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The future of energy generation and storage

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Quality farming activities are compatible with using large areas of land for solar energy production . In fact they can be mutually supportive and add another value to the enterprise.


Livestock grazing

Grazing of livestock within solar farms is the most popular dual use option, especially since this practice has the additional benefit of controlling vegetation growth. The presence of solar modules does not affect stock density, and provides shelter to grazing livestock.

However, consideration needs to be given to the choice of livestock. Sheep are common (see image above) as they are small enough to easily pass between rows of modules and do not damage equipment. For similar reasons, poultry such as chicken and geese are also common choices.

Grazing of larger livestock such as cattle and horses in solar farms has been attempted; however, the mounting system must be designed to accommodate their greater size.

Crop production

Solar farms can also be combined with crop production. Planting of vegetables or non-food crops can occur underneath the solar arrays. This practice is also referred to as solar sharing or “˜agrivoltaics’.

In Japan, the practice known as “˜solar sharing’ is allowed on farmlands, where small, typically 100 W, solar modules are mounted three to five metres above ground and installed at spaced intervals with shading rate of up to 32 per cent to allow sufficient irradiation for the ground crop (see image below). The mounting structures are designed to allow space for tractors and other farming equipment, allowing farmers to receive a feed-in tariff from electricity generated while being able to continue farming without modification to their normal practices

Enhancing biodiversity

Solar farms also present the opportunity to enhance the biodiversity of a site, especially if the site previously supported monocrops. Native wildflower and bird seed mixes can be sown between and around rows of modules, providing food and habitat for local birds, small mammals and invertebrates. Planting of species that have high pollen and nectar yields also presents beekeeping as an additional revenue option.
 
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Solar farm in Japan, looking down from the famous Eshima bridge near Sakaiminato, just indulging in a bit of name dropping. Oh the good old days when we could travel.😭

P1090663.JPG
 
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i think you have glossed over a few bits.
No argument there - I’ve simply looked at it in a very big picture sense.

If humans ran on diesel then a moderately active adult would use less than a quarter of a litre per day.

That’s not saying various crops and wastes can’t be put to use, just noting the scale issue.
 
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We've now gone the first 24 hours with just two synchronous generating units online in SA now that all four synchronous condensers are fully commissioned.

Only thermal plant on is 2 x 200 MW steam units, both idling along at 40 MW each. That's it apart from a gas turbine and a couple of internal combustion engines that were given a short run purely for testing purposes.

Past 24 hours as a % of SA consumption:

Wind = 74.7%
Solar = 31.4%
Gas = 5.6% (of which 5.5% was needed, 0.1% was an unrelated equipment test run)
Diesel = 0.005% (all of which was due to a machine test run)
From Victoria = 0.8%
Export to Victoria = 13.1%

Figures don't quite add due to rounding etc.

There are longer term thoughts of how to run without any synchronous plant on at all, which nobody anywhere is known to be doing at major grid scale, but for now 2 will be the lower limit down from 4 historically.

Practical implication = less gas, more renewables using existing infrastructure.

1637923590257.png


Green = wind. Yellow = solar. Orange = gas. Blue = battery discharge. Purple = from Victoria.
 
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@Smurf1976 that is absolutely brilliant, S.A is a small grid taken in isolation, but it is a great test bed to prove and develop the concept.
My guess is, they will crank up some longer term storage and see how sustainable it is over a prolonged period.
 
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that is absolutely brilliant, S.A is a small grid taken in isolation, but it is a great test bed to prove and develop the concept.
SA has ended up the actual world leader so far as is known.

It's a pretty drastic change given that just 15 years ago, 2006, the generation mix was:

Gas = 47.7%
Coal = 35.7%
Net import from Victoria = 16.6%
Diesel = 0.02%

With all of that being in absolutely conventional "off the shelf" plant that's in no way special.

So completely unexciting 100% fossil fuels to two thirds renewable and a world leader in 15 years basically. :2twocents
 
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SA has ended up the actual world leader so far as is known.

It's a pretty drastic change given that just 15 years ago, 2006, the generation mix was:

Gas = 47.7%
Coal = 35.7%
Net import from Victoria = 16.6%
Diesel = 0.02%

With all of that being in absolutely conventional "off the shelf" plant that's in no way special.

So completely unexciting 100% fossil fuels to two thirds renewable and a world leader in 15 years basically. :2twocents
The great thing is IMO, it is like having a scaled up version of a renewable community i.e Denham in W.A.

The advantage with S.A is it scales it up to another level, where they have the luxury of a massive grid alongside to pick up the slack if it falls on its ar$e, but can push the boundaries.

BY pushing the boundaries the rest of Australia benefits from the knowledge gained, I wouldn't be surprised if Australia is leading the world in renewable grid adoption, within 10-15 years.

There will always be countries with a natural advantage of small area, small population and a topography that suits renewables e.g mountainous for hydro, or on a fault line and good geothermal potential, but where a country that will rely on wind and solar mainly I think we are really stepping it up.
 
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The great thing is IMO, it is like having a scaled up version of a renewable community i.e Denham in W.A.
The advantage with S.A is it scales it up to another level, where they have the luxury of a massive grid alongside to pick up the slack if it falls on its ar$e, but can push the boundaries.
Yep and whilst the current project is now fully implemented, in due course it'll almost certainly go further.

Current (well, at this point it's now past tense) project:

*Install 4 synchronous condensers at two sites.

*Wind + Large scale solar generation limit under typical operating conditions raised from just under 1300 MW to 2500 MW subject to there being a use for it.

*Technical minimum gas-fired generation lowered from 250 MW to 80 MW under the most common scenario.

So quite a step forward and at that point the project is complete as such but there are certainly investigations as to what could be done next. At some point it probably will get to the point of running with zero conventional plant on at times but for now, a two thirds reduction when there's enough wind / sun to enable it is a huge leap forward. :2twocents
 
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Yep and whilst the current project is now fully implemented, in due course it'll almost certainly go further.

Current (well, at this point it's now past tense) project:

*Install 4 synchronous condensers at two sites.

*Wind + Large scale solar generation limit under typical operating conditions raised from just under 1300 MW to 2500 MW subject to there being a use for it.

*Technical minimum gas-fired generation lowered from 250 MW to 80 MW under the most common scenario.

So quite a step forward and at that point the project is complete as such but there are certainly investigations as to what could be done next. At some point it probably will get to the point of running with zero conventional plant on at times but for now, a two thirds reduction when there's enough wind / sun to enable it is a huge leap forward. :2twocents
This is engineering driving the science, absolutely magic, can't wait to see the dynamics when the NSW/SA interconnector, Snowy and the second Bass link is in, it will be amazing IMO.
Add to that North Queensland renewables coming online and the light at the end of the tunnel is glimmering IMO.
 
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So quite a step forward and at that point the project is complete as such but there are certainly investigations as to what could be done next. At some point it probably will get to the point of running with zero conventional plant on at times but for now, a two thirds reduction when there's enough wind / sun to enable it is a huge leap forward. :2twocents
Yes the problem is the point of inflection, where you are running with no synchronous generation, at that point the ties to either Tassie, Victoria, NSW have to be such, that a failure has to be able to be picked up ( what in half a cycle lol).
That will be the next engineering speedhump. ;)
 
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Victoria to get the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere, now we are talking. :xyxthumbs


LOCATION:GOLDEN PLAINS SHIRE, ROKEWOOD, VICTORIA
INSTALLED CAPACITY:800-1000 MW
ENERGY PRODUCTION:3500 GWh ANNUALLY

From the article:
It comes after years of legal challenges by local farmers and wrangling over the size of the wind farm, where 230-metre turbines – almost as tall as Melbourne’s Rialto Towers – will produce enough power for more than 765,000 homes per year, according to the project’s operators.
The site at Rokewood, 130 kilometres west of Melbourne, will cover 167 square kilometres.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne last week quietly approved WestWind Energy’s final proposal for the Golden Plains Wind Farm. The operator says it will start building in the middle of next year.
 
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This sort of nonsense is just frustrating to say the least.


It has however managed to get even normally opposing parties united in seeing it as a silly idea:

The proposal has been met by howls of protest by nearly everyone, including leading battery makers including Tesla and Fluence, big battery project developers such as Neoen and Iberdrola, pumped hydro storage owner CleanCo, and even the government owned generator Snowy Hydro, leading utilities AGL and EnergyAustralia, and the Australian Energy Market Operator.

There's more than a few getting frustrated with the politics and bureaucracy involved with all this and they're not simply whingeing, there's a good reason for it.

AGL, Tesla or AEMO aren't simply armchair commentators.....
 
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Promising pilot program in WA to manage rooftop solar. Could sort out many issues and provide the technical blueprint for virtual power plants across the country

Perth suburbs chosen for $35 million virtual power plant combining solar and batteries

Key points:​

  • Project Symphony will look at how to harness excess solar energy
  • 500 households in Perth's south will be part of the power hub
  • Virtual power plants are the future, WA's Energy Minister says
 
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And for something completely different.o_O
Long life concrete batteries. Effectively turning a skyscraper into a concrete energy storage unit.

 
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Quite a detailed article on the future of power prices.

Reinforces a lot of what @Smurf1976 says.

This is a great analysis. Pulls together all the threads of the debate. As Rumpy notes it highlights most of Smurf's observations.

What is particularly interesting, IMV, is how non renewable energy is just so uncompetitive. There is no rational economic model for delaying transition to solar/wind/ back up power ASAP.
 
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We've now gone the first 24 hours with just two synchronous generating units online in SA now that all four synchronous condensers are fully commissioned.

Only thermal plant on is 2 x 200 MW steam units, both idling along at 40 MW each. That's it apart from a gas turbine and a couple of internal combustion engines that were given a short run purely for testing purposes.

Past 24 hours as a % of SA consumption:

Wind = 74.7%
Solar = 31.4%
Gas = 5.6% (of which 5.5% was needed, 0.1% was an unrelated equipment test run)
Diesel = 0.005% (all of which was due to a machine test run)
From Victoria = 0.8%
Export to Victoria = 13.1%

Figures don't quite add due to rounding etc.

There are longer term thoughts of how to run without any synchronous plant on at all, which nobody anywhere is known to be doing at major grid scale, but for now 2 will be the lower limit down from 4 historically.

Practical implication = less gas, more renewables using existing infrastructure.

View attachment 133446

Green = wind. Yellow = solar. Orange = gas. Blue = battery discharge. Purple = from Victoria.
rubbish rubbish and rubbish
billions spent digging toxic materials out of the ground, poisons waste dumped back in to the ground or river ways, unless turbines and solar panels end up in lan d fill







yet people are triggered by cows farting!
 
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What is particularly interesting, IMV, is how non renewable energy is just so uncompetitive.

The elephant in the room is natural gas pricing and the vast gap between historic Australian domestic market pricing upon which most decisions to build things were made, present prices and the LNG netback price.

Historic price = circa $4 / GJ in 2021 $ inflation adjusted.

Present actual price = right now the spot price is between $9.90 and $12.70 depending on which state. This data can be seen on the AEMO website.

LNG netback price = $35.53 at present according to the ACCC which calculates it using a methodology which looks at the international price and aims to answer the question as to what gas is worth as an input to LNG plants in Queensland.


So long as the netback price remains so high, there's going to be upwards pressure on the domestic price as well since keeping the LNG plants running flat out is profitable even if they need to buy up gas from the domestic market in order to do so. Buy for $12 on the spot market, sell at triple that price = winner.

Now the problem is that at $35 many gas-fired power stations would have a fuel cost that's higher than retail prices for electricity and which far exceeds typical wholesale pricing. Indeed for those able to do so, burning diesel or even jet fuel would actually be cheaper although definitely not cheap as such.

Depending on how long this persists, we may see some "interesting" occurrences if it turns out that anyone in the industry has messed up their price hedging or took a risk by choice. In the UK 23 gas and electricity retailers, out of 70, have financially collapsed in the past 4 months with government starting to hand out the £ to keep the lights on with retailer Bulb (under administration) being handed £1.7 billion.

Gas is expensive stuff these days and buying it at one price, then selling it to customers at a lower price, does end up with those in the middle going broke at some point if they keep doing it.

Back to Australia well it's not a direct conversion since it does depend on plant efficiency and that varies hugely, the least efficient gas-fired plant in Australia barely gets over 20% whilst the best isn't far short of 60%, as a generic answer $12 gas will be a fuel cost of about $120 per MWh for power generation in a medium efficiency facility. As a generic rule of thumb, that 1:10 relationship is near enough for anyone who just wants to grasp the significance of gas at any particular price. :2twocents
 
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