Friday, September 09, 2005

Energy: another wind farm

Genesis Energy has won its appeal in the Environment Court over its Awithu wind farm project. It's a small project - only 19 MW - but hopefully its just the start of developments around Auckland.

This also brings the amount of wind-farms consented this year to almost 400 MW - two and a half times our annual demand growth. Meanwhile, we have a group of "concerned engineers" worrying that no new power stations are being built; it seems that if it doesn't follow the one big dirty egg model, then it doesn't exist as far as they're concerned.


I wouldn't be quiet so quick to poor scorn on those engineers. If the John Noble involved is who I think he is then I you are way off.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/09/2005 10:56:00 AM

Sock Thief: I think they're right on some of the problems - but at the same time they seem utterly blind to a substantial chunk of generation that is being built, and this substantially undermines their position wrt overall security of supply.

The output of windfarms consented just this year exceeds that of the E3P development at Huntly they view as New Zealand's last power station. It's twice as much as comes out of Whirinaki. There are windfarms in the consents process which are bigger than many of our existing hydro developments- but to these people, stuck in the big dirty egg thinking of the 70's, none of this exists. We are more than meeting our annual demand growth - the problem is getting the power to the right places (and incentivising the market to provide a surplus rather than a perpetual, highly profitable shortage) - not that we won't have enough electricity to go round.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/09/2005 11:14:00 AM

Icehawk: yes. But where they express concerns about a lack of over-capacity, they talk solely in terms of E3P (the only "old-style" generator currently under construction), and seem to pretend nothing else is being built. And that is simply blindness.

I think they're entirely right on the problems with the market, BTW.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/09/2005 11:36:00 AM

Icehawk: more importantly, while there's day-to-day variability in the wind, New Zealand is quite lucky to have relative stability - to the extent that our windfarms run at almost the same capacity (actual / potential GWh) as our hydro plants.

There is a problem with short-term variability; the output from a windfarm fluctuates with the wind, and this can be in terms of minutes. But there's already some protection in the grid against this, and longer-term some of it is likely to be solved with microforecasting, which would allow other capacity to be switched in to plug short-term gaps.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/09/2005 01:34:00 PM

energy production needs to grow faster than energy consumption - for one thing, amongst others, we are suposed to be displacing carbon fuel consumption.
More wind farms, more hydro plants (especially huge ones) and so forth all sound good. It is good for our BOP anyway.

Posted by Genius : 9/09/2005 06:48:00 PM