Another Statewide Blackout: South Australia’s Wind Power Disaster Continues

sa-28-sep-16Stop These Things
Thanks to its ludicrous attempt to run on sunshine and breezes, South Australia has just experienced yet another Statewide blackout. SA’s vapid Premier, Jay Weatherill and what passes for media in this Country ran straight to the periphery, blaming everything except the bleeding obvious (see this piece of infantile doodling from wind cult central – the ABC).

STT’s SA operatives tell us the blackout occurred during a blustery spring storm (heavy rain, lightning and surging, gusty wind). The power supply went down across the entire State at precisely the same time (a little after 3:30pm). It took more than 5 hours to restore power to a few parts of the State, and many regions remained powerless for much longer than that.

True it was that lines were damaged in the mid-North around Port Augusta, but that doesn’t explain why the whole State’s supply went down. Grids are designed with with a level of redundancy, and to avoid complete collapses by isolating damaged sections, in order to keep the balance up and running.

For those truly interested in the cause, what appears in the graph above – care of Aneroid Energy – gives a clue as to the culprit.

SA’s 18 wind farms have a combined (notional) capacity of 1,580MW.

On 28 September (aka ‘Black Wednesday’), as the wind picked up, output surges by around 900MW, from a trifling 300MW (or 19% of installed capacity) to around 1,200MW.

As we explain below, electricity grids were never designed to tolerate that kind of chaos, but it’s what occurs in the hour before the collapse that matters. Read article

12 thoughts on “Another Statewide Blackout: South Australia’s Wind Power Disaster Continues

    • Yes, he’s right, we are essentially the same and power system (grid) physics works the same as in the US. One area we are different is our microfit solar panels are connected to th esystem through a seperate meter from the house. You get a check for power produced, and a bill for power consumed. However, he is quite correct in that if you put solar on your roof, you are stealing from your neihghbour. My qualifications, I was a power system “dispatcher”

    • The more of this intermittent generation we get, yes I would say it makes precarious. I mentioned this 6 years ago when the green energy act came into force. If you have a system collapse, as has ahppened in Australia, and has happened in our area several times over the last 50 odd years, you need substantial reliable generation to restablish transmission line connections (i.e. re energize transmission lines) from source to load. Since windmills (we won’t even consider solar) are far from the load ( the Golden Horseshoe) and are of small capacity ( 2 MW’s per machine or less) and unreliable, particulalry in a wind such as they’ve had, it can be near impossible to bring a system back up to operation again. Nuke plants can do it providing they don’t poison out before restoration is complete. Other wise you need hydraulic generation or coal fired (which we don’t have). We have numerous gas plants, but most, except for Lennox G.S., are too small to make a significant contribution.

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