March 2017

30 Mar Clean Energy Regulator Releases 2017 Surrender Percentages

The Clean Energy Regulator has released the 2017 environmental certificate requirements. The number of Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) which must be surrendered each year is fixed. However, the surrender percentage depends on the expected consumption of electricity across Australia less any applicable exemptions for energy intensive trade exposed industries. The surrender percentage for LGCs in 2017 is set at 14.22%. This is higher than the 2016 surrender percentage of 12.75%, but lower than what was widely expected in the market. The STC percentage was set at 7.01% which is lower than the 2016 target of 9.68%. Each year, the Clean Energy Regulator must determine how many STCs will be created during the...

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28 Mar AEMO Releases Recommendations to Avoid Further ‘Black Outs’ in SA

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released its final report on the South Australia (SA) region black system event on 28 September 2016 (Black System). During the event some 850,000 SA customers lost electricity supply, affecting households, businesses, transport and community services, and major industries. In the report, AEMO notes that with less synchronous generation online, the electricity system is experiencing more periods with low inertia and low available fault levels. This is making it increasingly difficult to keep the system secure. It is no longer appropriate to rely solely on synchronous generators to provide essential non-energy system services (such as voltage control, frequency control, inertia, and system strength). Instead,...

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20 Mar A Plan for South Australian Power

The South Australian Government released their plan for their energy future. It contained a number of new strategies including: 100 MW battery farm 250 MW gas fired plan for emergency use only 200 MW of emergency plan until the gas plant can be brought online Local power to direct plant and the interconnectors with Victoria Energy Security Target under which a portion of electricity must be sourced from within South Australia South Australian Gas Incentives which would provide an additional $24 million for local gas exploration which would primarily be made available for South Australian consumers The South Australian Government is also planning to tender its consumption to allow a new...

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17 Mar Update on Hazelwood closure

Engie announced on 3 November 2016 that they would close down their 1,600 MW Hazelwood power station in March 2017. The markets have reacted to the news of the closure by increasing the forward cost of electricity across the National Electricity Market. The outlook from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is not looking good for Victoria. If the state experiences hot weather next summer there may not be enough generation available to meet peak demand without further load reductions. Their medium term outlook is published at least weekly and the most current to 17 March 2017 shows that the 2017-18 summer could see reserve shortfalls if there is a warm...

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17 Mar Prime Minister gets assurances over gas availability

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) published their Gas Statement of Opportunity on 9 March 2017. It highlighted that there could be insufficient gas to meet demand from both industrial users and power generators. The report highlighted that there could be insufficient gas as soon as the 2018-19 summer. Following this report, the Prime Minister held a meeting with nine company leaders on Wednesday 15 March 2017. The gas companies committed to increase domestic supply if needed to meet demand. The Prime Minister is quoted as saying that the gas producers ‘understand the absolutely critical importance of maintaining their social license to be doing business in Australia’. He stressed that the...

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17 Mar Snowy Hydro Scheme to Potentially Increase Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity Capability

Yesterday the Federal Government announced funding to conduct a feasibility study into expanding the Snowy Hydro Scheme by adding an additional 2,000 MW of pumped storage hydroelectricity. This additional storage was part of the original design of the Snowy Hydro Scheme but considered unnecessary at the time. The feasibility study is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017 and if the study is successful the upgrade could be completed as early as 2022. The use of pumped storage hydroelectricity will add additional capacity to the system but no additional energy. It requires nearly double the amount of energy to push the water up to the higher dam than the...

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17 Mar Battery Storage in SA is Not That Simple

Recent involuntary load shedding across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales has led to a discussion on the current operation of the National Electricity Market. On 9 March 2017 Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes tweeted that Tesla’s battery division could solve South Australia’s power problems in 100 days. This would occur by building ten 100 megawatt hour battery farms which Tesla confirmed that they would be able to provide in the requested 100 days. Since then, other battery providers have offered to provide quotes for a similar product. Since the tweets started, Mike Cannon-Brookes has received several offers to help with funding and on Friday 10 March asked Tesla for seven...

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