Australian Daily Electrical Power Generation Data – Tuesday 5th June 2018

Posted on Wed 06/06/2018 by


By Anton Lang ~

This Post details the daily power consumption data for the AEMO coverage area in Australia. For the background information, refer to the Introductory Post at this link.

Each image is shown here at a smaller size to fit on the page alongside the data for that day. If you click on each image, it will open on a new page and at a larger size so you can better see the detail.

Note also the scale change for some of the images. That scale (the total power shown on the left hand axis) has been changed to show the graph at a larger size.

Tuesday 5th June 2018

Total Power Generation All Sources

Here, the black line is the total power generation from every source. This is also the same as for total power consumption, which is slightly lower after minor grid losses are taken into account.

The Blue line is all fossil fuelled power generation. The orange line is hydro power generation. The purple line is wind power generation, and the red line is for solar power generation.

Both of those (exact) figures for total power consumption for the daily minimum and the daily Peak are taken directly from the AEMO site, adding up the totals for each of the five States in this coverage area.

Note the slight difference between Total Consumed Power and Total Generated Power. That indicates some of the losses in the grid system.

Daily Minimum Power Consumption – 18590MW

Daily Peak Power Consumption – 28630MW

Daily Minimum Generated Power – 19100MW

Daily Maximum Generated Power – 29200MW

Average Total Power Generation – 23600MW

Total Power Generation In GWH – 566.4GWH

All Fossil Fuels Total – Coal Fired and Natural Gas Fired Power Generation

Here, the upper black line is the total from all fossil fuels, and this is the same as the blue line in the image directly above.

The black line just under that top black line is the Sub Total just for coal fired power. Note here how closely that coal fired line follows the shape of the upper Load Curve, and this indicates that coal fired power can be ramped up and down to follow actual power consumption.

Daily Minimum Coal Fired – 15800MW

Daily Peak Coal Fired – 16500MW

Average Coal Fired Generation – 16500MW

Total Generated Power – 396GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 69.92%

Natural Gas Fired Power Generation

This image for Natural Gas Fired Power Generation shows the gap between the total for all Fossil Fuelled Sources of power generation and Coal Fired Power Generation in the image directly above.

Note here how closely the shape follows the total power generation Load Curve in the top image, indicating how these natural gas fired plants are used to smooth out the load curve to match actual power consumption.

Note also that while coal fired power provides the bulk of the power, these natural gas fired plants are used to add more power to the system during those time periods during the day when consumption rises for the morning peak, and the main evening Peak

Daily Minimum – 1250MW

Daily Peak – 5850MW

Average Natural Gas Fired Generation – 2920MW

Total Generated Power – 70.08GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 12.37%

All Renewable Power Generation Versus Total Power Generation

This Image shows just the gap between total power generation from every source and the total power from renewable sources only. It is the same image as the first image at the top here, only with the fossil fuelled total (the blue line) removed from the graph, As in that top image, it shows Hydro Power, (orange line) wind power, (purple line) and solar power. (red line) What I have then done is added the black line just above those coloured lines and this indicates the Sub Total of power from those three renewable sources only. This is to highlight the gap between the total power generation and the total from renewable sources alone.

All Renewable Power Generation (Does not include rooftop solar generation)

This image is the same as for the one directly above for all renewable power, only with the total from all sources removed from the graph. As the scale of the left hand vertical axis has now changed, you can better see the detail of all renewable power. Again, the orange line is for hydro, the purple line is for wind, and the red line is for solar, and the black line is the Sub total for all renewable power. The other colour just showing indicates smaller plants, mostly using biofuels as their fuel source, tiny plants adding up to a very small total and for a short time duration.

Daily Minimum – 2150MW

Daily Peak – 6800MW

Average Renewable Generation – 4180MW

Total Generated Power – 100.32GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 17.71%

Hydro Power Generation

This image shows all Hydro power generation. It is the same as the orange line in the top image for power generation from all sources.

Again, note here that the shape of this load curve follows the shape of the main load curve for all power generation, in that it has similar peaks in the morning and for the man evening Peak. The coloured lines at the bottom of this graph indicate the power generation from each of the hydro plants in this coverage area.

Daily Minimum – 1300MW

Daily Peak – 5700MW

Average Hydro Generation – 3180MW

Total Generated Power – 76.32GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 13.47%

Wind Power Generation

This image shows the total power generated by every wind plant in this vast coverage area. It is the same as for the purple coloured line in the image at the top showing generation from all sources.

The total Nameplate for all these wind plants is just under 5225MW.

Note that the shape of this load curve does not follow the shape of the main load curve for total power generation. Wind power generates its power only when the wind is blowing, hence it does not follow actual power consumption levels.

Daily Minimum – 350MW

Daily Peak – 1920MW

Average Wind Generation – 910MW

Total Generated Power – 21.84GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 3.86%

Solar Power Plant Generation

This image shows the total power generated from all the solar power plants in this coverage area. This is the same as for the red coloured line you can just see in that top image.

The total Nameplate for all these 16 solar plants is just lower than 1000MW.

Daily Minimum – Zero

Daily Peak – 420MW

Average Solar Plant Generation for hours of generation – 220MW (7.30AM till 5.30PM) (Cloudy conditions at some plants from 2PM till 4PM)

Average Solar Plant Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 90MW

Total Generated Power – 2.16GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day– 0.38%

Rooftop Solar Power Generation

As this source of power generation is classed as ‘behind the meter’, it is not included in the total power generation. Note here that the State of Queensland (QLD on the legend under the graph) is broken down into four separate areas as this is the largest State with the largest number of installations.

While the total Nameplate changes often, the latest information is that the total is now 7800MW, and that is a large total. However, that total equates to 1.8 Million homes with panels on their roof. That equates to an average sized installation of 4.3KW. Most of the power is consumed by the homes with the panels, and what is fed back to the grid, while seemingly still high is spread across that huge number of installations across the whole of this coverage area.

Daily Minimum – Zero

Daily Peak – 3650MW

Average For Hours of Generation – 2340MW (7AM till 5.30PM)

Average Rooftop Solar Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 1020MW

Total Generated Power – 24.48GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day – 4.32%


  1. Finding Averages – On each graph there are 9 time points. Add the total at each time point together, and divide by 9. For coal fired power, I do this on a State by State basis (for the 3 States with coal fired power) and then add the total for each State together.
  2. For both solar power averages, I have used the average for a (half) Sine Wave which is 0.637 of the Peak value.
  3. For total power in GWH, multiply the average daily power by 24.
  4. The total percentages for coal fired power, natural gas fired power and all renewables adds up to 100%.
  5. The total percentages for Hydro, Wind, and Solar adds up to the total percentage for all Renewables.

Comments For This Day

Actual power consumption for this day was almost the same as for yesterday, both the minimum (the 4AM Base Load) and at the Peak time at 5.30/6PM. Because of that, power generation from all sources combined was also around the same as for the day before.

However, here, look closely at the second image from the top, showing total power consumption from all fossil fuels, the top black line and the one under that, the generation from just coal fired sources. Note that in the afternoon, after Midday, the total generation from coal fired power dropped off, and at the Peak time, coal fired power was only delivering 16500MW, and in fact, that was the average from coal fired power for the day, and that was 800MW lower than for the day before, and there was a specific reason for that which I will explain a little further down.

Because coal fired power was down, it was up in all other sectors of power generation, except for solar power which was 20MW lower, considering solar power is only contributing less than half a percent of what is required, so a fall of 20MW is virtually nothing.

The average for natural gas fired power was up by 160MW, and at the Peak, it was 450MW higher. (when coal fired power was 1800MW lower)

The average for hydro power generation was 110MW higher, and at the Peak it was 400MW higher.

Luckily, the average for wind power was somewhat higher, in fact 550MW higher, and while that sounds a lot, keep in mind it was coming from an extraordinarily low base of the two previous days. That average for wind power of 910MW is still only at a Capacity factor of 17.4%, still considerably lower than the year round average of 30%

So, now to the reason that coal fired power was so low for the day.

What happened yesterday is something I have not seen before. I have been looking at the data and graphs for all power generation for a long time now, many years, and in depth for the last year especially with regard to my Base Load Series, and in all that time, I have not seen anything like this.

Now, here, keep in mind the failure in South Australia in September 2016, and how the loss of just some of their wind plants led to a widespread outage. (shown at this image link) This is in a Small State with a reliance on wind power, and front of mind, is only 5.5% to 6% of Australia’s total power consumption, so that’s what I mean here where I say ‘small’ State, and that South Australia is at the far end of this grid, with only Victoria to call upon via the Interconnector.

Okay, some background first. In New South Wales, (NSW) there are currently 3 coal fired Units off line, Bayswater 1, and Liddell 1 and 3, and that has removed 1500MW from the grid. In Queensland, (Qld) there are 3 Units off line, Gladstone 3 and 4 and Tarong North, and that takes 960MW from the grid. So, there’s 2500MW already down. Victoria (Vic) had Yallourn 1 down for a while, but in the last couple of days, it’s come back up, so all ten Units in Victoria are now back on line.

Okay then, look at the image here at right, and again, click on the image and it will open on a new page and at a larger size so you can better see the detail

This shows what happened yesterday, Tuesday 5th June 2018.

First, look across to the right and you’ll see that yellow line coming back on line. That’s Eraring Unit One slowly coming back up after a long period off line for upgrade and maintenance.

So, from the top of the image there.

The darker blue line shows Kogan Creek in Queensland, a 744MW single Unit, and that went down, suddenly just after Midday.

Below that, the lighter blue line is Mount Piper Unit One and that went down at around the same time, after an earlier wavering, a slower fall spread over three hours.

Under that is Bayswater Unit Four. That’s only been operating at that level of 400MW for a while now, since it came back up after its Upgrade and maintenance. That’s a slight problem they have been working on would be my guess. They then tried to raise it in the usual staged way they do, but it looks like that was a problem, so they slowly brought it back to zero as well, to further work on it, slowly reducing to zero over six hours.

So, here we have a loss of a further (almost) 2000MW. Some of that will come back relatively quickly as Eraring One spins back up, but we now have 4500MW removed from the grid in total from these two States with large power consumption.

The point here is that this has happened across a coverage area where there is 90% of grid total power assets, and power consumption at that same 90% level. (Three big States, NSW, Qld, and Vic) They have access to many more Natural gas fired plants and the larger concentration of Hydro, and NSW has access to both Victoria and Qld as well, via those Intercconnectors between the States.

Those other sources covered for these drops,and the coal fired Units on line at the time ramped up a little each to help cover this loss of power, keeping in mind also, that at the late hour the Bayswater plant (the red line) went off line, power consumption is falling anyway.

Now, keep in mind here that this 4500MW of power now off line in these two large States is around three times the total power requirements for the whole State of South Australia.

It’s easy to ‘cover’ when you have such a large and diversified grid over this vast area. A loss of 300MW to 400MW leads to a catastrophe in South Australia, while this loss of 4500MW in the three big States is something no one even noticed, let alone reported on.

As I said, I’ve never seen something like this before, three large Units going off line in this short a time frame, and it proves to me that we need large scale power plants, and of most importance, we need new large scale coal fired plants to replace aging ones.

This is the wake up call that will just slide right past without anyone even noticing.

Incidentally, at the same time these Units all went down, wind and solar power combined were generating 600MW, which at that time was 2.6% of total power consumption.

It emphasises just how well the grid really does work, and just how essential coal fired power really is.

Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.