A colleague asked me about sources of free text books or publications on power distribution and generation, as one of his retired relatives was interested in staying up to date in the industry. After a bit of searching I found the following publications.

These are a good alternative to commercial journals or text book publishers to get a flavour.

Textbooks

Journals

Partial open access

Power companies in Australia tend to keep their information close to their chests. There are however a number of good places to obtain useful information. Here are links to spatial data, load data, and network data.

Spatial data

Ergon Energy (Queensland distribution network)

Energex (Queensland distribution network)

Coming soon, according to the Energy Minister's office

Geoscience Australia

Network data

Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

Zone substation load data

Distribution Network Service Providers are required to provide 10 years of load data to interested parties. Some charge for this, others require a form to be completed and others allow direct download.

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Queensland

South Australia

SA Power Networks direct download

Tasmania

Victoria

Now that 2016 has come to an end I thought that it would be interesting to look at trends and changes in the way electricity was generated around the National Electricity Market. There have been a few significant events in the past twelve months in the electricity sector.

If you have suggestions or requests for other visualisations please let me know (via the contact page). I have 5-min SCADA data for each generator, so there is no shortage of information available.

New South Wales

  • Mostly coal and interconnector imports from Queensland (black coal) and Victoria (brown coal).
  • New solar PV stations are a good thing, but their output is lost in the noise compared to coal and interconnector imports.

Queensland

  • Interconnector to NSW flows south most of the time.
  • Some renewables, but insignificant compared to the coal and gas.
  • Does not show the rooftop PV contribution to load---this is the nett generation required.

South Australia

  • Coal-fired generation ceased in May. Gas generation (thermal and gas turbine) is now the only synchronous generation in service.
  • Wind power is a significant part of the state's energy mix.
  • The interconnectors between SA and Victoria generally flow west, increasing the carbon intensity.

Tasmania

  • Significant gas generation needed early in the year while Basslink was out of service.
  • Basslink has generally flowed north, taking hydro power to the mainland. The interconnector does flow south at times of low hydro output, providing the backup that Tasmania needs (but from brown coal).
  • Hydro generators provide a great synchronous reference, so capacity for extra wind is high.

Victoria

  • Even with imports from Tasmania, Victoria is a net exporter (to SA and NSW). Brown coal is cheap, and will generally displace gas and black coal.
  • Wind and hydro are not insignificant, but are dominated by coal generation.

NEM daily generation

I have generated a new graph of the S.A. blackout and restoration, this time including interconnector flows too (suggestion from James Hazelton).

For the sake of clarity I've clipped negative (SA->V) to 10%. Timeframe is from 00:00 28/9 to 00:00 30/9. Dashed line is at 16:18. All times as AEST Generator Output