The effect of increasing the number of wind turbine generators on transmission line congestion in the Australian National Electricity Market from 2014 to 2025

Bell, William Paul, Wild, Phillip and Foster, John (2015). The effect of increasing the number of wind turbine generators on transmission line congestion in the Australian National Electricity Market from 2014 to 2025. EEMG Working Papers 2015-3, Energy Economics and Management Group, University of Queensland.

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Author Bell, William Paul
Wild, Phillip
Foster, John
Title The effect of increasing the number of wind turbine generators on transmission line congestion in the Australian National Electricity Market from 2014 to 2025
School, Department or Centre Energy Economics and Management Group
Institution University of Queensland
Series EEMG Working Papers
Report Number 2015-3
Publication date 2015-06-17
Publisher The University of Queensland School of Economics
Total pages 34
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This report investigates the effect of increasing the number of wind turbine generators on transmission line congestion in the Australian National Electricity Market's (NEM) existing transmission grid from 2014 to 2025. This reports answers urgent questions concerning the capability of the existing transmission grid to cope with significant increases in wind power. The report findings will help develop a coherent government policy to phase in renewable energy in a cost effective manner.

We use a sensitivity analysis to evaluate the effect of five different levels of wind penetration on transmission congestion. The five levels of wind penetration span Scenarios A to E where Scenario A represents 'no wind' and Scenario E includes all the existing and planned wind power sufficient to meet Australia's 20% 2020 41TWh Large Renewable Energy Target (LRET). We also use sensitivity analysis to evaluate the effect on transmission congestion of growth in electricity demand over the projections years 2014 to 2015 and weather over the years 2010 to 2012. The sensitivity analysis uses simulations from the Australian National Electricity Market (ANEM) model version 1.10 (Wild et al. 2015).

We find congestion on only 14 of the 68 transmission lines in the ANEM Model (Wild et al. 2015). Notably, these 14 congested transmission lines include six of the NEM's interstate interconnectors and eight of the intrastate transmission lines although only three of the intrastate transmission lines exhibited any significant degree of congestion. The increase in wind power penetration has an uneven effect on congestion. The two Queensland (QLD) to New South Wales (NSW) interconnectors QNI and DirectLink exhibit a complementary pattern. Wind power increases congestion on DirectLink but decreases congestion on QNI. BassLink, the interconnector that links Victoria (VIC) and Tasmania (TAS), and the Tarraleah-Waddamana line in TAS also exhibit a complementary pattern that reverses in the highest wind power penetrations scenario E. In contrast, the congestion on the interconnector Regional VIC-Tumut NSW shows volatility with increasing wind power penetration. Finally, the VIC to South Australia (SA) interconnector MurrayLink shows the greatest percentage increase in congestion with increase in wind power.

The high congestion in the interconnectors raises issues over the suitability of the current regulatory and institutional arrangement to accommodate increases in wind power. Namely, the transmission companies being contained within each state provides little focus or incentive for increasing the capacity of the interconnector to accommodate the increase in wind power penetration. Additionally, the complementary congestion pattern between DirectLink and QNI suggests that DirectLink requires augmenting and to a lesser extent QNI with increasing wind power penetration. The complementary congestion between BassLink and the Tarraleah-Waddamana line with a reverse in congestion in the highest wind power penetration level suggests relocatable energy storage may offer an alternative solution to transmission augmentation.

In further research we (Bell et al. 2015b, 2015c) investigate augmenting the NEM's transmission grid to address the congestion under increasing wind power penetration.
Keyword Australian National Electricity Market
Australia
Climate change adaptation
Climate change mitigation
Renewable energy
Wind power
Policy
Queensland
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes As part of the project: ARC Linkage Project (LP110200957, 2011-2014) - An investigation of the impacts of increased power supply to the national grid by wind generators on the Australian electricity industry:

Document type: Working Paper
Collection: School of Economics Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 23 Jun 2015, 18:21:12 EST by Mr Paul Bell on behalf of School of Economics