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SA and Vic at high risk of blackouts this summer

Even the AEMO is warning of blackouts coming, because the BoM is forecasting hot, dry conditions. El Nino on the way, and I hear rumours our Snowy Hydro Dam levels are not great.

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There’ll be blackouts this summer if nothing is done, AEMO report warns

Stephanie Dalzell, ABC News

Victoria and South Australia are at a high risk of forced blackouts this summer if no action is taken, according to the latest report by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Not enough supply? Put another million bucks on the BBQ:

To stop that from occurring, the AEMO has sourced emergency energy reserves, which are typically not available to the market and are only accessed when supply is not keeping up with demand.

Those emergency reserves — otherwise known as Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) resources — do not come cheap.

It’s only money:

The report stated that last summer emergency energy cost taxpayers in Victoria and South Australia almost $52 million.

That equated to an average of an extra $6 per household bill.

That’s nothing. The two day heatwave last January burnt up $400 m — $45 per person in Victoria and $70 each in SA. That’s just two days of electricity. Families had to find $200 to pay for two days electricity. That’s an emergency.

When is capacity, not capacity?

Andrew White at The Australian explains that part of the emergency is because a thermal generator has just told the AEMO that  240MW won’t be available as expected for summer.

The demand for reserves has been increased this season by the loss of 240 megawatts of thermal generation that its owners have told the market operator will not be available to meet short-term spikes in demand or the loss of generation elsewhere in the ­National Electric­ity Market.

The Australian Energy Market Operator is seeking up to 930MW of reserve power to reinforce the NEM during what is expected to be a hotter, drier summer and an earlier bushfire season.

The whole NEM Australian National Grid has 55,000MW of generation capacity. But a 240MW shortage is creating an emergency. Something doesn’t add up here…

What if 5,000MW of wind or solar capacity was not available tomorrow? That’s not an emergency, it’s business as usual. Every day we pay for back up reserve power lest the wind and solar generators take the day off.

Emergency action includes …”recalling mothballed gas-generation plants in Tasmania, Queensland and SA, diesel generators, and “demand response measures’’ that pay users to switch off their power.”

What do we do when renewables cause instability and price spikes — add more:

But the system operator stated more energy generation and storage capacity would enter the market in time for summer. As much as 2100MW of new energy capacity — mainly from wind and solar generation — will be added to the grid by December.

Another 2GW of renewables coming in the next month. Just what we need!

The AEMO Summer Readiness Plan is here.

Still, it’s not like there is only 12 days til summer….

h/t David B

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