Hornsdale Wind Farm starting up at a time in South Australia when every MWh matters

With plenty of media (and particularly social media) coverage of initial generation at the Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia over the past week or so, I grabbed a short break in my schedule to power up NEM-Review and produce this quick trend in the output of Hornsdale compared with the aggregate output of all wind farms across South Australia:

Trended Hornsdale Wind Farm output

As we can see (when included on the same scale) it’s clearly early days for the Hornsdale plant, with output so far barely peaking above 10MW for particular half-hours.

When fully commissioned over several stages, peak output will be orders of magnitude higher than current output.  From memory 2 stages are confirmed proceeding already – but I think there might also be plans for more?  Perhaps one of our readers can provide further information in a comment below?

Back to current NEM machinations, however – in the chart above we can see how generation (from any source available) cannot come a moment too soon, however, for a region facing a very volatile period currently as a result of multiple factors – including planned transmission outages severely limiting imports from VIC, low wind, and (coincident, and related) high gas prices.  Coincident (but increasingly related) variables that are an illustration of the challenges we’ll face as the broader energy transition I spoke about here continues…

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

2 Comments on "Hornsdale Wind Farm starting up at a time in South Australia when every MWh matters"

  1. Well, since Stages 1 and 2 are a total of 64 turbines


    And the official project is 100 turbines


    I’d say we can look forward to another 36 turbine 3rd Stage, and more charts and serious commentary from WattClarity.

  2. Actually, I don’t think Hornsdale will help very much. The problem is not when Hornsdale can produce, all the other wind farms can produce then and there is plenty of electricty. The problem is that when Hornsdale is not producing all the other wind farms don’t produce either and there’s not enough electricity in SA.

    It’s the fundamental problem with intermittentancy that people have been carping on about for a long time. Putting more wind farms in SA won’t fix it.

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