The Winds of OZ

This post uses wind power data from the most recent major heatwave in South East Australia to illustrate some characteristics of wind power in that area. Data from all wind farms in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia have been sorted into 6 regional groups, shown as 1 to 6 on the following map:


The period covered is 14th to 20th December 2015, for which wind power at 5-minute resolution, and selected maximum temperatures are shown in the following two figures:



The vertical red lines mark the approximate times of peak demand.

The region with highest wind capacity and output is the area to the North of Adelaide, with the following characteristics:

  • The electrical energy is often produced mostly at night, and has a habit of dropping to  low levels at the time of peak demand (see in particular the 16/17/18th December). This may be the meteorological phenomenon of gully or downslope wind.
  • There was a sudden drop in output on the 19th December around the time of peak demand
  • The total output can rise to 750 MW (and somewhat higher in other examples), a level that can impact on the economics of any baseload generators operating at night (a typical nighttime demand in South Australia is 1200 MW)
  • The total output can be falling rapidly at the same time as demand is rising quickly in the morning

More to follow …


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