Articles from Australia

Australian grid has major near miss: SA Islanded for two weeks

Here in Renewables-World downunder, most people don’t know the grid has barely scraped through the last two weeks. We almost lost an Aluminium smelter, came close to a statewide blackout  and South Australia is (possibly) still islanded from the rest of the National Grid. The AEMO held a crisis meeting yesterday but this trouble started Friday week ago in what was described as a “white knuckle event” by energy analyst, Paul McArdle at WattClarity. 
12 Feb 2020

AEMO tightens settings, flags more constraints, as Portland smelter hangs off S.A. grid

Now it has issued new operating guidelines, warning that the imports from Victoria via the remaining Murraylink connector will be constrained to zero, and 23 different wind, solar and gas generators could be constrained to zero output if South Australia’s minimum demand falls below 800MW. ...This highlights the fact that rooftop solar is largely uncontrolled by AEMO, and so it is the large scale renewable installations that have to make way. In this situation, it is causing a headache for the grid operator, and it underlines why AEMO has been pushing for new measures and mechanisms that allows it to have some sort of control over the output of rooftop solar, now totalling more than 10GW in Australia on more than 2.2 million rooftops.
6 Feb 2020

Proposed state wind farm planning code discussed in Eudunda

During the forum it was highlighted how townspeople are allowed 2km distances, plus 10 metres for every metre increase in turbine height. "Areas 'zoned areas for wind farms' are still basically everywhere rural except for a few selected areas like Barossa Preservation District," Mrs Morris said. "Basically little change from (former SA planning Minister) John Rau's wind farm rules from 2011/12."
13 Dec 2019

Wind farms in spotlight at planning forum

The State Planning Commission hosted a public forum in Eudunda on December 4 for members of the community interested in understanding more about the proposed changes to the renewable energy policies in the new planning system. The session provided an opportunity to understand how existing renewable energy policies are being updated in the Planning and Design Code to keep pace with new and more efficient energy infrastructure.
11 Dec 2019

Inherit the Wind

Project_table_thumb It’s good to know that wind turbine blades are a bird’s best friend, or something like that. I’m citing “fun facts” on the website of Synergy, Western Australia’s state-owned electricity generator. Synergy operations include half a dozen WA wind farms, mostly coastal. Synergy claims, correctly, that its fun facts “may blow your mind.” Fun Fact No. 9 is illustrated with a pic of Sesame Street’s Big Bird, pop-eyed with delight about wind turbines’  blade-and-splatter prospects. The caption reads (author’s emphasis)
7 Nov 2019

Crookwell III Wind Farm refused development consent

"The community raised a number of significant concerns about the visual impacts of the project on surrounding residences and the cumulative effect of wind farm projects with residences potentially able to view wind turbines in multiple viewing sectors," the Commission noted. "The community expressed concern that wind farm projects will transform the landscape from an attractive rural landscape towards an industrial landscape dominated by wind turbines."
25 Oct 2019

Governments took the hard road on clean energy – and consumers are feeling the bumps

Instead of creating investor certainty, the federal government has adopted a “picking winners” approach. It plans to build new generation assets such as the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project, and subsidise others through a program of underwriting investments. Alongside this, the government’s proposed “big stick” laws would give it vast powers including those to break up big energy companies. Our research has confirmed this has a chilling effect on investment.
7 Oct 2019

Wind turbines ‘an extinction threat’ for birds

In Tasmania, 10 new wind farms are proposed or under construction, adding to a number of existing major turbine sites, three of which have killed at least 37 eagles since 2002. There are fears the wind farm boom will push endangered species such as the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, swift parrot and orange-bellied parrot closer to extinction.
13 Aug 2019

Australian watchdog sues four wind farm operators over 2016 blackout

The sharp drop in power from the wind farms overloaded demand for power on a transmission line from a neighboring state, which then tripped that link off, cutting the state off from back-up electricity supply. “These alleged failures contributed to the black system event and meant that AEMO (the Australian Energy Market Operator) was not fully informed when responding to system wide failure in South Australia."
7 Aug 2019

Windfarm operators taken to court over South Australian blackout

The Australian Energy Regulatoralleges subsidiaries of the four companies – AGL Energy, Neoen SA, Pacific Hydro and Tilt Renewables – failed to ensure their windfarms complied with a generator performance standard requirement and had automatic protection systems to ensure continuity of supply. The regulator’s chair, Paula Conboy, said the alleged failures meant the Australian Energy Market Operator was not fully informed when responding to the system-wide failure.
7 Aug 2019

Wind industry a fatal blow to eagles

Bird experts warned the latest deaths raised concerns about the survival of threatened bird species as the island state braced for a wind farm boom. “It’s very, very, very scary — wind farms are just bird mincers, eagle killers,” said Craig Webb, who runs a raptor refuge at Kettering, in southern Tasmania. “We have to do something to get on top of this.
27 Jul 2019

Wind farm industry a fatal blow to eagles

A Tasmanian wind farm has killed three eagles in the past few months, and 37 eagles across its wider operations since 2002, amid fears 10 new wind farms planned for the island will cause extinctions. Woolnorth Wind Farms Holdings’ two sites in Tasmania’s far northwest have recorded the recent deaths of two endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles and one white-bellied sea eagle.
27 Jul 2019

Crusader Brown turns against wind farm

He said the public had not been properly informed of the private deals, or public impacts or cost-benefit analyses (economic, social, cultural and environmental) of what would be one of the biggest wind farm projects on Earth. He said details of the arrangements between the Hammond family, which farmed wagyu beef and owned the land, and developer UPC Renewables were not known. “Tasmanians have a right to know much more about the Robbins Island development,” Dr Brown said. “It is a huge resource extraction venture which will be lighting up no Tasmanian homes.”
15 Jul 2019

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