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[fc: 2nd June 2011] This replaces the "What's New" page, with a more coherent timeline describing OzEA project development.

What's new

Most recent major development is The Third Story - Renewable Base Supply.

To keep up with what's very new, please:
a. Check the Recent Comments;
b. Keep an eye on the Focus Page;
c. Sign up (above) for the what's new email / newsletter;
d. If you are familiar with the site, please visit the Tea Room.

Timeline and notes

May 2010, Kick off:
The OzEA project kicked off in May 2010 with the website and The First Story. We developed the commenting system, an interactive map showing generators and a data viewer. We established round one of various base data, and sought to understand what in the literature might be of value to us.

Three points aid understanding. i) The idea of rounds recognises that most sub-tasks are usefully completed to a certain level before moving on to the next task. Later, data may be updated or an analysis refined as part of a new round through that area of workflow. ii) OzEA has a strong commitment to looking at data critically before using it to arrive at any particular claims or conclusions -- a lot of effort is put into characterising base data. iii) Finally, initial work focused on SA and on wind power, however, the project overall includes solar and the entire NEM (National Electricity Market).

June 2010, Early analysis of wind power generation dynamics (in SA context):
Initial analyses were very simplified exercises in looking at the data and establishing some basic understanding of dynamics. After an initial look at the seasonal scale deficits and excesses of (some) wind farms, based around 100% (average) power from wind, went on to analyse the penetration achieved (and the power 'spilt') at increasing levels of wind power.

July 2010, first modelling efforts (a demonstration of skills):
The above analyses examined only the wind power, taking no particular account of how supply would meet demand at every time point. Here we built a simplified model of supply meeting demand, incorporating wind, storage and gas. The gas supply simply did what was required of it, with the focus being on the storage dynamics. Again, this was an exercise (and a demonstration of skills) more than an analysis of reality.

August 2010, Selection of wind speed data sites for the 'The Broome to Cooktown Challenge':
The wind farm output data is limited; what we need is the ability to use wind speed data (as measured by BoM at many sites) to estimate the output, and in-particular the variability in output, of virtual wind farms. This work has various aspects, and at this point we focus on selecting BoM measurement sites. An overview of goals is given in the story of The Broome to Cooktown Challenge, and the selection process itself took place on the Wind Speed and Direction Data page.

September-October 2010, backgrounding discussions, including on how the NEM works:
In addition to data and analysis, it has been important to develop understanding into How the NEM works, and also other areas such as electricity storage, and Demand Management.

With some understanding of these aspects, and after an initial look at some of the issues with wind power, it was possible to present: The Second Story - Understanding the Problem.

November 2010, Establishment of a Wind Power Curve Method:
Developing machinery for simulating wind farms was built around comparison of actual wind farm output with wind speed data from proximal BoM stations, with the resultant methodology described as a Wind Power Curve (page previously known as "Reconcile Wind Farm output with BoM wind data"). There remains further work to do here; however, after substantial energies expended we concluded the round and moved on. As a test-bed, this machinery was first applied to the simulation of wind farms on the Eyre Peninsula, which was of particular interest to various parties at the time.

December 2010, Spatial smoothing on a continental scale; Simulated Wind Farms from Broome to Cooktown:
Pulling together the wind data and the Wind Power Curve Method allows us to construct Simulated Wind Farms from Broome to Cooktown. Around this time we also started taking more of an interest in the monetary aspects of the NEM: Electricity Market Analysis: Price, Demand and Value.

January-February 2011, Work on solar data, CST power curve, and Simulated CST Farms:
With simulated wind farms in place, we now brought together the equivalent components for solar (albeit hamstrung by the limited solar data): Solar Irradiance Data, the Solar Power Curve, and Simulated Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) Farms.

March-April 2011, Developing a first 50% renewable electricity scenario:
With simulated wind and solar farms in place, we started looking at how to select and combine these into a 50% renewable electricity scenario -- work that continues. Key aspects include the development of machinery for annealing the site selections to provide demand remainders with desirable attributes, a heuristic for managing CST thermal storage and release, and a heuristic for managing pumped hydro storage and release.

May 2011, The Third Story - Renewable Base Supply:
Finalised The Third Story - Renewable Base Supply.

fc - June 2011