Australian voting Guinea p*g, using your own money?

        Anyway, the sunniest place in the world is not in the equatorial zone, it is in Coonawarra, South Australia. If the scheme does not work in South Australia, it will not work anywhere else. We will all be wiser while Hazelwood sits quietly waiting for demolition and the fish expire in the cooling ponds. Weatherill could send his demolition team to Victoria to show solidarity with our own Daniel Andrews. A meeting of minds really.

        140

      • #

        Crescent Dunes power output limited.

        When I wrote that article about this form of power in Spain, it was four years ago, and I did the data analysis for all of their CSP plants at that time, and there were 24 of them. The combined Capacity Factor (CF) for those 24 plants was only 28%, and that’s just on a par with wind power actually. And that was with varying amounts of heat storage from zero, (most of them) to four, six, and eight hours heat storage, with one tiny little 20MW plant with 16 hours storage and that’s the only one to generate power across the full 24 hour cycle, and for only 36 days at the peak of Mid-Summer, but hey, at 20MW, that made it a hell of a lot easier, because they have not yet been able to scale that up beyond that 20MW. Even then, that tiny plant has to close for Winter because the compound does not even reach operating temperature, let alone divert it to heat storage, accentuating the fact that with more heat diversion, then there is less compound to generate power during daylight hours.

        Spain now has 34 of these CSP plants and the CF is still around the same.

        I often hear commentary about how new coal fired power (and here, forget that it’s replacing existing old coal fired power) is classed as ‘overbuild’, in other words, building more (Nameplate) than is needed.

        Okay then, consider CSP. Just to get the same amount of generated power (power delivered for consumption) you have to overbuild by a factor of between three and four, so you have to construct around four times more Nameplate than you need just to get the same power. In Summer, you’ll probably get good amounts of power, and in Winter, considerably less, while with coal fired power, just feed in the coal and you get massive amounts of power, the FULL Nameplate, all the time, Summer Winter, whenever it’s actually needed.

        And please, let’s all pray in unison that they don’t get a hailstorm eh!

        Tony.

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        • #

          I pray they do.

          - ‘Lessons must be learned.’ H/t Naychur.

          Guess I’m a schadenfreude kinda’ person. (

          80

        • #
          crakar24

          How long before the unemployed youths of Port Augutter save up enough money to buy a dozen cans of spray paint and P1$$ sorry mark their territory reducing the reflective affect of the mirrors?

          50

          • #
            ROM

            Or a car load of those back country hoons from inner Adelaide decide after a good night on the p–s and some bright moonlight to see with , have a bet on how many mirrors each of them can take out with their”illegal” rifles in 20 minutes.

            They do have 12,000 mirrors to aim at spread over some hundreds of hectares so just firing away in the general direction of the whole mirror shebang should collect anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred mirrors and /or drive and control systems.

            [ the big city foreign types are where most farmers get most of their grief from when it comes to damaging property and shooting livestock. I have been literally on the point of gun myself a number of years back when a bunch of semi bearded quasi dark skinned non Australian types just strolled onto our property and started blasting away. One of them jumped in front of the real aggressive ar---hole and stopped him from doing something very stupid fortunately for my future which went from long term to very short term and back to long term in those few seconds . ]

            30

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Someone commenting in The Australian cheerfully corrected me saying that molten salt has weeks of back-up. They walk among us, and vote.
      On a cold wet day they would be importing power to keep the salt molten.

      110

      • #
        Raven

        . . corrected me saying that molten salt has weeks of back-up.

        Benefit of the doubt, Hanrahan . . benefit of the doubt.

        I’d put it down to some funky auto correct.
        He probably meant “weak back-up”. ;)

        40

  • #

    Silly China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and India. Buying Australian coal and building new plants to burn it (388 million tonnes 2015-16, largest global metallurgical coal exporter 2015, 2nd largest global thermal coal exporter 2015, 30% of world coal trade)…

    Don’t they know coal is dead? Or have they found a way to undead all those billions of dollars worth of Australian coal. Spooky!

    As for Minister Tom’s “incredible outcome” and “low-cost power”…that made me spill my Soylent Green ration for the week. Now I’ll have to wait till next Tuesday.

    There’s a name for those who import and burn our coal: People Who Make Stuff.

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  • #
    Broooke

    @jayweatherill and @Tkoutsantonismp I have been following Ivanpah via Google alert for the past 3 years.
    This technology is a dud. The amount of gas needed to get the salt to temperature each morning is astronomical.
    BTW can I have the contract to clean the mirrors?
    Jay and Tom must be the laughing stock of all the “renewable” salesmen throughout the world.

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  • #
    ExWarmist

    The people in government will get religion on ‘this is a mistake,’ when the banks cease to operate for lack of power.

    Any other service outage can apparently be tolerated.

    Once the banks are out of action, the politicians will be told to fix it.

    40

    • #
      C. Paul Barreira

      ‘[T]old to fix it”—by whom? The public has, apparently, accepted the bank taxes levied by both state (SA) and federal governments. No joy there. Tony from Oz is right: the Premier and the Minister have no idea what they are talking about in this “incredible” deal. And the public knows even less—just as willingly.

      90

      • #
        Dennis

        You are right of course, about the general public. As I reported recently one person commented that the electricity problems will be solved when “they” install the “big battery”, and she is from NSW, not SA.

        A comment on coal no longer needed that I read recently claimed that solar and wind are the future because they do not need fuel.

        And another, that coal fired power stations cannot operate when coal is wet.

        70

        • #
          Raven

          And another, that coal fired power stations cannot operate when coal is wet.

          Yeah, and the State can’t operate when the Government is wet.

          50

  • #

    This type of solar farm seems to be beset with problems. The Ivanpah project in late 2014 had to apply for a $539million federal grant to help pay off a $1.5 billion federal loan, after producing just a quarter of the forecast electricity in its first year. The project exceeded expectations in one respect. Ivanpah was projected to scorch 1,000 birds a year. Instead it is 28,000 in the first year.
    In June 2015, Ivanpah was again in the news. After 15 months of operation electricity output was at only 40% of planned. This was in a large part due to the following issues

    ◾Complex equipment constantly breaking down
    ◾Optimization of complex new technologies
    ◾Steam pipes leaking due to vibrations
    ◾Generating the initial steam takes longer than expected
    ◾It is cloudier than expected

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  • #
    Stonyground

    I believe that they have a geo-stationary sun on the planet Mercury. Maybe all the fans of solar energy could move there, surely they would be really happy. I bet they couldn’t get their solar subsidy farms to work even on Mercury.

    50

  • #
    Stonyground

    I believe that they have a geo-stationary sun on the planet Mercury. Maybe all the fans of solar energy could move there, surely they would be really happy. I bet they couldn’t get their solar subsidy farms to work even on Mercury.

    20

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    1) Many people have thought that the environmentalists were phony and only used the environment to push a political agenda.
    The were always right.
    Those who cry for fish, mammals, birds, and such things as snails, rare plants, etc. to stop development of industrial, energy plants, mines, highways, ports, pipelines, etc. cared not a whit about nature or its plants and animals. These are tools the left uses to push their Marxist agenda.
    2) I hope this information is funneled up to the courts and our legislators–that they can ignore the environmentalists protest almost always as being phony.
    3)Environmentalist terms such as smokers (birds burning alive as they plummet to the earth), birds chopped to death as they enter wind farms (as ______, no term for this yet), and collateral damage ( human lives lost during demonstrations and riots) and such things that are necessary for the cause.
    4) Believe nothing environmentalists on the left say and everything they do.

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    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      “…birds chopped to death as they enter wind farms (as ______, no term for this yet)”

      Pheasant tartare?

      50

    • #
      amortiser

      Shredders?

      30

      • #
        Dennis

        Maybe adapt a Japanese to English translation by a Japanese accountant during end of financial year accounting who said to an Australian colleague: “very bad rotation, but dangerous”.

        We figured out after a while that he meant: it’s a vicious circle.

        40

    • #
      Raven

      Many people have thought that the environmentalists were phony and only used the environment to push a political agenda.

      Yep, I’ve often wondered if we shouldn’t have the environmental impact studies carried out on the allocated land assuming there was going to be a sola plant built.

      Then . . build a coal plant.

      30

  • #
    EyesWideOpen

    Kakistocracy: A state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.

    If Jay Weatherill keeps this up, he’ll be the dear leader of the entire looney left in no time. The more one breaks down the machine, the better qualified they seem to be in leading the Revolutionary Transformation. He’s like the lord of misrule being worshiped by a mob of revelers who hate western civilization.

    And Jay’s got the right name: WEATHER ILL … which sounds like a weather related sickness. Heatstroke? :)

    40

  • #
    Another Ian

    A pdf on

    “Climate Science Double-Speak”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/16/climate-science-double-speak/

    Anyone got one on

    “Political Double-Speak”?

    20

  • #
    ivan

    Just how much of the build and setup cost is going to be paid by SolarReserve and how much by the tax payer?

    If SolarReserve are not putting in 100% of those costs then it is nothing but a scam which leads to the question of how many politicians are benefiting from this via companies affiliated to them or members of their families.

    52

  • #
    James Murphy

    For once Turbo Tom hit the mark when he said “…This deal is an incredible outcome for South Australians…”

    It’s incredible in the truest sense of the word that such a “deal” was conceived, let alone acted upon, and then advertised as A Good Thing(TM).

    These lunatics are not even capable of running the asylum they took over.

    71

  • #
    David Maddison

    What heating system will this plant use to stop the salt freezing at night?

    63

  • #
    David Maddison

    The problem with Australia is that we allow random “thought bubbles” of our stupid, uneducated politicians to become billion dollar projects without the benefit of any enquiries or scientific, engineering or economic analysis.

    182

  • #
    manalive

    Are there any penalties written into the contract for possible shut-downs, what are the risks for SolarReserve?
    Presumably the company loses revenue but that is not enough IMO.
    The damages to consumers for a loss of supply due to possible problems with this inchoate technology could be enormous, who do the consumers sue in that eventuality?

    30

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      All the ‘penalties’ will be born by the citizens of South Australia and the costs by the taxpayers in other States. It is just that Weatherdill and the Silly Kout haven’t told you that yet.

      50

      • #
        Raven

        All the ‘penalties’ will be born by the citizens of South Australia and the costs by the taxpayers in other States.

        For sure . .
        Someone should buy Jay a copy of Donald Trump’s book – The Art Of the Deal.
        Just like the Paris accord – a very bad deal.

        20

  • #
    el gordo

    In outer Mongolia solar power (albeit on a small scale) has been a real boon for the locals.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/12/mongolia-nomads-warm-solar-power-201312813468350849.html

    Big is bad, small is beautiful.

    50

  • #
    GrahamP

    From todays Oz

    “A Californian company selected by the South Australian government to supply it with power for 20 years through the world’s largest solar thermal plant has ­secured no financing for the $650 million project, aside from a promised $110m concessional equity loan from Canberra.”

    This might have something to do with it.

    “There also are questions over the US company bid for the South Australian power contract with a price offer capped at just $78 per megawatt hour, which industry experts say is an incredibly low price.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mining-energy/weatherills-solar-power-saviour-needs-another-540m-in-finance/news-story/c126495b04131cada167d389a32492be

    60

  • #

    They could boost revenue from the project by building a roadside stall to sell barbecued wild birds produced by the plant. Wind Turbine installations could consider a similar line in fresh un-plucked game birds.

    50

    • #
      Robert Rosicka

      Great idea it’s called value adding isn’t it , if they put a few wind turbines just out of reach of the death rays they could pluck , slice and dice then let the fryer do the rest .

      30

  • #
    Robber

    In 2016, the ACT Government legislated a new target of sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020 — from within the ACT or across the National Electricity Market. Total costs per household of achieving 100% renewables are expected to peak in 2020 at around $5.50 per household per week.

    They have purchased output from an assortment of wind/solar generators around SE Australia.
    They are buying power from Hornsdale wind in SA for $80.70/MWhr, Ararat wind in Vic at $87/MWhr, and in the ACT solar from Mugga Lane (13MW) at $178/MWhr, Williamsdale $186, and Royalla (20MW) at $186/MWhr.

    I assume that the generators, as well as receiving these payments, also still get to sell their renewable certificates for additional income of $80/MWhr. Can anybody confirm?

    50

    • #
      manalive

      How will they identify ‘renewable’ electrons from fossil fuel electrons, in order to use only the former and reject the latter?
      The only convincing way the ACT can become 100% ‘renewable’ is by cutting the territory off from the national grid, I’d like to see that.

      70

      • #
        Raven

        The only convincing way . .

        Ahh . . but you see, they don’t actually want to BE convincing . . just appear to be.

        60

    • #
      RickWill

      If you do not live in ACT or SA but buy electric energy in Australia then you are subsidising their doomed experiment. They have the warm fuzzy feeling of saving the planet at your expense.

      There are different ownership schemes in place but any figure you see quoted for grid scale wind or solar energy in Australia inevitably excludes the benefit of LGCs. This revenue statement from Infigen shows impact of LGCs on income;

      The closing LGC market price of $84.20/LGC at 30 June 2016 was up 63% compared to $51.75/LGC at 30 June 2015.
      The 12-month average merchant LGC market price was up 81% to $69.79/LGC compared to an average of $38.46/LGC in the pcp.
      The increase in LGC spot prices was driven by improved regulatory certainty. In June 2015 legislation was passed to set a revised target (33,000 GWh by 2020) under the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) scheme. The Australian Government’s climate commitments2 made under the Paris Agreement in December 2015 added further con dence that there would be no adverse changes to the LRET scheme. Expectations of a likely shortfall in LGC supply over the medium term also increased demand from the major electricity retailers. Infigen’s LGC inventory at 30 June 2016 was approximately 328,000 certi cates (255,000 in the pcp). The increase was due to strong production in May and June. The value of inventory at 30 June 2016 was $20.6 million ($12.7 million in the pcp) resulting from an increased volume of LGCs being brought to account at higher average LGC spot prices.
      REVENUE
      Revenue increased $39.4 million or 29% to $173.2 million due to higher LGC prices (+$20.9 million), higher electricity prices (+$14.6 million), hedge revenue (+$3.1 million), and higher production (+$1.5 million), partially offset by lower compensated revenue (-$0.6 million).

      http://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/infigen/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/29150106/AnnualReport2016.pdf

      Total revenue was AUD173M for sales of 1469GWh gives AUD117/MWh. The profit was small. Previous year they had a substantial loss. The big gain was higher LGCs as noted in the statement. 2017 should be a bumper year because the wholesale price has skyrocketed as well the LGCs.

      70

  • #
    Dennis

    Here’s a plan for Mr.Weatherdill: Go and offer every so called renewable energy system around the world more money for profit if the technology owners go to SA.

    Urgently!

    30

  • #
    Dennis

    SA Labor is desperate now as the next state election is not far away. And they lost a large chunk of their gerrymandered electoral boundaries recently and their appeal to the High Court of Australia against the boundary changes failed.

    So they are doing a Rudd-Gillard federal Labor spend taxpayer’s monies to buy votes stunt.

    Of course what they plan to advertise would not be operational before the next election but that does not matter, voter perception is everything in politics, marketing hyperbole and puffery translated means BS baffles brains.

    50

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    I think its offical – SA is as dyfunctional and twisted inside out ( and heading for a really spectacular crash ) with its eco-Socialism, as is California……

    SA = NK/Marie Celeste of Oz….

    Look!… the first Australian state offered as a sacrifice on the green altar thats had its economic heart cut out and offered to the mythical “Gaia”….

    50

  • #
    David Maddison

    As Jo pointed out this is not the biggest plant but it has the tallest tower.

    Is it possible that having the tallest tower was not an engineering decision but a political one so it could be added to the growing list of Big Green Things such as the Big Battery?

    71

    • #
      Dennis

      Maybe they have a brilliant long term vision of attracting tourists for viewing of the state with the biggest gadgets?

      40

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Maybe theyre running a side line of Organically Cooked Birds?

        30

        • #
          ROM

          Darn!
          A bit to far to travel from west Vic to Port Augusta to get my mornings catch of “Passer Domesticus”, “European House Sparrows” to you lot, naturally barbecued in Jay’s organically and naturally heated”Big Tower Barbecue”.

          Sparrows are an introduced and feral and a very messy pest as they are only found around human habitation being completely adapted to humanity’s convenience store from a sparrows perspective.

          Got another 4 sparrows yesterday, old birds and very smart and damn hard to catch, as usual under the seed block feeder where I feed the beautiful wild Crimson and gorgeous Eastern Rosellas each day.

          881 sparrows caught so far, one trap, one location outside of our back door under the patio, all since christmas 2015 ;ie 19months .
          Horsham has a near endless supply of them.

          Sold my 200th home built sparrow trap this morning.
          First sparrow trap sale was mid January last year, 2016.

          And it turns out to be a pretty good rat trap as well to my astonishment.

          I have heard first hand report of the ethnics around Mildura cooking up sparrows.
          My informant barely made it out the door half way through a meal of the nice little well cooked and presented birds when she asked what they were and was given this bit of information.

          40

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Never forget that big Galah at Kimba.

      http://www.ournakedaustralia.com.au/big-things-the-big-galah/

      Weatherdill, the Silly Kout and the Big Galah. Now, what more do you want?

      20

  • #
    Louis Hissink

    We only need to wait until the SA government, and others, discover that their server farms and digital infrastructure can’t work on renewables. That includes traffic lights in the middle of the night, and other “invisible” factors.

    Pass the pop corn please.

    50

  • #
    peter

    So US company Solar Reserve will build a 150MW CSP for $650 million and it will produce 495GW of electricity a year giving it a capacity factor of around 37% which is more than double any other CSP.

    and the SA government say they will pay up to $78 / MWh for the electricity generated for 20 years.

    So 495GWh by $78 = $38 million per year and $760 million over 20 years after an investment of $650 million! So how does Solar Reserve make a profit after taxes, maintenance, etc?

    But something is a bit sus here, currently renewable energy companies get paid for the current wholesale price plus the LRET from the retailers. These currently total around $150 / MWh and upwards so how can the SA government get CSP solar energy for $78?

    Can anyone explain this?

    50

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Could it be that the $78/MWh doesn’t include the RET cheque which comes from a different source?

      20

      • #
        Robber

        Good question Sam, there is still a lot we don’t understand. See my comment at #37 about the ACT government and their 100% renewables plan through purchase of wind/solar.
        What the SA govt is buying is output at the farm gate so to speak, but that electricity is actually delivered into the grid. The producers as I understand it will still get issued with their LRCs to collect a further $80/MWhr. Somehow the SA govt has to also pay for the distribution costs that average about $120/MWhr, so I suspect the way it works is that the SA govt negotiates with the retailer to say “we have paid this wholesale price, so don’t charge us that element”, and they then get a discount on their retail invoices for that % of usage that will go to every government department.

        00

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Thanks Robber.

          So, potentially, using your figures we have something like this:

          1. Cost to SA Government institutions: $78/MWh + ($120 – $78) = $120/MWh.

          2. Revenue to Solar Reserve: $78/MWh + $80/MWh(LRC) = $158/MWh.

          3. Revenue to distributor: $120/MWh – $78/MWh = $42/MWh

          I’m happy to be corrected by the silly kout at any time. But I’m not holding my breath.

          00

  • #
    peter

    To summarise the above, the $78 / MWh doesn’t even pay for the LRET!

    40

  • #

    Those who can build canoes, do build canoes.

    Those who can’t build canoes…build diesel submarines one day with rented diesel generators in states powered by rented diesel generators and bludged coal power to back up old-fahioned, niche-only, hyper-expensive, hopelessly diffuse and intermittent wind/solar power which one day might work some of the time depending on weather conditions and the non-solution of already failed storage technology…

    Enough Green Blob already?

    100

  • #
    Zigmaster

    The most relevant thing to know is how much will it cost for the next government in South Australia to not build the plant. Hopefully it will be less than the Billion dollars that Andrews wasted in Victoria not to build a road.

    40

  • #
    brendan

    Might not be right spot for this comment, but what the heck. Just watched Michael E Mann on live national Australian TV declare China are “not building any new coal mines”.

    30

    • #

      That’s funny. Our exports to China were 60B last year. I wonder what we sold them…since they don’t do the coal thing any more.

      It’s surprising how all these major producers and exporters are buying and selling coal and yet nobody’s into coal. Coal is dead…yet everyone wants its body, even for manufacturing/supplementing solar panels and wind turbines. This dead-undead coal thing is scaring me witless…Wait, what’s this?

      http://www.euanmearns.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/bp2016primary.png

      The dead…they walk…

      40

  • #
    ROM

    .
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
    Albert Einstein
    .

    I always have trouble getting my mind around the outright ignorance and ultimate stupidity that is so often displayed by what one would normally have considered as rational individuals of at least average intelligence.

    Not withstanding the fact that roughly half the population is below that average intelligence level of which it seems a large proportion of those consists of innumerate and apparently semi illiterate politicians and most of the popular media and an extensive cabal of both innumerate as well as illiterate hard left anti-human greens, all of whom are seemingly incapable of doing the simplest research for themselves before condemning the voters to yet another impractical and utterly hare brained scheme to supposedly save the planet or whatever is the current activists goal and wish lists.

    Yet a few minutes on the Internet would and could have shown Weatherdill and his anti coal, green hard left synchophants, the true facts and utter impracticality surrounding both his Musk battery fiasco, a lithium battery technology which might already be obsolecent as Sydney university researchers have just come up with an adaption of the long known and manufactured zinc/ air battery that is much cheaper and could hold up to ten times the density charge of a Li-on battery. Not that it will make much difference as any battery is a energy storage device that has to be charged up before it is of any use whatso-ever for anything other than an anchor.

    A further few minutes could have shown Weatherdill the complete stupidity of adopting a completely unproven electrical generating technology thatis totally reliant upon the completely unpredictable weather to operate and generate power, is suffering and continues to suffer severe problems even after years of development, is utterly unreliable and unpredictable, has extreme costs for the amounts of power actually produced, has failed to live up to every claim its proponents and promoters have claimed for it and which the CO2 emmissions if that is what is Weatherdill’s problem, exceeds that of a HELE coal fired plant when the build, maintenance, economic losses from unreliabiltity , back up hydro carbon fueled generators. grid rebuild and extensions are all taken into account.
    And ultimately under just about every situation one could name for it, will never produce cheap utterly reliable power.

    And has not yet and probably never will be adopted widely or will become a completely reliable and cheap, always available power source due to itsinherent drwbacks and its complexity and its costs for the small amounts of power actually produced on an irregular and unpredictable basis.

    A complete layman’s level of understanding along with data and an analysis and an explanation on the solar tower concept and its actual operations at the solar tower “Ivanpah” and the “Crescent Dune” sites as well as the trough type solar concentrators at Mojav, Solana and Genesis sites in Nevada and California, an explanation and review and a performance analysis which I assume would be of a sufficiently simple nature that even Weatherdill might be able comphrehend, can be found at Euan Mearns blog site [ Concentrated solar power in the USA: a performance review]

    In the end it appears that the power generation capabilities of these solar concentration systrems is barely if at all better in efficiency than just plain old solar panels, albeit, the solar concentrators are very much more expensive per Kw generated and for a similar power output as a field full of solar panels.

    Its all there for Weatherdill and his running dogs in the greens camp and media to make even a preliminary assessment of the potential viability of the solar tower power generating concept.
    But uninhibited arrogance, hubris, out right contempt for the voters and their welfare both physical and economic, plus just plain stupidity and and an apparent complete lack of primary school level numaneracy from Weatherdill and his Labor party memebers is likely to condemn the South Australian citizenery to a decade or much longer economic desert where they will just pay and pay and pay for the ultimate stupiduty of an innumerate and what is becoming apparent, a politically illiterate and contemptuos of his citizens welfare and well being, South Australian premier, Jay Weatherill.

    110

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    It hit me there is another side to all this….

    In one of the Batman movies, the Joker disfigured his girlfriend so she looked as hideous as he did….

    The fact the man was in a weird la-la-land was kind of beside the point……

    What youre seeing in SA is the state being made over in the disfunctional image of the eco-lunacy that has gripped the powers that be…..the sate is being transformed into a walking weeping wound of eco-utopia, Soviet style….

    SA is the walking dead – unless there is a radical change and conservatives put in charge from neither main parties, its time to leave and let it sink.

    The Californians would feel right at home though….

    90

  • #
    Robert Rosicka

    OT , the hockey shtick Mann and Joe O’Brien love in on the ABC , hard hitting journalism no , an ad for CAGW yes .

    41

  • #
    el gordo

    O/T

    A positive SAM is bad news for wind farms, but now that its gone neutral the winter has returned to southern Australia.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-17/why-have-winter-temps-been-so-high-this-week/8806972

    40

  • #
    pat

    90-plus comments at BBC…almost all highly sceptical:

    16 Aug: BBC: Scotland’s largest solar farm gets green light
    Moray Council has granted Elgin Energy planning permission for a 20MW project near Urquhart, which could see about 80,000 solar panels installed.
    The farm will be constructed on the 47-hectare Speyslaw site – the equivalent of about 40 football pitches.
    The largest Scottish solar farm is currently a 13MW project at Errol Estate in Perthshire, which went live in May last year.
    Bristol-based Elgin Energy also developed that scheme, which includes 55,000 solar panels capable of generating power for more than 3,500 homes,.
    A date for the start of the project has yet to be set…

    All cabling at the site – spread over three fields at the Innes Estate – will be underground, allowing sheep to graze around the panels…
    Permission for the solar farm is valid for 30 years, after which the developer will have one year to decommission the works and restore the site to a condition agreed with the council…

    Stephanie Clark, Scottish Renewables: “North east Scotland’s clear skies and longer daylight hours mean the area is attractive to developers”…
    “Further progress in the solar sector, however, depends on the level of support provided by the UK government through the Feed-in Tariff and the Contracts for Difference schemes, both of which remain the subject of much uncertainty.”
    Elgin Energy, which has already developed 250MW of solar across 24 projects in the UK and Ireland, is planning an even bigger farm in Moray.
    It is seeking planning permission for a 50MW project at the former RAF Milltown airfield, a few miles north east of Elgin.
    A decision on that application is not expected until early next year.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-40941994

    16 Aug: UK Times: Emily Gosden: Hydroelectric power station in Snowdonia is given a new lease of life
    Britain’s first big pumped hydroelectric power station is to undergo a £50 million refurbishment to extend its life by 20 years. The Ffestiniog plant in Snowdonia was built in 1963 and can generate 360 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply north Wales, for up to three and a half hours at a time…

    Engie said that the plant was profitable and was expected to play an increasing role as Britain builds more wind and solar plants and needs flexible power to manage intermittent supplies. It is usually called upon by National Grid to generate for between ***five and twenty minutes at a time to balance short-term drops in supply such as a lull in wind power or clouds passing over a major solar array…
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/hydroelectric-power-station-in-snowdonia-is-given-a-new-lease-of-life-2qdwsdrdb

    40

  • #
    pat

    16 Aug: RenewEconomy: Sophie Vorrath: Origin rides high power price wave – but says it has to stop
    Origin Energy has ridden the wave of high wholesale electricity prices and increasing demand for gas and coal power, to deliver an underlying profit of $550 million for the year ending June 30 2017, a 51 per cent jump on FY 2016.

    In a results statement delivered on Wednesday morning, Origin said its earnings had been well supported by its retail energy portfolio, consisting mostly of gas power generation, plus the Eraring coal plant in New South Wales, and 732MW of installed renewables generation…

    Speaking at a media briefing after the results announcement, Origin CEO Frank Calabria conceded that the 2017 energy market had been characterised by the “very well commented on and very critical” issue of high power price, which he said had been caused by the withdrawal of large, old coal-fired power stations, high demand over the summer period, and not enough new generation brought online.

    “Clearly we haven’t had enough new supply added,” Calabria said, mirroring the recent comments of AGL Energy chief, Andy Vesey.
    Calabria reaffirmed the company’s plans to help remedy that situation by investing in a lot more renewables, particularly as large-scale wind and solar continue to reduce in cost.

    On solar thermal – which has been thrust onto the radar this week by SolarReserve’s winning tender to supply the South Australian government’s energy needs with a 150MW solar tower and molten salt storage plant in Port Augusta – Calabria said it was technology that was still expensive, and at this stage was “just another example of suite of technologies that will be supporting the market.
    “We have looked at solar thermal from time to time,” he added. “We don’t have an aversion to it. We’re just assessing the market and making our best decisions.”…

    Among its key achievements, Origin listed the 1200MW increase in committed renewable energy supply, which it has built up through a series of market-leading power purchase agreements. And the company plans to keep adding to its renewables portfolio – hopefully, Calabria says, with the added market security of a Clean Energy Target…

    “Origin is taking action to put downwards pressure on prices by increasing our supply of low-cost renewables to more than 25 per cent of our generation mix within three years, and ***boosting generation from Eraring.”…
    http://reneweconomy.com.au/origin-rides-high-power-price-wave-but-says-it-has-to-stop-74839/

    40

  • #
    ROM

    And then of course you have this which wouldn’t worry Weatherdill one little bit if HIS solar tower blinded a couple of aitrline pilots and caused the death of a couple of hundred passengers.
    All in a good cause of getting rid of coal and cutting emmissions and saving the planet of course.

    Besides he is a Labor politician and a jumped up lawyer with lots of knowhow on how to use a bit of union backed thuggery to achieve his aims and lots of strings to pull so nobody could or would touch him of course he might like to believe.
    ……………….
    Washington Times ; 2014

    Blinded by the glare of green energy — a threat to over 40 million airplane passengers

    Thanks to a $1.6 billion green energy loan from the feds, pilots are being blinded by glare as they fly over the Mojave Desert. It’s a safety hazard that affects over 40 million airplane passengers a year.

    The culprit is the Ivanpah solar energy project, with more than 300,000 giant mirrors spread over 5 square miles of public land provided to BrightSource/NRG Energy.
    The $1.6 billion loan is only part of $5.2 billion extended to the company by the Obama administration — 10 times what taxpayers lost from loans to the failed Solyndra fiasco.

    Since Ivanpah went online in December, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued warnings to pilots of commercial and private aircraft who fly in and out of Las Vegas and destinations in Southern California. They’re told to be aware of this danger in one of America’s busiest aviation corridors.
    As one commercial pilot complained to the FAA, “Neither the pilot nor co-pilot could look in that direction due to the intense brightness. The brightness was like looking into the sun, and it filled about one-third of the co-pilot’s front windshield. In my opinion, the reflection from these mirrors was a hazard to flight.”

    A July study by Sandia National Laboratories confirms the glare is a serious problem, noticeable 40 miles away, bright at 20 miles away and creating “significant ocular impact” at a distance of 6 miles. That means several minutes of lingering afterimages that make it impossible for pilots to maintain their proper safety lookout for other aircraft in that busy flight path over the Mojave.

    The 300,000 mirrors, each about 7 feet by 10 feet, redirect concentrated sunlight upward toward three towers centered among the mirrors.
    The 459-foot towers are slightly shorter than the Washington Monument.
    Each is topped by a water tank where the beams are targeted, generating temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
    That vaporizes the water into steam that is used to power turbines and generate electricity.
    But it’s impossible to keep that many huge mirrors focused solely on the comparatively small water tanks as the sun tracks across the sky each day, and its track varies with the calendar.

    McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is asking for remedial action by BrightSource because of daily complaints by pilots, especially during midday hours. McCarran is one of the busiest airports in the world, with over 500,000 annual takeoffs and landings involving over 40 million passengers.

    Some interesting MORE >

    Its all there, warts and all if Weatherill and his minions in the Labor Party were ever literate enough and honest enough, a very doubtful proposition with the current party members and leadership to seek out some information for themselves and to either verify what they are being told or to have the cojones to challenge Weatherill and call his naivete and bluff on the practicallity and affordability and stupidity of backing such a stupid hare brained means of providing the civilisation dependent electrical power to South Australia’s citizenery.

    Include the equally intellectually challenged Victorian Premier, the Despicable Despot Dan Andrews in this section as well!

    70

  • #
    Bob

    Is there one of these plants, anywhere, that is performing at rated capacity?

    50

  • #
    el gordo

    Michael Bastasch at WUWT

    ‘President Donald Trump will rescind an Obama administration policy requiring government agencies to take into account global warming-induced flooding and sea level rise for federally-funded projects.’

    Now that we can all agree that watching sea level rise is a waste of time and money, One Nation should make it part of their platform.

    50

    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Now that we can all agree that watching sea level rise is a waste of time and money

      Awww. I dunno.

      Next you’ll be telling us that’s also true about watching grass grow.

      20

      • #
        el gordo

        Or paint drying, but in regards to climate change. If Antarctica melts completely then its down to natural variables, or ‘noise’ as the Klimatariat prefer to call it, because its now patently obvious that West Antartica is sitting under a volcanic rift.

        10

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    A piddling 24MW average from a 150MW ‘rated’ power plant. And these people come up with such grandiose names for themselves ‘Aurora solar thermal plant’ All part of the hype and self gratif of the renewable left ideology. All smoke and mirrors.
    GeoffW

    80

    • #
      ROM

      All smoke and mirrors

      Actually at Ivanpah, the mirrors came before the smoke!

      100

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Rom. No one has yet mentioned that at Ivanpah the mirriors have to be washed and cleaned every 2 days or so to prevent dust weakening the reflected solar power intensity. That’s a lot of water trucks and a lot of water in the middle of a desert.
        Please consider the water resourced wasted at a plant such as this.

        50

        • #
          ROM

          LL @ #57.1.1

          You are a mind reader!!

          Just thinking of doing some digging around on this quite important aspect of this type of mirror reliant solar power.

          Port Augusta isn’t exactly renown for its availability of fresh water and being both close to the ocean or at least the lessthan salubrious mud flats and ocean littoral along with a lot of south prevailing winds often quite strong, bring copious quantities of ocean salt inland that will lodge on the mirrors very readily.

          Plus being in a dry semidesert area , the other three quarters of the compass will bring a lot of inland dust into the area particularly when one of those strong southerly changes belt through with strong north and NW winds ahead of the frontal passage bringing lots of inland dust to lodge once again on those need to near pristine clean mirrors to get the somwhere near an acceptable performance reflection wise to heat that salt in the upper levels of the tower.

          Don’t under estimate the ocean salt load that will lodge on the mirrors whenever there are strong south winds funnelling up to the top of Spencer Gulf and Port Augusta .

          Carefully hidden was the major revamp and replacement of all the turbine blades on I think probably the Mc Arthur wind farm here in Victoria a few years ago and soon after the farm was supposedly operational.
          A major cockup as I heard it, was that the wrong materials were specified and used for the turbine blades which led to their rapid deterioration in the sea air a few kilometres back from the coast.
          So the whole lot had to be replaced at whatever cost it took.
          Not a whisper of this in the media of course.

          Gottsa go! Will dig around a bit later this evening to see what the spanish and the americand have to use in the wauy of freash water to keep those mirrors pristine clean.

          Of course there are a couple of billion dollar desalination plants sitting around idle in a couple of states as another commenter has pointed out somewhere above.

          So the perfect solution would be to shift the desalination plant to Port Augusta to desalinate the sea water that would be used to keep the mirrors on the solar tower clean so that sufficient power would be produced from the solar tower to run the desalination plant that provides the water to keep the mirrors pristine clean.

          [ Thats a bit like spelling "Bananas"!
          I know how to spell it but where do I stop?]

          Whats not to like with that arrangement??

          10

          • #
            ROM

            I strongly suspect that the promoters of this solar tower generator are seriously under estimationg the very deleterious effects that the nearbye ocean at the head of Spencer’s Gulf where Port Augusta is located, will have on the life of the mirror’s main reflection material itself as well as the wiring and motors and mirror bearings required to keep each of those 12,000 mirrors accurately reflecting the sunlight onto a very small and specific spot near the top of that tower where the heat absorbing elements are located.

            The BOM’s wind rose for Port Augusta really high lights the probable effect that the quite strong, predominately southerly, ocean originated sea air and its salt load will have on the longer term efficiency and operation of the solar tower.
            The maintenance load in this location I suspect will be close to double within a couple of years to that of the American Ivanpah andd Crescent Dunes solar towers which are locaed some hundreds of kilometres from any ocean contaminating effects such as salt loads.

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    Reminds me of a time when an expensive new marine paint was withdrawn from the market in the US because it it was found to break down over time in the marine environment. Then a few months later it appeared in Australia as the latest and greatest at a special low price.

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    pat

    16 Aug: CetusNews: from WSJ Editorial: Coal makes a comeback
    Trump’s policies and exports to Europe are helping the industry
    But don’t look now, Tom Steyer, because coal is showing signs of a revival and breathing economic life into West Virginia and other coal states…

    Weekly coal production has increased by 14.5% nationwide over last year with even bigger bumps in West Virginia (19%), Pennsylvania (19.7%) and Wyoming (19.8%). Exports were up 58% during the first quarter from last year. Apparently coal can be marketable if regulators let it be…

    Finally, the Obama anti-coal warriors sought to shut down coal’s export potential…
    President Trump has called a cease fire to his predecessor’s “war on coal.” In February he signed a resolution repealing the stream rule under the Congressional Review Act. The Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan in February 2016, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is dismantling the power rule as well as the ash and mercury rules. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has re-opened leases and rescinded the royalty revaluation.

    Meanwhile, coal is becoming more competitive as a fuel source relative to natural gas…
    Liquefied natural gas exports have increased six-fold in the last year, and five new terminal projects are expected to be completed within three years. While coal and natural gas compete as electric power fuels, they can both prosper if energy markets expand.

    This is all horrifying to the climate-change lobby, but they might note that U.S. coal exports are rising to countries that claim climate-change virtue. Exports to France increased 214% during the first quarter of this year amid a nuclear power plant outage. Other European countries like Germany and the U.K. are utilizing U.S. coal to stabilize unreliable renewable sources and make up for electric capacity lost from the shutdown of nuclear plants. First-quarter coal exports were up 94% to Germany and 282% to the U.K. Et tu, Angela Merkel ?

    Coking coal used to make steel is also currently a hot commodity, and its price can soar whenever a storm hits Australia and shuts down mines as one did this spring. Metallurgical exports to China rose 357% during the first quarter. As much as Mr. Trump denounces China’s overproduction of steel, U.S. coal miners are benefitting…

    The bigger story is that there’s still demand for U.S. coal if regulators allow energy markets to work. The Energy Information Administration in June projected that U.S. coal power generation will increase by 13% by 2025 “as the existing fleet of coal-fired generators can be more fully utilized and fewer coal-fired generators are retired.” With the Obama Clean Power Plan, the EIA had forecast a 2% to 16% decline…

    During the first quarter, West Virginia (3%) ranked second in the nation in GDP growth after Texas (3.9%), according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. New Mexico, another heavy mining state, came in third (2.8%)…

    Two or three quarters of economic data don’t make a long-term trend, but all of this is still good news for coal states that have experienced two years of little or negative growth and years of political assault.
    http://www.cetusnews.com/news/Coal-Makes-a-Comeback.Hyg134Fzdb.html

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      pat

      to make it clear, the Cetus News article is a Wall St Journal Editorial today, which is behind a paywall.

      17 Aug: Yahoo: AAP: Coal prices fire soaring Whitehaven profit
      Whitehaven Coal has delivered a sharply higher full-year profit as well as its first dividend in more than four years on the back of growing production and a surge in coal prices.

      The east coast miner, which operates five coal projects in NSW, on Thursday said net profit for the financial year to June 30 rose to $405.4 million, from $20.5 million a year ago.
      Revenue for the year soared 52.3 per cent to $1.77 billion.

      Chief executive Paul Flynn said the real change had been the earlier-than-expected tightening in the supply-demand dynamic in the seaborne coal trade market…

      Whitehaven said it had received a combined average price of $112 a tonne for its coal over the 12 months, a $37 per tonne increase over the previous year…
      https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36743436/whitehaven-posts-405m-full-year-profit/

      17 Aug: ABC: Wesfarmers profit surges on coal not Coles, dividend jumps
      By business reporter Michael Janda
      However, it was not the conglomerate’s large Coles or Bunnings retail businesses that drove the rise in earnings
      Instead, it was the group’s coal division that staged a massive profit turnaround on rising commodity prices.

      The resources business recorded earnings of $405 million — $715 million higher than the prior year’s loss — with revenue up 73.2 per cent…
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-17/wesfarmers-profit-surges-in-absence-of-write-downs/8815618

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    pat

    16 Aug: TelegraphIndia: Coal India firms up expansion plan
    Calcutta, Aug. 16: Coal India has earmarked a capital expenditure of Rs 8,500 crore in 2017-18 to expedite mining projects and ramp up production.
    The government-owned miner also plans to invest Rs 6,500 crore to set up power projects, revive a fertiliser plant and acquire coal blocks.
    Coal India had spent Rs 7,700.06 crore in 2016-17…

    Coal India is also scouting for coal block assets in Australia to source coking coal.
    The public sector company produced 554.14 million tonnes of coal in 2016-17 while a combination of low demand, rainfall and mining related issues kept the capacity utilisation level at 84.51 per cent compared with 99.87 per cent during 2015-16.
    In the current fiscal, the target of coal production has been set at 600 million tonnes. CIL has envisaged production of 908.10 mt in 2019-20 at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.98 per cent with respect to 2014-15.

    Chairman Suthirtha Bhattacharya said the miner faced stiff targets in the years ahead.
    “Going forward, in order to meet the production targets, Coal India needs to step up to a double-digit growth rate,” he said…
    https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170817/jsp/business/story_167599.jsp

    16 Aug: HinduBusinessLine: Completion of key rail link projects to improve coal supplies from next fiscal
    by Pratim Ranjan Bose
    Coal supplies will improve significantly beginning 2018, riding on the completion of key rail projects in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

    In Odisha, the CIL-financed 53.5-km Jharsuguda-Barapali rail link is expected to be ready by December; paving the way for moving nearly 80 million tonnes of additional fuel from the vast Ib Valley reserves in Sundergarh district.
    This coupled with the ongoing doubling of track capacity between Jharsuguda and Vizianagaram via the coal belts of Sambalpur and Titlagarh will improve significantly both the scope of evacuation and the pace of supplies to the South…

    According to CIL sources, construction is apace and should link up the opencast mines at Chhal and Baroud by next year, adding approximately 20 million tonnes to the miner’s annual throughput. This line is to be extended to the prolific Gare Palma coalfields.

    The Coal Ministry has asked the Railways to double the 25-km single-line connectivity between Shakti Nagar in UP and Karela in MP. Karela is located on the Katni-Chopan line connecting eastern India with the North. This will help improve supplies by approximately 30 million tonnes annually from Northern Coalfields, a subsidiary of CIL…
    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/completion-of-key-rail-link-projects-to-improve-coal-supplies-from-next-fiscal/article9820212.ece

    plus a bit of fun:

    17 Aug: GladstoneObserver: ALP selects coal mine worker to contest Callide
    by Andrew Thorpe & Vanessa Jarrett
    THE LABOR Party has nominated a coal mine worker and lifelong Biloela resident to take the fight to the LNP for the seat of Callide at the state election.
    Darren Blackwood, 47, has served as a CFMEU delegate at Callide Mine for the past 12 years, representing his workmates during a tough period of industry: widespread lay-offs, increased reliance on casual labour and a change of ownership at the mine…
    “While the Palaszczuk State Government continues to fight for secure jobs, people here in Callide remember the threat to their livelihoods when Tim Nicholls planned to sell off our power stations,” he said.
    “I put my hand up for the seat because of the LNP cutbacks… and I can’t trust the LNP on asset sales.”…

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    pat

    17 Aug: Morning Bulletin Rockhampton: CQ power station boss rejects environmental group’s pollution report
    Earlier this week, Environmental Justice Australia produced a report which claimed to identify many serious problems at Stanwell…

    Stanwell management hit back yesterday saying the report contained many factual errors and inaccuracies which incorrectly represented how the operation was performing.
    Stanwell Power Station site manager James Oliver said Stanwell maintained a strong compliance culture and valued its positive relationship with regulatory agencies based on proactive reporting.
    “Stanwell Power Station is a highly-automated station and is recognised as one of the most efficient and economic coal-fired power stations in Australia,” Mr Oliver said.
    “We have invested in an advanced control system at Stanwell Power Station and have strict processes in place to ensure emissions remain in compliance with the Environmental Authority limits.
    “The report incorrectly states that there are no pollution reduction control technologies installed at Stanwell Power Station.

    “However, Stanwell Power Station has electrostatic precipitators installed which capture approximately 99% of particulate emissions contained in flue gases. This means that our actual particulate emissions are in line with international standards and our Environmental Authority limits.”All generation units at the power station utilise low NOx burners which are designed to significantly reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx).
    “We have also invested to improve operational efficiencies by upgrading our turbines. This means we can burn less coal to produce the same amount of electricity and reduce emissions.”

    Mr Oliver said Stanwell Power Station conducted comprehensive ambient air quality, surface water and groundwater monitoring to ensure its operations were not negatively impacting neighbours and the surrounding community.
    “To date, these programs have not detected any adverse impact on the environment. The data collected from these monitoring programs is made available to and regularly reviewed by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.”

    Mr Oliver said Stanwell proactively worked with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and participated fully with compliance audits and site inspections.”These activities have not resulted in any non-compliance issues being identified. We continue to provide monitoring data and plant records to verify the current performance levels,” Mr Oliver said.
    “The annual reports are therefore, an accurate reflection of Stanwell’s environmental performance and our ongoing commitment to meet all of the expectations incorporated into our Environmental License.

    “One of the key focus areas is to ensure that our environmental right to operate is maintained. The plant control systems, project investment, maintenance activities and personal ownership ensure that the plant is continuously operated within the specified limits.”
    https://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/cq-power-station-boss-rejects-environmental-groups/3213224/

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      Geoffrey Williams

      Thanks to Pat; It’s good to remind us all that King Coal is alive and well all around the world. It’s also good that to hear that the management at Stanwell Power Station in Queensland have spoken out against the misinformation put out by environmentalists regarding coal power emmissions in Australia. I worked on the Stanwell project as a drafty and I’m proud of that. I have no doubt that Stanwell is run equal to the highest standards anywhere in the world. Unfortunately there are those out there who will do and say anything they can in order to destroy Australia’s fossil energy industry.
      GeoffW

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    greggg

    The only good thing about this solar thermal plant is that it is not a wind farm.

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    tom0mason

    The dreamed of 150MW© South Australian solar thermal bird frying plant will be the largest of its kind in the world, seeing 12,000 strand of smoke caused by mirrors directing heat at up to 227 birds per hour during migration periods.

    As a scaled down copy of a US plant that was out of action for one third of its life so far, delude modelers and the seriously derange believe (for that is all they have) this plant will help solve South Australia’s increasing debt. A debt burden that will be passed on to the state’s next generation and probably the generation after that.

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    pat

    “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”:

    VIDEO/PICS: 17 Aug: StuffCo New Zealand: Avalanche buries ute at Mt Hutt skifield, others stuck for hours
    by CHARLIE MITCHELL
    In the midst of a wild snowstorm, Hennie Murray was carefully descending the mountain when everything turned white.
    “We were just sort of driving along and boom, it just hit our car,” he said.
    “The wind was howling so much. It was a big white out at the time . . . it hit the car and pushed us right over to the edge, and luckily we didn’t go over.”.
    He was one of about 20 cars in a convoy leaving Canterbury’s Mt Hutt skifield, which was struck by a snowstorm on Wednesday afternoon…

    About 200 people were temporarily stuck at the skifield after the storm blocked the access road…
    Visitors descended the road in convoys. Most of the 2500 visitors were able to leave, but 200 were stuck at the top while snow was cleared with explosives…
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/95858619/avalanche-buries-car-at-skifield-others-stuck-for-hours

    17 Aug: TheLocalSweden: The first snow of the season just fell in Sweden
    The snowfall came on Monday evening and in the early hours of Tuesday at the Låktatjåkko ski lodge, Sweden’s highest mountain station at 1,228 metres above sea level.
    “We had a lot of snow last winter. It was a good season for skiing,” station attendant Henrietta Backman told regional newspaper Norrbottens-kuriren.

    There are still large patches of snow left over from last winter in the area, and it is not unusual for the first snow of the new season to fall in August.
    “It’s almost the same day to the day as last year. It seems to be punctual,” said Backman.
    https://www.thelocal.se/20170817/the-first-snow-of-the-season-just-fell-in-sweden

    17 Aug: EyewitnessNews South Africa: Mia Lindeque: Snow covering some parts of country as cold front hits SA
    A cold front hit most of the country on Thursday morning, sending snow to parts of the Eastern Cape.
    The south-western Lesotho mountains are also covered in snow.
    The South African Weather Service has issued a warning of disruptive snowfall on Thursday in southern Drakensberg in the Free State as well as western KwaZulu-Natal…
    Rob Ensel, founder of Snow Report SA, says some parts of the country are covered in snow.
    “We have a winter wonderland this morning. We have a few places affected, including Port Elizabeth, and some places in the Northern Cape. The Western Cape had snow yesterday as well.”…

    17 Aug: Hobart Mercury: Freezing conditions abound atop kunanyi/Mt Wellington as Friday shapes up to be even colder
    While the city was shivering through 8C at 9am with an apparent temperature of just 0.5C, on the mountain it was just -1.5C with an apparent temperature of -17.9C and a wind speed of 76km/h.
    There’s a think blanket of snow covering the peak and Pinnacle Rd is closed at the Springs…
    PIC: Great Lake Hotel, Tasmania SNOW
    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/freezing-conditions-abound-atop-kunyanimt-wellington-as-friday-shapes-up-to-be-even-colder/news-story/b9a7c2ee724bc7a0f955411d7dfc6dfa

    17 Aug: Western Advocate: Bradley Jurd: Snow is set to fall near Bathurst
    The Central West is expected to be hit by its second dumping of snow in two weeks, as snow has been forecast to fall in Yetholme, Oberon and Orange on Friday and Saturday…
    Snow levels in Bathurst will lower to 900 metres by late Friday and to 800 metres on Saturday…

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    David Maddison

    What risks, if any, does the builder of this white elephant bear? Or is it completely no risk from their point of view?

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    David Maddison

    I would image those 12,000 mirrors would be an attractive target for hackers to gain control over.

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    David Maddison

    This plant is certain to be an expensive failure even if it works as claimed.

    If it works as expected it will be a whole bunch worse.

    I still find it remarkable that no one in power or authority can call this out for what it is.

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      It is underwhelming, a drop in teh bucket, but if works as claimed will be better than Wetherill’s other venture on building a state-owned gas turbine in a gas constrained peak market. How dumb is that? Bringing bback susidised consumer empowerment with off-grid solar powered evep coolers would have made a lot more sense.

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    David Maddison

    As Trump unwinds “renewables” we will see a lot of US companies seeking refuge in Australia to sell their useless Green products to gullible Australian governments.

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    Egor the One

    Should dangle the owners at the focal point !

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    Mark M

    August 17, 2017: “Storm front rolls over Adelaide bringing heavy rain and hail”
    https://twitter.com/7NewsAdelaide/status/898099124679065600

    Global warming has become a threat for living beings.
    In order to prevent global warming you should install a solar power system in your home.
    http://www.upsbatterycenter.com/blog/how-solar-panels-help-to-prevent-global-warming/
    . . .
    Q. How many solar plants Must South Australia announce to build before South Australia prevents its first global warming storm front bringing heavy rain and hail?

    A. It takes a special person to think/believe they will stop the “storm fronts bringing heavy rain and hail with 1 solar panel, let alone 1 million.

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    Egor the One

    A bit of Bird S**t on the mirrors and its out of commission .

    The price for Solar panels are less than 1 dollar per watt.

    Why is this junk considered viable at 4 plus dollars per watt ?
    It’s a lemon even by conventional solar standards !

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      IMO a better metric is the wholesale price (if true as claimed) for the *energy*, rather than the price per MW of peak power (“capacity”). Weatherill is apparently saying they’ll get the power at $78/MWh or 7.8 cents/kWh, only about a quarter of present residential rates. If treasurer Koutsantonis and his bean counters say that’s an OK deal, we just have to hope the project’s proponent isn’t lying to them. If I could access fair-priced truly clean zero-carbon electricity I’d go back on grid. Wind+PVs+Pumped_Hydro is said to be doable for about 10 cents/kWh wholesale, so about 20 cents/kWh seems to me a fair price to residential customers. All this sh1t is of course the fault of Jeff Kennett and Alan Stockdale for being utterly suckered/blinded/shafted by their own neoliberal ideology — http://sapressclub.com.au/transcripts/01-1406-RobertBooth.pdf — see pages 5-6

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    David Maddison

    6000 birds a year are killed by Ivanpah.

    Also, the incinerating birds are known as “streamers”.

    Coyotes it the road runners trapped by the fence designed to protect the desert tortoises.

    Like most Green projects it is an environmental disaster all round.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-solar-bird-deaths-20160831-snap-story,amp.html

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    David Maddison

    Jo, the indexing is messed up. New comments don’t go at the end but further up the heap.

    Plus replies appear as new comments.

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    Glenn999

    Colonel Sanders would be proud. The trick is to infuse the air surrounding the plant with the proper combination of botanicals.

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    This is wonderful news! Voting at gunpoint was what got Australia under the iron heel of a looter government eager to ban electricity. But if the National Socialist Political State would run its coercive machinery off of sunbeams and birdfeathers and roasting flesh, that would quickly even the score. This is provided the actual productive hands owned by taxpayers are left free to use electricity people are willing to pay for without any need for prodding by men with guns.
    Heck, the next thing you know the Australian Libertarian Party will come out of hiding and voters will cast or burn their ballots as they see fit! It’s a New Dawn!

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