Australian Daily Electrical Power Generation Data – Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Posted on Wed 07/04/2018 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 3rd July 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 – 18670MW

Daily Peak Power Consumption – 28550MW

Daily Minimum Generated Power – 19500MW

Daily Maximum Generated Power – 29200MW

Average Total Power Generation – 24500MW

Total Power Generation In GWH – 588GWH

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 – 15200MW

Daily Peak Coal Fired – 19700MW

Average Coal Fired Generation – 18200MW

Total Generated Power – 436.8GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 74.28%

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 – 500MW

Daily Peak – 3250MW

Average Natural Gas Fired Generation – 1090MW

Total Generated Power – 26.16GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 4.46%

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 – 3900MW

Daily Peak – 6800MW

Average Renewable Generation – 5210MW

Total Generated Power – 125.04GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 21.26%

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 – 750MW

Daily Peak – 3800MW

Average Hydro Generation – 2120MW

Total Generated Power – 50.88GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 8.66%

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 – 2500MW

Daily Peak – 3500MW

Average Wind Generation – 2980MW

Total Generated Power – 71.52GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 12.16%

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 – 440MW

Average Solar Plant Generation for hours of generation – 260MW (7.30AM till 5.30PM)

Average Solar Plant Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 110MW

Total Generated Power – 2.64GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day– 0.44%

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 – 3200MW

Average For Hours of Generation – 2000MW (7.30AM till 5.30PM)

Average Rooftop Solar Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 830MW

Total Generated Power – 19.92GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day – 3.39%


  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, and then divide by 1000.
  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.
  6. Total Generated Power is expressed here as GWH (GigaWattHours) and a GWH is a MWH (MegaWattHour) multiplied by 1000

Comments For This Day

Another working day where the mix changes vary and yet the overall average stays almost the same.

The minimum power consumption (the 4AM Base Load) was 140MW higher than it was yesterday, and the peak power consumption at 5.30/6PM was 1100MW lower.

The average power generation from all sources was 24500MW per hour, and that was only 100MW lower than yesterday, and that’s only a change of only 0.4%.

The average for coal fired power was 200MW lower, at 18200MW.

The big change for the day was that wind power had a huge day, and the average from wind power was 2980MW, a truly monster day for wind, and that’s at a large Capacity factor on the day of 57%, so it really was a big day for wind power, a rise on the day of a substantial 1520MW.

Now, as I have noticed, (and actually first thought was an anomaly) they are using natural gas fired power and hydro power to ‘regulate’ the output needed on top of coal fired power, so when the wind is low, natural gas and hydro are high, and as was the case yesterday, when the wind was high, natural gas and hydro were both lower, almost by the same amount as wind was higher. The average for natural gas was 880MW lower, and the average for hydro was 560MW lower, a total of 1360MW of that rise in wind power.

And coal fired power hardly changed at all, just humming along all day, delivering what it always does deliver, huge amounts of constant and regular power. I also wonder at the irony here, when wind power has a huge day with a CF of 57%, when coal fired power, with four Units off line just hums along all day at a total CF of around 94% for those remaining Units.

So, is there a case where too much wind power can be a problem?

Well, yes, there is, and on this day that proved to be the point. I would have seen it later, but I was doing the data last thing before I went to bed last night, and noticed there was something going on in South Australia, just after Midnight, so technically, this should be in tomorrow’s Post, but as it was at Midnight, I can put it here in the Post for today.

Look closely at these two images below, and again, while the images are small to fit the page here, if you click on the image it will open on a new page and at a larger size so you can better see the detail.







The image at the left shows each individual wind plant, and as you can see from the ‘boxes’ under the image an individual colour represents a wind plant. Only those boxes for South Australia are ticked, and along the bottom, it shows each of the States with wind plants, and only the box for SA is ticked, South Australia.

As you can see, from the image some of those plants show a vertical line where the output dropped at just on Midnight. The coloured lines indicating that instantaneous drop are for 11 of those wind plants in that State.

The next image is the same as the first one, only this time with the subtotal of all wind plant output shown as that black line at the top there.

This shows an instantaneous fall of 400MW, down from the previous total of 1650MW.

Okay then, now look at the image on the right here, and this shows the natural gas fired plants in that same State, South Australia, and same thing, click on the image, new page, larger size.

Note here that at just prior to Midnight, the large plant at Pelican Point went off line, dropping the total output from gas from 400MW down to 200MW, and that 200MW is being supplied from four Units at the Torrens Plant.

A while back now, the State of South Australia had a major State wide blackout, and part of the washup from that was that they needed to have at least some of those gas plants on line at all times to provide a rotational reference for when other gas fired plants came on line, hence those four Units still operational.

I have mentioned earlier on in all my Posts on a number of subjects relating to power generation here in Australia that South Australia is the second smallest consumer of power in Australia, and only 6.5% of the power is consumed in this small State.

So, with all the wind power that was on line at Midnight, the total prior to that falling away, (1650MW) when added to what was coming from the gas plants, the State was generating around 2200MW+ in power.

This State also has two large interconnectors to the adjoining State, Victoria, and that is mostly so that when power generation is low, they can call on extra power from Victoria. Those interconnectors also have the ability to transfer power in the opposite direction as well, only at a significantly smaller amount.

So, what happened here was that the State had gone well past its peak power consumption at 6PM, and power was falling away in the usual large way. The State was probably only consuming around 1400MW at an absolute maximum at that time. The excess being generated was being transferred to Victoria via those two interconnectors.

At midnight, with the State consuming a considerably lesser amount of power, and all the interconnectors delivering at their maximum, they were generating too much power, and the only thing that they could do was to contact those 11 wind plants and tell them to reduce their power output, hence that instantaneous fall of 400MW from all the wind plants in that State. There was just nowhere for the power to go.

So, here we have the case where wind was having a really good day, and they had to restrict the output.

Sometimes, too much wind power can just be, well, too much!

Meanwhile those coal fired plants in the three large States which still have coal fired power just hummed along as normal, delivering what they always do, almost three quarters of all the power being consumed in the Country.

Coal fired power – essential.

Wind power – well, not so much!

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.