Increasing pressure on Queensland dispatchable generation

AEMO has issued a number of Lack of Reserve notices this week for Queensland, indicating that the available, dispatchable capacity in Queensland was forecast to be below AEMO’s threshold for adequate system security. The purpose of these notices are to act as a signal to generators to make more capacity available (if possible) to respond to forecast high demand (and implied high prices).

The interesting point about this week’s notices are how early in the season they are being issued (possibly due to the overhaul season not being over during an early hot period) and how stress is being placed on the supply demand balance earlier than in previous years.

February 2018 saw a new record peak demand in Queensland occurring later in the evening than previous peaks, indicating the impact that roof top solar power is having in reshaping time of day usage (and providing a valuable contribution to the ‘behind the meter’ peak).

The influence of solar generation is also observed in the rate of change in demand for dispatchable generation, requiring units to respond more rapidly as the combination of the evening peak couples with the reduction in solar generation as the sun sets.

I have blogged in the past about the role of the aero-derivative gas turbine in supporting the large scale deployment of renewables in Queensland by providing a fast response, low carbon, flexible generation source that can work in concert with increased intermittent renewable generation.

Increasing pressure on the supply demand balance and the reshaping of the Queensland demand profile with the heavy influence of solar penetration strengthens the value proposition for further investment in fast start, flexible, dispatch able, low carbon generation such as aero-derivative gas turbines.

Arche Energy has substantial experience in the development, construction and operation of gas turbine based projects.