MODERN TECHNOLOGY CAN PROVIDE BETTER SYNCHRONOUS POWER
I wish to clarify some points Joel Fitzgibbon made in his recent column "Canberra Report | Kurri plant will replace Liddell's synchronous power in a timely way (The Advertiser, 9/6/21)".
Joel's statement that "'synchronous (power),' the reliable, grid-stabilising power only big, rotary generators like coal, gas and hydro generators can deliver" is severely out of date. Not only can wind, solar, and batteries provide synchronous power, but they can deliver synchronous power better than traditional rotary generators do.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has already trialled the use of wind farms to deliver synchronous generation. The AEMO reported that the Hornsdale Wind Farm 2 trial in 2018 showed "regulation performance ... is more precise than that of the synchronous generator providing regulation services". This trial was actually the first demonstration of a wind or solar farm providing frequency control in the National Energy Market (NEM) - basically, 'the grid' which powers South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, and Queensland.
As far as South Australia's 'Big Battery' goes, AEMO stated it is the first time synchronous power "has been provided in the NEM by any technology other than conventional synchronous generation, and AEMO has found that it is both rapid and precise."
The Hunter Power Plant could see more than $660 million of taxpayers' money on an obsolete solution when modern technology is more reliable, offers more flexibility for the future, and is cheaper.
The people of Kurri deserve better; everyone connected to the grid deserves better.
Ewan Regazzo, Ashtonfield
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