Australia’s Wind Issues- The Canary in a Coal Mine For Other Countries?


Will any learn from Australia’s experience. Want to make a bet?

Re-Posted from the Canada Free Press By Jack Dini —— Bio and ArchivesDecember 29, 2020

The newest and biggest wind project to date in Australia is to undergo major repairs after faults were found in its commissioning process. Wind turbines at the Coppers Gap wind farm in Australia had to be repaired or replaced before they were even put into service. (1)

The blades of one of the 123 turbines will have to be replaced entirely, while GE Catcon is also going  to replace ‘generators’- referring to the equipment in the nacelle at the top of the wind tower —in a further 50 turbines.  

The issues at Coppers Gap add to a terrible run of problems for some of Australia’s largest wind farms, including the delays to the commissioning of the 336MW Dundonnell wind farm, and the fall of a blade from one of its turbines that stopped all production for several days.



Other major wind farms are also taking much longer to be completed than originally expected. Coopers Gap has been running about one year behind its original schedule.  1

Further, the 420MW Macarthur wind farm delivered a relatively low capacity factor of just 26 percent last year. 

This kind of story is common in many wind farms, and is further proof that they are nothing but horrendously expensive virtue signaling white elephants, reports Andy Rowlands. 

Solar Panels on Households

In Australia, as many as a quarter of solar panels pose a high or severe ‘electrical safety’ risk. Since there are two million households with solar panels, that’s half a million homes sitting under a live problem.  2

A national audit revealed that between 21 and 26 percent of small-scale rooftop solar installations inspected every year since 2011 had been found to have faulty wiring and unsecured panels. Some posed a ‘severe risk’ where wiring was exposed. This required units to be shut down immediately and remediated. A total of 35 licensed installation contractors have been warned they face the possibility of suspension.  

Australian massive daily spikes and collapses in wind and solar power output

Then there are hailstorms. As Joanne Nova reports, here’s a problem coal fired plants don’t need to worry about. “Sydney’s recent ‘catastrophic’ hailstorm resulted in a damage bill said to top $125 million. How much of that damage is to rooftop Solar PV? The last massive hail storm in Sydney was in 1999- but there were hardy any solar panels then.”  3

Before anyone blames climate change, stories about hail the size of eggs have fallen in Sydney in 1929 and other places in 1934. Perhaps building 2 million solar panels on a continent with hail the size of tea cups was not such a good idea. 

Investment Disappearing

Australian massive daily spikes and collapses in wind and solar power output have resulted in new rules about grid access for intermittent wind and solar and, much to the horror of the wind and solar industries, government is actually enforcing them. 4

Dozens of proposed wind farms and large-scale solar projects have been shelved, simply because they can’t be guaranteed of ever being able to deliver a single watt into the grid.

To their credit, it appears that investors are none too keen to hand over their cash to build projects which will never earn a dollar.

 Summary

What about the canary in the coal mine? This is destined to hit California in spades as the insane legislature has made solar panels required for all new construction starting in 2020. Other states probably have similar plans. Will any learn from Australia’s experience. Want to make a bet?

References

  1. Andy Rowlands, “Major problems with Australian wind turbines,” principia-scientific.com, November 18, 2020
  2. Joanne Nova, “Deadly: a quarter of all solar panels pose high or severe risk,” joannenova.com.au,December 20, 2018
  3. Joanne Nova, “Sydney hail storm: just how hail proof are those solar panels?”, joannenov.com.au, December 22, 2020
  4. “Totally choked: Australian wind power investment suffers massive collapse,” stopthesethings.com, August 30, 2020

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