More wind, less emissions. It’s not a coincidence.
7 September 2012
It’s been an exceptional week, month and year for generating wind power across the southern states. In the last week we’ve seen some exceptional generation, particularly in South Australia when, on Wednesday the 5th of September, more than half of the state’s electricity came from wind. The lights stayed on and some power was even exported to Victoria!
A few years ago this scenario would not have been thought possible. Now, with more than 20% wind energy capacity installed two coal fired power stations, Playford B and Northern, are turned off (yes, completely off) and are only operated when the market manager asks them to be turned on.
Pacific Hydro’s wind farms have been working hard over the past year too. This is not unusual but over the past week and month we’ve seen some above average results. For example, our Victorian projects were pivotal in the almost doubling of normal wind energy generation on Wednesday September 5.
And our projects generated the equivalent energy needs of 163,658 homes in one week.
At the moment wind energy only makes up a very small percentage of total installed capacity in Victoria, but it is not inconceivable that as more wind projects come online, along with other renewable resources, that we could see a similar situation to the one playing out in South Australia. We could start to see parts of Hazelwood be shut down.
Wind energy is dispatched into the market first. So generating wind energy means than less generation is required from other sources which, in Victoria at least, is mainly brown coal. More wind equals less fossil fuel electricity is required which means less emissions. This is good for our environment and our health.