More bad luck: Snowy Hydro can’t run much because it has *too much water*
Here in Weather-Dependent Renewable World the chief crash test dummy is struggling for yet another bit of terrible luck. We desperately need the only reliable renewable energy we have to generate — while reliable but-badly-maintained-coal is breaking and our national grid sits on the edge of blackouts. But Lordy No! Oh the schadenfreude — the dams are all full. Seems we have too much water thanks to the La Nina we didn’t predict, and the excess rainfall that wasn’t supposed to happen, and the Dams that weren’t supposed to fill. Now if Snowy Hydro releases too much water to make electricity they may flood lower areas.
Ponder the impossible quandry of the Green religion. Like the Escher puzzle of Energy — It’s always the weathers fault. If only we could use enough renewables to get perfect weather we could solve this! Perfect weather is just a hundred trillion solar panels away…
As Australia’s power crisis began to ramp up early this month, Snowy Hydro was called on to increase production.
But the hydro-electric generator remains significantly constrained by a surprising problem — too much water.
Oh woe is the journalist trying hard not to get the message about relying on weather dependent generation:
It’s only one example of how weather extremes have deepened the nation’s man-made power crisis.
Snowy Hydro’s biggest power station is Tumut 3. At maximum output, it can generate 1,800 megawatts of electricity.
The huge volumes of water used by Tumut 3 are either pumped back up the hill to an upper reservoir or emptied into Blowering Dam.
“Generation from Tumut 3 Power Station is significantly constrained by the current storage levels in Blowering Reservoir and the release capacity of the Tumut River. “In order to meet the predicted energy demands in the coming days, it is possible Blowering Reservoir will fill and spill, potentially exceeding the Tumut River channel capacity. “In this scenario, there is potential for the inundation of low-level causeways and water breaking out of the river channel onto agricultural land adjacent to the river.”
You can’t make this stuff up. Hydroelectric dam’s serve two purposes and sometimes they conflict. Would you like blackouts or floods?
If we are lucky, we might avoid both, but we won’t avoid the bonfire of electricity bills that are coming.
h/t David B in Cooyal
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June 21, 2022 at 04:32AM