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Oopsie solar-battery fail? Cloud causes System Black event at Alice Springs affecting thousands

Welcome to the new complexified energy grid where a cloud can cause a system black event — knocking out power for as much as nine hours. This affected the hospital for 30 minutes and the prolonged problems caused many businesses and supermarkets to close. Alice Springs is an island microgrid servicing about 29,000 people in the centre of Australia. It was 38 degrees C yesterday when the power went out. Shame about those fridges and air conditioning units.

Alice Springs is a mini version of larger grids showing how fragile these new complicated systems of multiple generators based on weather events and batteries can be.

Alice Springs, Blackout. Photo by Stefano, Wikimedia.

Looks modern, sometimes has electricity too. Alice Springs  |  Photo by Stefano, Wikimedia.

 Yesterday: Thousands impacted by Alice Springs power blackout*

Steve Vivian, ABC News

Thousands of residents in Central Australia went without power yesterday afternoon, with some experiencing blackout conditions for up to nine hours.

Electricity was cut across the Alice Springs region around 2:30pm yesterday and was not restored in some areas until 10:47pm.

Today: Inquiry called, and explanations garbled — NT Chief Minister announces review

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner told ABC Darwin Breakfast the outage stemmed from a generation issue.

“We’re not quite sure what’s happened there,” he said. “It shouldn’t happen … there seems to be an unacceptable failure here between the battery and the gensets [generation sets]. “We should be able to handle switches between solar and gensets.”

Caused by a cloud? I defy anyone to interpret this sentence literally:

The outage was caused by a cloud which rolled in to Alice Springs about 2:00pm on Sunday, which caused a “reasonably large increase” to the system, Mr Duignan said. “That resulted in the majority of our units going into an overload condition,” he said.

“Those units stayed in an overload condition for a number of minutes before they tripped off on their protection systems … the battery energy storage system went to full output before it tripped off as a consequence of the outage.”

And the words “solar failure” are never to be spoken.

Apparently there were many warning signs and engineers saw it all coming

From April 2019: “Without old power station we’d be ‘stuffed’: ETU”

A letter to the Editor of Alice Springs News, from the ETU = Electrical Trades Union

Sir – The majority of the 29,000 residents of Alice Springs were without power on Easter Sunday after a cable fault in the Desert Springs and Mount Johns area.

This is the second time in 10 days major power outages have affected the Alice Springs network. We praise the PowerWater (PWC) and Territory Generation (TGen) front line workers for their dedication and expertise which ensured a timely restoration of supply, but we have major concerns about future reliability of the Alice power supply.

Concerns relate to the ability of the new Owen Springs Power Station (OSPS) to consistently maintaining supply to the network without the Ron Goodin Power Station (RGPS) being available. There are also questions remaining around the Battery Energy Storage System’s (BESS) actual functions.

We are disappointed that TGen and the Government were failing to respond to workers’ concerns about the compressed timeline for the closure of RGPS. This blackout and the previous blackout show clearly that without backup of Ron Goodin Power Station (pictured), the Alice would have been stuffed. Without RGPS being available as it is currently we have no idea how long Alice Springs residents would have been without power after both these recent events.

Dave “Strawbs” Hayes

ETU NT Organiser

Oct 14, 2019 Probe into Alice Springs power outage

AAP, The Canberra Times

“The guys on the front line live and breathe this stuff and they have been saying for months that Ron Goodin Power Station was prematurely closed and that Owen Springs was not adequately tested to ensure continuity of supply,” union organiser Dave Hayes said.

This is what happens when electrical grids are run by climate scientists and not engineers.

h/t Dave B

Correction: The first link led to a different 2016 blackout story (highlighted by the ABC as “related news”):  Thousands impacted by Alice Springs power blackout, calls for compensation.  by Joanne Crothers. This has been replaced with a quote about the blackout two days ago which is obviously more “related”.  h/t Peter Fitzroy and commenters. Sorry about the confusion caused.

 

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Rating: 9.8/10 (89 votes cast)
Oopsie solar-battery fail? Cloud causes System Black event at Alice Springs affecting thousands, 9.8 out of 10 based on 89 ratings

128 comments to Oopsie solar-battery fail? Cloud causes System Black event at Alice Springs affecting thousands

  • #
    robert rosicka

    more Labor green folly

    131

    • #
      Lionell Griffith

      The man said, “I am from the government and I am here to help you.” He was thinking, “I am from the government and I am her to help myself to you.”

      Government is

      always

      a danger to freedom. Especially so when it has unfettered unilateral power to consume those whom it intents to govern (aka own).

      Keep your government on a very tight leash. Even then it cannot be trusted any further than you can throw a fully loaded cargo ship. That is if you wish to live and thrive. If you don’t, thriving is the first thing to go, then the living. This has found to be so every last time it has been tested.

      190

  • #
    bobl

    So there again is Solar, backed by Fossil fuels where the fossil fuel generators alone are more capable and reliable than the combination. The only thing the Solar does is defray some fuel costs because you still need the same fossil fuel infrastructure as before. Embodied Co2 however for the combo is 100 times for the diesel plant alone.

    I just went through this for Peter Fitzroy’s benefit in the previous thread but its pretty obvious here that while fuel costs might be defrayed a little bit, no CO2 is ever saved by this installation because the saving in fuel burning CO2 emission wont ever defray the embodied energy of the Solar. Especially given the diesel is likely to be 40% less Co2 intense than the electricity that made the solar panels.

    For this NON Benefit. Alice springs gets less reliable and more expensive electricity,. I cant imagine a more lose-lose solution.

    401

    • #
      AndyG55

      They obviously need a magical synchronous capacitor. ;-)

      150

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Is that the one that turns back into a pumpkin at midnight?

        170

      • #
        Chad

        The only Solar power in Alice is private Roof Top solar.
        All “.grid” power is fossil fueled.

        32

      • #
        John PAK

        Skeleton Tech’s ultra-capacitor banks seem to be working on The Isle of Eigg (Scotland). Wind turbines are only of any use if smoothed with capacitors, batteries, pump storage or a gas turbine back-up. I guess solar is much the same, even in The Alice. They need to leave electricity supply to electrical engineers.

        40

    • #
      Dean

      Where did you get the 100 times embedded CO2 number from?

      If its just a number rectally derived it totally detracts from everything else you say.

      116

      • #
        AndyG55

        watt for watt, probably about right !

        Coal just produces SO MUCH MORE.

        Basically all of solar and wind is embedded CO2 and other massive pollution.

        Embedded CO2 in a coal fired power station or diesel engine is tiny compared to the power produced.

        190

      • #
        bobl

        Its quite simple, Grid solar’s raw cost for the same nameplate is about 10 times Fossil fuel, but on average it runs 1/5th of the time (5 Hours a day) so the cost to replace coal is 10 x 5 = 50 times Fossil fuel. Now if you actually want that to be as reliable as Coal too, then you need to derate solar by 5 times again, because on dull days you get about 20% output from a Solar panel. That puts the real replacement cost 100-250 times.

        The problem with most people is that they want to compare unreliable solar with reliable coal, that’s an apples to oranges comparison – I always compare like for like, to make Solar as reliable as coal at the same nameplate is very expensive, you need an overbuild of about 25 times.

        20

    • #
      theRealUniverse

      Nothing a nuclear power station wouldnt solve AND theres all the free yellow cake around the place…;)

      150

    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      And will you do the same, with same factors for coal?

      020

      • #
        AndyG55

        Coal is highly reliable..

        The embedded CO2 in a coal power station is mainly from cement and steel and is magnitudes less per unit power produced over its lifetime than wind or solar.

        NONE of those HORRENDOUSLY TOXIC pollutants used to produce magnet for wind turbines and

        NONE of the toxic chemicals that solar cells need to be built from.

        /PF LUVS real TOXIC pollution !!

        200

    • #
      Hanrahan

      How much does coal really cost? I don’t know actual figures but all coal miners pay state royalties tax and the rest can generally be described as “cost of doing business”. Victoriastan doubled their state royalties tax in a deliberate manoeuvre to close down coal fired plants. This has nothing to do with actual cost of coal as a fuel though.

      No coal miner pays the ultimate owner of the coal or His earthly agents, the churches, a fee so a coal miner’s costs are mostly incurred within the state and much of that would be direct wages. Compare this with windmills which are wholly imported with not much more than steel reinforcing and cement locally sourced. Speaking of cement much of that is Chinese anyway.

      Green jobs anyone?

      170

    • #
      Mike Jonas

      “So there again is Solar, backed by Fossil fuels where the fossil fuel generators alone are more capable and reliable than the combination.”.

      Well said. How does it feel, being a threat to national security? (Well, that’s the way some people react to straightforward and reasonable statements like yours).

      160

  • #
    Latus Dextro

    This is what happens when electrical grids are run by climate scientists and not engineers.

    No. This is what the implementation of globalist ideology leading to de-industrialisation, de-population, destitution and despair looks and feels like.

    “In 2012 the Japanese company INPEX announced it would go ahead with an ambitious and massively expensive plan to extract “hydrocarbon liquids” (mostly natural gas) from an underwater basin north of Western Australia and then process the gas largely in Darwin. The Ichthys project, as it was officially named, would cost $US34 billion. [A massive investment in Darwin and NT by the Japanese]
    At least a third of that money would be spent on the Bladin Point gas processing facility on a peninsula in Darwin harbour.
    The chief minister at the time, Paul Henderson, described it as a “game changer” that would “underpin our economy for the next 40 to 50 years“.

    INPEX: What will happen to Darwin after the last of Australia’s natural gas giants has been built?

    With this level of investment the tiny Territory should be thriving with hitherto unimaginable prosperity and growth. Instead, in true socialist dystopian fashion it is coming to resemble a foot note in Ayn Rand’s prescient novel, ‘Atlas Shrugged’, right down to the CCTV social credit score adoption that mimics the communist thugs in Beijing.

    210

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Also I would have thought this was MSM newsworthy but haven’t seen it reported anywhere else and I can only wonder why .

    130

  • #
    bobl

    PS, This location was just made for a SMNR (Small Modular Nuclear Reactor)

    140

  • #
    Mal

    And wait when they find out all the pollution that disposal of solar panels will leave when they reach the end of their life in 15 to 25 years
    It will be the new asbestos.
    They will not be recycled (uneconomic), and will be dumped into landfill
    I have read, (apologise, I can’t find the link),that the toxic waste from solar panels would be in the order of 60 times more than waste from nuclear power plants per unit of power generated.
    All foreseeable, except to the stupid greenie and leftist rabble

    180

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Liz Wheeler: 10 Reasons Not To Believe Climate Change Criers”

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/liz-wheeler-10-reasons-not-to-believe-climate-change-criers/

    Maybe pitched at a level suitable for politicians to understand?

    (And anyone tempted to disparage check the comments to see that it IS referenced)

    70

  • #

    As an engineer I cannot agree more with the concerns expressed here. We have a stupid headlong rush to renewable power provision that CANNOT produce 24/7. I lived in PNG and the factory I ran had its own generators, and we used them often due to regular power failures. So do we want to go to that sort of hopeless situation where business and private houses needs to have their own generator? NO – well that is the way it will go if we don’t stop renewables without back up going into the grid, and we cap them at a certain percentage of the grid. Gone it would appear is the commitment that the power engineers I knew some years back for whom supply and reliability were must haves…

    Power generation can be broken, in my view two basic classes. Base load and Peaking. Baseload churns away all the time providing most of the power. Peaking is used to cover spikes in demand which occur.

    Renewables are USELESS for both. They are unreliable and cannot be banked on to provide baseload as they only generate 30% of the time. And when looking at peaking they are useless there, as they are either there or not, you can’t turn them up…

    Of course some climate change enthusiast will then say what about batteries. Very expensive – the link below shows what would need to be done to make California 100% renewable – and the costs are astronomical. What it does not say is that the battery storage will have to be replaced in 10 years, at yet another astronomical cost…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5cm7HOAqZY

    Then others will mention pumped hydro. Better, but it only gives you 70% of what you put in, and due to size and cost constraints it only lasts maybe 10 hours. A simple analysis of weather patterns will easily show that we have weather events across very large areas which can last for days, meaning that pumped hydro will run out. Yes, it is good for peaking, that is what it is used for mostly. But to provide baseload – no good except for short periods.

    So all these unreliables must be backed up. And the back up has to be similar in size to the capacity you are after if you want to have 365 days a year 7 days per week and 24/7 supply. So you are essentially duplicating the grid – all very expensive…and never mentioned when some bright spark talks about cheap renewable power…

    Of course, there is one alternative which ticks all the boxes when teamed with some hydro or pumped hydro for peaking – Nuclear power. But the climate change mob, for no reason, are against that too. Seems like they are out to destroy life as we know it – all based on a non problem. As has been said many times on this blog, in the future they will present this as a test case of mass hysteria and stupid politicians, who instead of searching for the truth and relying on what works, rushed headlong into completely unworkable solutions.

    360

    • #
      Peter C

      I could not agree more Aussie.

      The Electrical Trades Union HAVE MADE THEIR CONCERN very clear.

      But where are the Electrical Engineers (apart from your self).

      It seems to me that Engineers Australian have been very silent.

      160

      • #
        O2

        Afraid of being sacked
        Most engineering firms are now run by non engineers who are virtue signaling been counters

        50

  • #
    pat

    not surprised it happened and not surprised it seems to have flown beneath the MSM radar, to some extent:

    o/t but this is another failure (add the submarines, the $400-plus million to Malcolm’s mob in N Qld, etc etc). not necessarily agreeing with any particular analysis, but do know I’m in the too-hard basket which may or may not ever get connected to NBN. not that I particularly care, providing I can keep ADSL:

    15 Oct: news.com.au: Telstra chairman blasts NBN as consumer watchdog queries basic tier pricing
    The chairman of Telstra says the internet in Australia would be faster and cheaper if the $50 billion NBN had never been built.
    by Jack Gramenz; with AAP
    https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/nbn/telstra-chairman-blasts-nbn-as-consumer-watchdog-queries-basic-tier-pricing/news-story/6821bc73c5e7c5897742eddd9f67bfef

    15 Oct: ABC: Telstra chair savages NBN as unfair monopoly sending retailers broke
    By business reporter Stephen Letts
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-15/telstra-chair-savages-nbn-as-unfair-and-a-waste-of-resources/11603756

    15 Oct: AFR: Telstra chairman blames Trujillo for NBN mess
    by James Fernyhough
    Telstra chairman John Mullen has put the blame for the NBN fiasco on the company’s former chief executive, Sol Trujllo, blowing on the embers of one of the bitterest power struggles in Australia’s recent political and corporate history.
    Speaking at Telstra’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, Mr Mullen said Telstra’s “recalcitrance” had been a major factor in the Rudd government’s decision in 2009 to build the national broadband network itself rather than commission the private sector to do it…
    https://www.afr.com/companies/telecommunications/telstra-chairman-unleashes-on-nbn-backs-craig-dunn-20191015-p530q0

    90

  • #
    TdeF

    The triumph of Green faith over reality.

    100

  • #
    pat

    Andrew Bolt & Gerard Henderson just discussed the following. Bolt pointed out he’d never seen the Pitman “clarification” – which doesn’t change a thing actually – and he played more Pitman from the same speech, which reinforced his no connection claim, plus a bit from Will Steffen telling him the same thing some years ago:

    14 Oct: ABC Media Watch: Paul Barry: Sky’s drought hero
    Yes, Sky has fallen head over heels for a climate scientist — and how could that be?
    Because Professor Pitman recently said something they loved…
    So, does Professor Pitman actually believe there’s no link (BETWEEN DROUGHT & CAGW)?
    Well, no. Because last month, before Sky really piled on, a clarification was issued to say the professor had left out a crucial word:
    Andy fully admits he should have said: “there is no DIRECT link between climate change and drought”.
    - Climate Extremes, ARC Centres of Excellence, 20 September, 2019

    Yes, no direct link. But there’s still a link, says Pitman, telling Media Watch:
    Do hotter temperatures lead directly to higher evaporation and a higher risk of drought? No.
    But does global warming lead to changes in rainfall patterns that can lead to drought? Yes. This indirect link is clear.
    - Email, Professor Andrew Pitman, University of NSW, 10 October, 2019

    And expanding on that link by telling us:
    In some regions, this increases the risk of drought, in other regions it decreases the risk.
    - Email, Professor Andrew Pitman, University of NSW, 10 October, 2019…READ ON
    https://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/episodes/pitman/11601084

    behind paywall:

    Research will tell Ita her ABC urgently needs diversity of political opinion
    by Chris Mitchell
    The Australian – 13 Oct 2019
    Long-time ABC critics such as Sydney Institute director Gerard Henderson, this newspaper’s Chris Kenny or Herald Sun columnist and SkyNews host Andrew …

    110

    • #
      Ken Davis

      So if there is a link and he left out a word – why is that going to upset some people? I think Andy has been told by his handlers to backpedal. Can’t prove it of course.

      80

      • #
        robert rosicka

        No link , no direct link , still equals no evidence and he was right the first time .
        Yes he was pushed into a qualifier and now has gone into witness protection.

        60

      • #
        Graeme#4

        A commentator in The Oz claimed that they had contacted Pitman, who claimed that he had been mis-represented. I wouldn’t be quoting him right now.

        30

  • #
    David Maddison

    I am offended that a photovoltaic array is referred to as a “power station”.

    140

    • #
      theRealUniverse

      Correct, a photovoltaic array can never be a power station, only in the minds of loontard eco whakkos, and grubby greedy companies making a killing on the green renewable band wagon..

      110

    • #
      It doesn't add up...

      I’ve noticed that solar and wind are referred to as power stations only when there is a problem they caused. It reflects the reader into thinking it was a traditional fossil fuelled power station that was at fault.

      10

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Good grief! Here I thought Alice Springs was just a remote crocodile infested swamp. So much for what you can learn in a darkened movie theater, even when the hero is Paul Hogan.

    Ok, OK, I admit to being an old romantic to whom the legend is much more attractive than today’s reality.

    That reality is biting us all hard. And the people with the steering wheel in their hands are asleep — or worse. Probably worse.

    By the way, I’m not at all surprised that engineers saw the signs long before the failure actually happened. I have no doubt that warning was given and promptly ignored. I’ve been watching those same foolish politician types run our power grid into trouble until now…well enough of California. You have enough trouble.

    151

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      PS:

      I have two flight simulators both of which include the Alice Springs airport. But if I take off from there and fly around, there isn’t the slightest sign of civilization. I think Alice Springs has grounds for a big lawsuit against Microsoft. You got short-changed by Bill and company. ;-)

      140

      • #
        robert rosicka

        No that’s pretty accurate Roy .

        60

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          I don’t even see anything right around the airport. You’d think there would be one other building to justify the airport but…

          60

          • #
            robert rosicka

            It’s way out of town Roy and depending on which direction you flew there wouldn’t be much to see .
            The two roads either side of the airport one goes to Finke the other to Santa Teresa and both roads turn to dirt pretty quick once past the airport .
            From the airport if you head north ,south or east there’s not much and only Alice to the west .
            Your pinegap spy facility is somewhere near Alice and I’m sure it has a big no fly zone area .

            40

          • #
            robert rosicka

            From memory Roy once past the airport heading for Old Andado which is a couple of hundred plus kilometres we past one station house on the right after about a hundred and on the left is a tiny community of Santa Teresa at about 80 .
            The only other thing I can remember were some “no standing ” signs on the edge of the track about 150 kilometres from Alice and at first I thought some joker had stole one and placed it in the desert but there were about four of them in under one kilometre.

            40

      • #
        AndyG55

        The “Alice” has a population of about 25,000

        And there really is nothing but NOTHING for mile and miles and miles around !

        Some of the gorges around the area are totally spectacular though

        Do a search for images of “Alice Springs gorges”, and enjoy. :-)

        80

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          The thing about flight simulators is the computing time it takes to keep up with a viable frame rate of 24 or 25/second. The scenery you’re flying over can’t be too complicated because many computers on which the simulator would be run could never keep up. I’m sure Microsoft had detailed topographical charts to work from but they had to remove a lot of detail for performance reasons so sorry Andy, the actual gorges may not even be recognizable in the simulation.

          The 2 I have date from 2003 and about 2005. My custom built PC with 8 64-bit CPUs running at 4 GHz does a credible job but even it has trouble if I demand too much from it. So everything around Alice Springs looks flat and featureless.

          40

          • #
            robert rosicka

            There are ranges and hills around Alice so not featureless although not a lot of standout scrub either .

            40

          • #
            Richard Ilfeld

            The is now free community Orthographic scenery software for X-Plane on X-Plane.org that does indeed show the gorges around
            Alice Springs, although the HD ortho for the Grand Canyon in the US is far more spectacular. For any interested this
            is a photographic underlay of the entirety of Australia at about 1m of resolution, available for download via bit torrent at no formal charge (a tip jar like this blog). It runs on a a modest 2 generations old ASUS laptop at 17 fps. I find it much more enjoyable to play at flying places when the scenery looks real, and from any altitude above about 400m this looks great. Below that things flatten out a bit.
            https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/36327-us-orthophotos/

            DOn’t let the title fool you, Australia is in the list part way down the page. Note: this is not for individual detailed scenery of buildings of airport features, but for accurate rendering of textures, colors, and major features of the geography as seen in arial photos.

            41

            • #
              Kalm Keith

              Sorry Richard, miss hit. Was meant to be green.

              30

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              There are some hills near the airport but hard to tell how high.

              Roads are visible but they are not so neatly integrated with the landscape as airports are. Each airport is a work of art for some graphic programmer. I did just enough of that sort of design and implementation in the last couple of years that I worked to have an appreciation of what’s involved in a flight simulator.

              My next item is to get a hold of a more modern one and compare it with the older 2 that I have. x-plane would be a candidate.

              To be honest I have to make a small confession. When I could fly there was one thing I never got to try — a taildragger. And both simulators have that classic among classics, the J3 Piper Cub. For the non pilot: it’s no different in the air from the modern tricycle gear but on the runway it’s quite a different story. And I have ground looped it more than I care to admit.

              40

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Richard,

              I downloaded the X-Plane demo and started playing around with it. Apparently it isn’t time limited except that I can’t fly more than 15 minutes at a time and I’m limited to the area of home base in Washington. So I’ll be able to play with it at my leisure. It has different assignments for buttons on the joy stick and keyboard. So just jumping in and pushing the throttle forward left me a bit blind.. But it’s all documented so I guess I go back to ground school. Among other things I’ll need to make some trade-offs on the simulation parameters. No matter how much an installer examines the machine it never seems to hit that sweet spot. So I got a warning that after 3 minutes it had not met the desired frame rate one time. Of course the message didn’t tell me what frame rate it was looking for.

              I love the graphics compared to my older simulators. The difference is almost startling as I was climbing after takeoff and there’s a big old mountain to my left front.

              20

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        G’day Roy,
        I’m not a pilot but have flown into the Alice a couple of time as a passenger on commercial jets. And I like playing around with maps and Google Earth. On one approach we came in on what I now know is runway 12, and was able to see Pine Gap on the left shortly before touch down.
        If you took off from 12 I suspect you’d hard pressed to see the town wherever you headed.
        If you take off from 30 and turn right soon enough you could fly over Heavitree Gap and the town, but if you maintain you take off heading the town is on your right, but behind a ridge which could obscure your view. The main highway, and road from the airport, go through The Gap..
        Have fun.
        Cheers
        Dave B

        20

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Knowing where the town is in relationship to the airport makes the difference. I found “the Alice” without much trouble by climbing in the right direction and there it was, hiding behind the ridge.

          Andy you’ll be glad to know that I found what must be the gorge you’re talking about. It’s pretty watered down because of the missing terrain data.

          No sign of Mick Dundee though. Nuts. ;-)

          10

  • #
    pat

    perservere with this one…it doesn’t go where you might think it is going.

    15 Oct: SpikedOnline: The ‘climate emergency’ no one is talking about
    Tens of thousands will die and crop yields will fall dramatically.
    by Rob Lyons
    (Rob Lyons is science and technology director at the Academy of Ideas)
    https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/10/15/the-climate-emergency-no-one-is-talking-about/

    btw Sky Australia – David Speers and another reporter whose name I do not know – devoted nearly half-an-hour in one go to the Greens/Labor climate emergency garbage today. I was just checking now and again while watching Tucker Carlson, and couldn’t believe they could continue with it for so long.

    we’ve just had a week of XR climate rubbish, and now the MSM jumps on this nonsense all day today! please. the public is not being well served by any of the media. everyone I know is thoroughly sick and tired of hearing about CAGW.

    110

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      I remember Paul Erhlich sprouting this back in the 1960′s (and 1970′s etc.).
      His claims that the “World couldn’t support two and a half billion people” and the result would be “cannibals roaming the Mid West of the USA by 1975″ have surely passed their use-by (let alone cycling) date by now.

      60

  • #

    Cloud, eh. Just the one cloud, was it? About as believable as California’s “wind” problem.

    Thank God I’m a conspiracy theorist. Still don’t know what to call the undead behind all this deliberate waste and plunder. Globites? Globsters? Globies? Bilderglobs? C’mon, people, they need a name.

    I see where Bruce Mountain has been savaging Uphill Snowy. Did you know that Malcolm’s second biggest boondoggle is going to cost many times the estimate? And that it won’t work? Er, actually, Bruce, we did know that. That’s what Malcolm was for: stuff that won’t work, may not even happen and costs many billions. We were never meant to like him as much as, say, GE or Thales liked him.

    Seems Bruce, an “energy economist” who spends all his time inflicting pain on data till it cries out and yields, wants money spent on whirlies and solar contraptions and general smartness.

    Bruce versus Malcolm is like watching one of those old Japanese monster movies where Gorgo takes on Dinosaurus to see who can wreck the most stuff, as well as one another.

    110

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    2016 was when the power failed, 2019 is when they do the review, love Alice Springs time

    110

  • #
    hunter

    Editorial suggestion:
    Substitute “outrage” four “outage”.
    A cloud caused a modern community to lose power.
    That is outrageous. And these same clowns want us all in electric cars. Think on that.

    110

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    John

    It’s gonna be fun when this stuff hits sydney…

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    el gordo

    Unlike the Territorians, NSW won’t get bogged down.

    ‘EnergyAustralia has announced it will invest $80 million in operation upgrades at its Mt Piper power station at Portland to expand the plant’s capacity by 60 megawatts, or enough electricity to power an additional 55,000 homes in NSW.

    ‘EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna said the work involved replacing the majority of the internal components of the plant’s two 700 MW-capacity turbines.’

    Western Advocate

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      Chad

      60 megawatts, or enough electricity to power an additional 55,000 homes i

      ??.. since when was 1.1 kW enough to power a home ??

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    Serge Wright

    This situation highlights the difficulties of managing the highly variable output of RE. Obviously they did not properly cater for a large cloud moving in quickly and causing a big drop in solar generation and a subsequent big spike in demand from thermal sources. Most likely, the reason for the lack of standby capacity is due to cost constraints of using expensive battery backup or leaving on large amounts of extra thermal generation as a failsafe, both of which add significant cost burden. Trying to minimise these extra cost burdens causes the energy companies to take additional risks, which then eventuate into a total outage. This is exactly what occured in SA and is why they build the huge diesel plant at great cost to the taxpayer. In the case of Alice Springs you can be reasonably sure that a new standby diesel will be part of the repair package and the costs will get also added to their bills.

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      Hang on, wasn’t Fitzroy’s transaxlabiofronic multiplexification unit which is ‘evidently’ now mandated at every renewable power plant here in Oz supposed to stop all this?

      Tony.

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        Serge Wright

        Yes, that’s precisely the joke here Tony. People like PF have convinced themselves that the sun always shines and the wind always blows and therefore there is no need for significant backup. More amusingly, when the system does a complete crash they will invent a long winded explanation that defends RE and then propose adding more RE as the solution.

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      Chad

      Serge, NT (Alice grid), does not have any utility scale solar facilities.
      The only solar power is private roof top systems, which presumeably were the ones affected by the “ cloud” shifting more load onto the grid generation plants.

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    observa

    ‘NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner told ABC Darwin Breakfast the outage stemmed from a generation issue.’
    “We’re not quite sure what’s happened there,”

    Yes Minister. Thank you for your input and sciencey analysis of the problem.

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    Simon Kelly

    There is more to this story, Jo. Territory Generation installed 10 new gas turbines in December 2017 to replace the old generators, which were located close to houses and causing big noise pollution issues. It did so despite vociferous protests from the local environmental lobby, which claimed Alice Springs only needed five new turbines and should rely more on solar and batteries. The battery was installed to provide quick power in the advent of a loss of solar. Obviously something has gone wrong, but TGen did the right thing in the first place by investing in enough generators to back up the solar supply. The problem remains that dealing with renewables is a hard road, with enormous pressure from the growing band of subsidised solar panel users to scrap gas altogether (somehow). And in fact the Ron Goodin generators were used after the blackout.

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    [...] Alice Springs goes black. A warning for RE enthusiasts. Shit happens! [...]

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    David Wojick

    Some battery hype in Oz. Says distributed solar plus storage can be baseload.

    https://www.energy-storage.news/blogs/powering-up-the-bush-rural-australia-is-a-proving-ground-for-innovative-sol

    No numbers of course. Pure junk.

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    pat

    lengthy, detailed, read all:

    15 Oct: AliceSpringsNews: Blackout: Managers must go, says union source
    By ERWIN CHLANDA
    The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) wants two senior Territory Generation managers to get the sack following the system black in Alice Springs on Sunday, according to a union source…

    So, TGen has had well over three years to become accustomed to these news assets – how come the debacle on Sunday?…
    “The day was saved by operations and maintenance personnel based at the Ron Goodin Power Station,” says the source – not the new generators, but in the old powerhouse slated for closure years ago.
    “Staff were called in to repair equipment failing due to TGen senior management deciding not to perform critical maintenance tasks which have been getting highlighted for months in some cases.”
    The expensive Jenbachers, all the way from Austria, are currently last in line to be fired up although the contract entered by Mr Giles, and taken over by the Gunner Government, had “a date for commercial operation of 2017”.

    The new engines are now under a 30% output restriction and running in a “block load mode” meaning they are only able to run at a set output and will not respond to load changes.
    Previously the engines had been touted as being capable of short-term performance variations, of fast adaption to demand changes. This is proving to not be the case…

    BESS, the battery (at left) introduced with fanfare in June last year, kept the town going for less than a minute, says the source…

    FROM COMMENTS:
    Simon Kelly Posted October 15, 2019 at 10:41 pm
    I agree with Ted that the most annoying thing about the blackout was the failure of PWA or the ABC to provide us with any information about it…READ ALL

    excerpt from COMMENT #4:
    And where was the ABC? In the bushfire season the ABC, through heroes like Derek Guille and Trevor Chappell, stays at the post, advising residents of the graphic detail of what’s happening.
    Not a mention of the whys and wherefores of our power outage.
    Busy creating the latest “Thingy”?…
    https://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2019/10/15/blackout-managers-must-go-says-union-source/

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    pat

    jo – your link to the ABC article unfortunately has a bit extra (http://) at the end of the URL, so it goes to a “page not found”. URL is as follows:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-14/michael-gunner-nt-review-alice-springs-blackout/11599546

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    Analitik

    Have a look at the following link (sadly from Engineers Asutralia about “ensuring reliability in a controlled transition to renewables”. The CEO of Territory Generation, Tim Duignan, talks about how the BESS system represents about 10% of the total load of Alice Springs. Think about it – loss of solar generation from a cloud overwhelmed the battery storage that was supposed to provide bridging for the rapid response gas engines, at the Owen Springs Power Station, to kick in. 10% is a sizable portion of the grid demand (and infrastucture cost) yet it is inadequate for the “combined firming” that renewables advocates would have us believe as the solution for renewables inherent intermittency.

    https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/News/world-first-battery-storage-approach-alice-springs

    Incidentally, Tim Duignan also stated that the Hornsdale battery represented about 5% of the South Australian grid load when touting how “big” the Alice Springs BESS was. Someone had better tell the South Australians that they are only allowed to consume 2 GW max at any time to allow Hornsdale to provide them with 5% coverage.

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      Analitik

      And the cost of the BESS was $8.3 million for

      5MW capacity, combined with a half an hour storage capability, and it is capable of flexing to 8MW for 6 seconds and 7.5MW for 60 seconds

      There are some other priceless statements in the follow piece, also by Territory Generation CEO, Tim Duignan, such as

      Reliability and stability of the power system is a critical barrier in the uptake of renewable energy across Australia, and I am pleased that we are at the forefront of tackling this issue right here in Alice Springs

      The cutting-edge technology in our Battery Energy Storage System will reinforce Alice Springs as the solar capital of Australia by enabling greater solar penetration whilst maintaining grid stability

      and

      The 5MW battery provides a near-instantaneous response to variation in solar load, particularly during cloud cover, and will improve power system stability for the region by helping to smooth the output of solar power

      http://territorygeneration.com.au/uncategorized/leading-edge-battery-energy-system-launches-in-alice-springs/

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    Chad

    It would be interesting to know if there is any reliable data as to the amount of RT solar used in Alice ?..somehow i doubt there is .
    There have been claims that it is the highest proportion in Australia, but lets assune its 30% or say around 8 -10 MW at peak. ?

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    Tim

    It was caused because the new spark fired gas reciprocating engines are not responsive enough to deal with load fluctuations they encontet. They are not fit for purpose for a base load station.

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