Aggregate wind production NEMwide ramps up (close to all-time maximum!) to round out an otherwise low-yield May 2024

Well, isn’t this a turn-up?

In various articles through April 2024 and May 2024 we’ve noted how those months have been quite disappointing in terms of aggregate yield from wind farms across the NEM … both seasonally low, but also lower than expected during ‘normal’ autumn periods.


Easily the highest wind yield for May 2024 (thus far!)

Yesterday morning we wrote a first pass of ‘(Easily* the) highest aggregate wind production, thus far in May 2024’.

But this burst of wind production over the past ~24 hours has a little bit further to run … such as shown in this snapshot from NEMwatch at 10:05 on Thursday 30th May 2024:


On this snapshot we see:

1)  A solid mass of green (i.e. wind) generation across the past 12 hours … it seems like ages since we have seen so much!

2)  Looking in more detail, we see that the peak (thus far) was as high as 7,761MW this morning

… the SCADA snapshot at ~07:40 for the start of the 07:45 dispatch interval

3)  That maximum point (at least at this point – see below)

(a)  Was only 371MW below the all-time maximum production (when the aggregate wind production peaked at 8,132MW at 19:20 on Friday evening 7th July 2023).

(b)  Is more than 2,500MW higher than any other wind yields in May 2024 apart from this current burst (the next-highest was back on 5th May 2024).

What a remarkable month!


But wait, there could be more…

Even more interesting, AEMO’s current forecasts for UIGF suggest that the underlying wind resource might have the capacity to drive the wind yield as high as 7,940MW in the half-hour ending 23:00 tonight.

We can see this in this snapshot from the ‘Forecast Convergence’ widget in our ez2view software at the 11:30 dispatch interval this morning:


Looking forwards 12 hours to the middle of the night this evening:

1)  We see that the AEMO’s forecasts for what the aggregate (i.e. energy-constrained) capability might be to produce power this evening have enormous range:

(a)  The highest forecast that’s been produced was the one published by AEMO for 11:00 this morning (i.e. the most recent one, at this point) says that it might be at 7,940MW (i.e. only 192MW lower than the all-time maximum); but also

(b)  The lowest forecasts for the same point tonight suggested only ~2,200MW of capability back on Friday 24th May

(c)  That’s an increase in forecast of ~5,500MW over ~6 days (i.e. actual yield 360% of the earlier forecasts)

(d)  You can see (by comparison) what the forecast was back on Monday morning 27th May when we wrote ‘There might be a sustained burst of wind generation to finish off the month of May 2024’.

(d)  A useful time to remember to sanity check the increasingly vocal (but perhaps simplistic?) statements by some that ‘VRE resource is very predictable’.:

i.  In this case the uprating of the forecast has been good news (i.e. more wind than expected) … perhaps except for some participants

ii.  But there are also similar cases where the forecasts have gone in the other direction.  There are other articles collated here that speak to this particular part of the challenge for the emerging requirements for firming capacity.

2)  Keep in mind that this UIGF speaks to the capacity of the underlying energy resource to produce power … but understand that it’s quite likely that there will be curtailment that means this actual wind harvest is less than the underlying capability.

… remember that Dan Lee has written two quite useful articles recently about curtailment of wind (and solar) following from the release of the GSD2023:

(a)  On 7th March 2024 Dan wrote ‘Keeping Up with the Curtailment: 3.7TWh of semi-scheduled economic and network curtailment estimated in 2023’; and then

(b)  On 2nd May 2024 Dan followed that with ‘Keeping Up with the Curtailment Part 2: The what and the where’.

(c)  And there are other useful articles about ‘Curtailment of VRE’ collated here.

We’ll see how high it actually gets, overnight …

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.

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