Australian Daily Electrical Power Generation Data – Friday 17th May 2019

Posted on Sat 05/18/2019 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 all of the images, and that even though they look similar in size of generation, that scale (the total power shown on the left hand vertical axis) has been changed to show the graph at a larger size to better fit the image for that graph.

Friday 17th May 2019

Total Power Generation All Sources

Here, the total power generation from every power plant source is the top of the load curve, with each colour indicating a source of power generation. This is also similar to the total power consumption, which is slightly lower after minor grid losses are taken into account.

The dark grey colour is for the black coal fired power generation. The yellowish colour is for the brown coal fired power generation. The purple colour is for natural gas fired power generation. The blue colour is for Hydro (water) power generation. The green colour is for wind power generation. The red colour in the dip between the two peaks is for solar power plant generation. The other colours mixed in with the rest of them are from those smaller Other sources. Rooftop solar power is not included on this graph, as this shows just the power generation from all power plants only.

In the data below, 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. Also, 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 – 18100MW (3.45AM)

Daily Peak Power Consumption – 25620MW (6.05PM)

Daily Minimum Generated Power – 18400MW (3.45AM)

Daily Maximum Generated Power – 25900MW (6.05PM)

Average Total Power Generation – 22700MW

Total Power Generation In GWH – 544.8GWH

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 for all three colours, the grey, dark yellow and purple colours combined in the image directly above.

The black line just under that top black line is the Sub Total just for coal fired power, and that is the same as the combined colours of the grey and ark yellow on the image above. 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 – 14680MW

Daily Peak Coal Fired – 18040MW

Average Coal Fired Generation – 16420MW

Total Generated Power – 394.08GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 72.33%

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 -1500 MW

Daily Peak – 5190MW

Average Natural Gas Fired Generation – 2450MW

Total Generated Power – 58.8GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 10.79%

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 the three renewable sources only. It is the same image as the first image at the top here, only with the fossil fuelled total (the grey, yellow and purple colours) and those smaller Other sources removed from the graph, As in that top image, it shows Hydro Power, (blue colour) wind power, (green colour) and solar power. (red colour)  This image is used here to highlight the gap between the total power generation (that black line, which also includes RTS as well) 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 blue colour is for hydro, the green colour is for wind, and the red colour is for solar. The other colours you can just make out 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. For this data, I have added the times for the daily minimum, and the daily maximum, to show how they do not correlate with the actual times of minimum power consumption (4AM) and maximum power consumption. (around 6/6.30PM)

Daily Minimum – 2100MW

Daily Peak – 5000MW

Average Renewable Generation – 3270MW

Total Generated Power – 78.48GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 14.41%

Generation From Other Sources

This image shows the power being generated from the smaller sources other than the major sources of power generation. These include Natural Gas/Diesel, Natural gas/Fuel Oil, Coal Seam Methane, Diesel, Kerosene, Waste Coal Mine Gas and Bagasse. All of these are fossil Fuels, excepting Bagasse which is sugar cane waste mostly used to provide main and auxilliary power at sugar mills.

Note the scale change here, as these are smaller producers of power, and the scale is changed so they can be more easily shown on the graph.

For the data here, I have just added the average generation across the day, the total generated power from all these sources, and the percentage of the total.

Average Generation – 560MW

Total Generated Power – 13.44GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 2.47%

Hydro Power Generation

This image shows all Hydro power generation. It is the same as the blue colour 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 main 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 – 590MW

Daily Peak – 3440MW

Average Hydro Generation – 1910MW

Total Generated Power – 45.84GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 8.42%

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 green coloured line in the image at the top showing generation from all sources.

The total Nameplate for all these wind plants is 6106MW.

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.

For this data, I have added the times for the daily minimum, and the daily maximum, to show how they do not correlate with the actual times of minimum power consumption (4AM) and maximum power consumption. (around 6/6.30PM in Winter and earlier during the Summer Months.)

Daily Minimum – 250MW (6.20PM)

Daily Peak – 1870MW (12.40AM)

Average Wind Generation – 1040MW

Total Generated Power – 24.96GWH

Average Percentage Of Total – 4.58%

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 area you can just see in that top image.

The total Nameplate for all these 35 solar plants is 2549MW.

Daily Minimum – Zero

Daily Peak – 1210MW

Average Solar Plant Generation for hours of generation – 700MW (7.00AM till 6.00PM)

Average Solar Plant Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 320MW

Total Generated Power – 7.68GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day – 1.41%

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 8000MW and higher, and that is a large total. However, that total equates to almost 2 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 is only consumed in the local residential areas. While seemingly still high this total is spread across that huge number of installations across the whole of this coverage area.

Daily Minimum – Zero

Daily Peak – 3240MW

Average For Hours of Generation – 1650MW (6.30AM till 6.00PM)

Average Rooftop Solar Generation across the whole 24 hour day – 790MW

Total Generated Power – 18.96GWH

Average Percentage Of Total across the whole 24 hour day – 3.48%

Wind And Solar Power Generation Versus Total Power Generation

This image shows the total power generated from all the wind plants, and all the solar power plants in this coverage area, combined in the one image, and compares it to the overall total generated power, the black line at the top of the graph, which also includes RTS as well. Wind power is the green coloured area, and solar plant power is the red coloured area, and these are the same as shown in those other coloured images at the top of the Post.

I have also added the data below for the total generated power for both wind and solar plant power combined, and the percentage of the overall total below for the maximum power from both sources with respect to the overall total, both at the maximum for both, and then for the total for both at the daily peak Power time.

Daily Peak for Wind and Solar Plant Power – 1900MW

Average Across the whole day – 1360MW

Total Generated Power – 32.64GWH

Average Percentage of Total across the whole 24 hour day – 5.99%

Total Generated power at the daily maximum for both wind and solar plant power, the time of that maximum, and percentage of the total at that daily maximum –  1900MW – 12.50AM – 9.09%

Total Generated power for wind and solar plant power at Peak Power Consumption time for the day, and percentage of total at that daily Peak Power time – 600MW – 6.05PM – 2.32%

Overall Total With Rooftop Solar Power Added

This image shows the overall total generated power with Rooftop Solar Power (RTS) added to the total from all of the power plants. RTS is shown here as that orange colour added near the top of the graph in the middle, during daylight hours, and is indicated on the legend below the graph as Rooftop PV (PhotoVoltaics). The new overall total is that black line along the top of the Load Curve. Note here that with this RTS total added, the shape of the full load curve, the black line now looks almost exactly as Summer load curves used to look prior to the advent of RTS, and all those panels on roofs of private dwellings.


  1. Finding Averages – On each (non solar) graph, there are 25 hourly time points, starting with midnight and finishing with midnight. I have added the total at each time point together, and divided by 25.
  2. For both solar power averages, I have used the same addition of hourly time points and then divided by the same number of those time points of actual generation. Every so often, as the days get longer (or shorter after Summer) I change the hours of generation as those hours change.
  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, all renewables, and those other smaller sources add 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

Again, this day gave similar power consumption to what it has been every day so far for this working week, and power generation data as also been similar as well, with respect to the overall total power, and on this day, that total power generation was 544.8GWH, and that was at an hourly average of 22700MW, only 150MW lower than for the day before.

The early AM Base Load was the same as it was the day before, at 18400MW. The evening peak was 800MW lower at 25900MW, and on this evening, that was at 6.05PM, hovering around that mark for half an hour. In the five States, the peak in New South Wales (NSW) was 350MW lower. In Queensland, it was 200MW lower, and it was that same 200MW lower in Victoria. In the two States with the lowest power consumption, the peak in South Australia was 140MW lower and in Tasmania, it was 20MW higher.

The average for coal fired power was lower on the day, and there was a reason for that which I will explain in more detail a little further down. That average for coal fired power was at 16420MW, lower by 330MW. The range between the low for the day and the high was 3360MW, and coal fired power generated a maximum of 18040MW on the day. No units went off line or came back on line, so there are still seven of those Units off line, four in NSW, two in Queensland, and one in Victoria.

The average for natural gas fired power was higher on this day, up to 2450MW, and power generation from this source has been rising, as it usually does with Winter getting closer now. That average was higher by 150MW. The average for those smaller Other sources higher by 20MW. The average for hydro was higher by 40MW and the average for solar plant power was lower by 30MW.

The average for wind power was (in a rare occurrence) the same as it was for the day before at an hourly average of 1040MW, giving wind power a daily operational Capacity Factor (CF) of 17.03%, the fourth day in a row wind power has had a poor result. I mentioned in yesterday’s Post how that in the State of Victoria, every one of those wind plants was at zero output for seven hours, and today, the same happened at around the same time,1PM till 7PM, with zero output from them for those six hours, and just like the day before, actually drawing power from the grid. Because that State was so low, and South Australia not much better, the low point for wind power on this day was 250MW and at that time 4.15PM, that gave wind a CF of only 4.1%, and meant that from 6106MW of Nameplate only generating 250MW, then wind power was delivering just 1.1% of all the power required at that time. Adding together wind power and solar power, that low point for both of them, at 5.25PM, just before the evening peak, then wind power and solar power added together were only delivering 2% of all the required power. It’s just not good enough, if we are to spend further Billions of dollars on these two renewables of choice, and there will still be times like this.

On a day when the overall was slightly lower, and coal fired power lower as well, coal fired power still delivered 72.33% of all the required power across the whole day.

I mentioned above that there was a problem with coal fired power on this day, well, one plant actually, the large Eraring plant in NSW. It lost more than half of its power, not just from one Unit, but from all four of them, and when you have a plant generating so much power, any loss on this sort of scale can be problematic. However, what happened when this did play out is worth showing to you, and for that purpose, I have three graphs to show you just that, and as with all images of those graphs in these Posts, they are small here to fit the page, but if you click on each image, it will open in a new window, and at a larger size so you can see the detail better, as I explain what happened.

The image at the left shows the output from all four Units at the Eraring plant. This plant has four Units, each of 720MW, so, normally, this one plant is delivering a huge amount of power, usually around 2700MW to 2800MW plus in total on most days at the peak time. As you can see from the time indicator I have placed here at 3.40PM (1540) it is only delivering a total of 1794MW. (shown near the left axis there part way up, in dark grey) It seems the problem started a little earlier in the day when all four Units lowered their output that first time shown there at around 9AM. That’s not really unusual, as this plant regularly ramps up and down across the day, as indicated where you can see that first drop at the left, happening from Midnight to the usual low point for the day of the minimum Base Load, around 4AM, and then ramping up for the normal morning peak, and where it has fallen there at 9AM is after the morning peak when it usually falls back to around that level, ramping up again later in the day for the evening peak. On this day, instead of ramping back up, it fell away from that total of 1794MW to a total of only 830MW, and that is shown on that second graph, all of that happening in an hour and 15 minutes. (shown by the time indicator on that graph as 1655, or 4.55PM) So, all up, this one plant lost 963MW over that time, when it should have been ramping back up to its normal level for that time.

Okay, so now, that third graph comes into play. Aware of the problem, and having been informed by the plant operators at Eraring that there is a problem, the grid needs the extra power normally being delivered from this coal fired plant. So, needing this extra power, and needing it quickly, the call goes to the operators of the Tumut 3 pumped hydro plant on the Tumut River in the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme, one power plant which can ‘spin up’ quickly. The water is released from Talbingo Dam above the plant and flows down the pipes for four of its six Units, across the Francis Turbines, which in turn, drive the generators, and that power kicks in almost immediately, and as you can see from the graph, all of that happened in 15 minutes. See the time indicator there at 1645, or 4.45PM, and the total power shown at the left there, 1138MW. This now replaces all of that lost power from Eraring, so that for the evening peak, that power is there.

Most probably around the same time, extra natural gas fired generators are also asked to contribute to help out as well, and they scroll up as well, only not as fast as this hydro plant. As you can see the output from Tumut 3 then steps back down, one unit at a time over the next three hours. That extra from the fourth Unit (the upper level mark) is only needed for as long as it takes the other plants to kick in with their power, just for half an hour or so.

It’s an amazing thing to see just how something like this which on the surface might seem problematic, and it is made to look like it is handled so easily, and in fact, no one other than a very few people even know it has happened at all, it all occurs so seamlessly.

This is how the grid is managed on a daily basis, and as you can see here, on a minute by minute basis.

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.