The electricity price chaos that plagued Australian energy markets continued over the weekend and into the new week as new data showed how multiple outages pushed coal production to a record low in the country’s main grid.
Energy authorities and analysts say the blame for Australia’s record high electricity prices is a combination of international events, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the resulting high price of coal and gas in the Australian market, and additional local problems such as multiple coal outages. and shortages of coal.
Coal production in the national electricity market has hit record lows — both in the seven-day moving average and the 24-hour average — highlighting the supply, maintenance and production problems of the country’s aging coal fleet.
According to Geoff Eldridge of NEMLog, the average share of coal in the NEM fell to 52 percent over a 24-hour period and to 55 percent over a seven-day moving average. Both numbers are record lows.
Around the same time, wind power is also setting new records – this time for maximum rather than minimum output – although the boost has provided only a temporary reprieve from high prices due to the dominant influence of expensive coal and gas, which generally set price settings.
According to NEMLog data, wind made up a record 25.2 percent of NEM output for the 24 hours to 1830 AEST on Sunday, while both South Australia and Victoria posted state records as a result of the large front crossing the sea. weekend.
South Australia, which went from performance to famine last week (its wind capacity fell to less than one megawatt last Tuesday evening), posted a new record high of 1,934 MW at 2105 AEST on Saturday, and its 24-hour output to 1630 AEST on Sunday was a record average. of 96.1 percent.
Prices in the state, however, remained volatile after the Australian energy market operator declared a “protected event” for the potential “loss of multiple transmission lines” from destructive winds.
The intervention changed the generation mix and was intended to prevent any chance of a repeat of the 2016 statewide power outages.
However, as WattClarity has documented, there were a host of different failures across a range of generators — both gas and wind — which further complicated the situation.
Victoria also recorded a new maximum instantaneous output of wind power at 0030 AEST on Sunday, when output reached 2,970.9 MW, more than 242 MW above the previous record of 156 this year.
That wind gust — averaging over 2,500 MW for more than 12 hours — was enough to push prices in that state into negative territory before gas generators pushed it back above $400/MWh to cover their newly inflated production costs.
Average wholesale prices in NSW so far in June have been an eye-watering $470/MWh, up nearly 50 percent from the already skyrocketing level of $320/MWh in May.
In Queensland they are up to $443/MWh, from $347 MWh in May, and even in South Australia they are up to $320/MWh.
Coal outages in the past seven days have included Loy Yang A Unit 2, Yallourn Unit 1 and Loy Yang Unit 1 in Victoria, plus Callide B Unit 2, Callide Unit 4, Gladstone Units 3 and 4, and Millmerran Unit 1 outages. of service for the entire period in Queensland.
Eldridge says Tarong Unit 2 was out of service on Saturday, and there also appears to be a significant reduction in production at Kogan Creek on both Thursday and Saturday.
In NSW, Bayswater Unit 3 and Liddell Unit 4 have been out of service for the entire period. During the week, Eraring Unit 3 returned to service last Tuesday and Mt Piper Unit 2 on Saturday.
AGL said Unit 4 at Liddell power station was taken out of service 3 weeks ago due to a generator transformer failure, and the unit is expected to be back in service in the second half of July.
“We are also doing some planned major maintenance and an upgrade of Unit 3 at the Bayswater power plant,” a spokesperson said.
“This type of work is planned well in advance and mainly involves the upgrade of the turbine and the Digital Control System. It means one unit is out of service, but we expect it to be back in service in the coming weeks.”
Origin reported last week that production of the country’s largest generator, Eraring, would be severely curtailed by mining problems at its main coal supplier, Centennial.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of Renew the economyand is also the founder of A step off the grid and founder/editor of the EV-focused the driven† Giles has been a journalist for 40 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.
#Market #chaos #due #power #outages #wind #peaks