Wind Curtailment in SA Falls to One Percent – AEMO Report

Over the first quarter of 2019, wind curtailment in South Australia has noticeably fallen due to changes in the operating guidelines and increased availability of synchronous generation on the grid.

In its newest Quarterly Energy Dynamics Report, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) stated that the level of curtailment in South Australia had decreased by approximately 1 percent of the unconstrained intermittent generation forecast.

Renew Economy reported on its website that the latest figures show a dramatic change from the levels posted in November last year. The recorded curtailment at that time was at 76GWh, around 10 percent of the state’s non-synchronous generation.

Based on the latest report, AEMO also stated that the decrease in curtailment for the first few months of the current year was due to the increased availability of solar and wind generation in the state, modification of the operating guidelines, and relatively lesser periods of high wind conditions.

The report also mentioned, “Those changed allowed dynamic levels of non-synchronous generation – ranging from 1,000 megawatts to 1,460 megawatts – based on the synchronous unit combinations available.”

In the previous quarter, the rigid rules confined the total wind and large scale solar output to 1,295 megawatts if there is no adequate gas generators available to guard what they call system strength.

The system security’s level of directions in South Australia had also declined in the first quarter of 2019, having directions in place for 4.4 percent of the time as compared to the record during the last quarter of last year at 13 percent.

The report further notes, “This represents the least time directing (for a quarter) since the South Australian system strength arrangements were introduced.”

The reduction also resulted to declining direction costs – from an estimate of $3.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 to around $1.3 million for the present quarter.

“AEMO said the reduced time directing was a function of more wind and solar generator availability, influenced by periods of high demand (typical of summer) and expectations of comparatively higher spot prices,” the article concluded.

To learn more about the report, click this link.

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