Wonthaggi seawater desalination plant using diesel generators

I saw this at Andrew Bolt. Last year the Vic Govt ordered 50GL water from Wonthaggi when there was no need for the water as dams look OK(despite the mad wasting of water on environmental flows). The sequence of news is –
Damaged power cable shuts down start up of desalination plant 30 Dec 2016
Desalination plant faces ‘substantial consequences’ over looming water deadline 11 Jan 2017
and now – Desal plant operator ships in diesel generators in desperate bid to deliver first water order 22 Feb 2017 You just could not make this up.

10 thoughts on “Wonthaggi seawater desalination plant using diesel generators”

  1. A bit like the case of Germany where the government first intervened in the electricity market to cut CO2 emissions by installing solar and wind power, and then intervened to phase out nuclear plants after the Fukushima nuclear “catastrophe” (death toll zero), only to find that they had not enough electricity so that they had to urgently build new black and brown coal power plants, which made CO2 emissions go back up again.

    The lesson is hardly new, but never seems to actually get learnt:

    “His critique merely demonstrates that interventions cannot achieve the objectives which their authors and promoters want to achieve, and that they must have consequences which even their authors and sponsors did not want and which run counter to their own intentions. This is what the apologists of interventionism must answer. But they are without an answer…
    there are only two alternatives: either to abstain from all intervention, or, if this is not the intention, to add ever new interventions in order to eliminate the discrepancy between supply and demand which the public policy has created…”

    Ludwig von Mises (1929) here: mises.org/system/tdf/Critique%20of%20Interventionism%2C%20A_3.pdf?file=1&type=document

  2. According to wikipedia, the plant requires 90MW to operate. There is a windfarm, and I assume the diesel generators are for back up. Most off the grid windfarms have them. I guess connecting to the grid might destabilize the grid (post Hazlewood?).

    Although, desal plants would appear ideal candidates to use renewable energy as their output isn’t time critical. Whether they produce water on any hour or day is neither here nor there.

    Why not just shut them down when the wind doesn’t blow? A desal plant isn’t much more than some pumps.

  3. Sure is way out there beyond weird.
    I can not find that the ABC has reported latest re diesels.
    I suppose their spin-masters can not find an angle yet that does not jar their GreenLeft sensibilities.

  4. Looking what design info there is online, it has been built as a single unit. Whereas, if it had been designed to take advantage of intermittent wind power, it would have been built as multiple units that could be brought on and offline according to the available wind power.

    Which leads me to think it was originally designed assuming grid power being always available, which is no longer the case(?). Hence the need for diesel generators.

  5. My guess Philip is that it was all made for grid power. But some faulty cable has stymied that. Hence the diesels. No shortage of grid power in Vic – they routinely export to NSW, SA, Tas.

  6. How hard is it to replace a cable?

    ‘Matthew Brassington, CEO of AquaSure, the company contracted to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the project for 30 years, estimated the investigation and replacement of the equipment would not take long.’

  7. I think my comment on Andrew Bolt’s blog applies. This kind of stuff should render those who perpetrated fiascos such as this a national joke but unfortunately not so, I’m afraid it’s very much a part of the PC MSM’s deranged “Dr. Strangelove” world we now live in:

    Public policy by witch doctor.

    Tasmania trashed its “dirty” gas powered generators at Tamar Valley Power Station in the interests of ideological purity. About a month later Basslink undersea cable, the umbilical chord to reliable Victorian brown coal power was cut. Then we heard the familiar refrain “rescue us”, to the rescue 200 Diesel generators, with all the real pollution that goes with Diesels i.e. NOx and particulates.

    Now we find the Brumby Labor government’s favourite “white elephant” the Wonthaggi desal plant, unused and mothballed at $1 million per day since it was completed five years ago, now won’t work because its cutting edge underground supply cable (the longest such cable in the world using hi-tech cable never before manufactured in the Australiia) is not serviceable. The inevitable Labor answer, bring in the Diesel generators!

    We all know of the electricity supply debacle in SA where power users are rushing to buy portable Diesel generators to ensure they can supply at least their basic power needs.

    So where is Australia’s trusty MSM calling these ideologically driven fools to account? Uh..oh.. sorry I remember political bias and “fake news” is nothing more than a fantasy dreamed up by the “far right”.

  8. Meanwhile, where’s our rain? We were promised rains and floods of semi-Biblical proportions this week, however we have yet to experience a drop here in Brisbane.

    BOM and CSIRO predict with absolute certainty that we are doomed, based on computer models of climate. If they can’t even get a forecast a few days in advance even remotely correct, why should we treat extrapolations of those same models over 5, 15, 50 years as anything other than fake science?

  9. To extrapolate on my previous comment, and to solidify my fundamental objection against what climate protagonists claim to be “science”; the scientific method has traditionally required two elements as a basis for defining something as being “science”: replicability, and predictability.

    In the first instance, an experimental result needs to be capable of replication by other researchers, based on the description and methods proposed by the author.

    Additionally, for something to be considered as relatively “settled”, the experiment needs to be capable of producing consistent results, not only in the specific circumstances prescribed by the author, but also being capable of having predictable outcomes if one or more variables are altered in a particular way.

    The example which springs to mind is Einstein’s relativity theory. Without the theory, we could not have made the necessary calculations to send a spacecraft to the Moon; and if the theory was not capable of producing predictable outcomes, having done it once, that result would have been down to pure, random chance…It wasn’t.

    So, to return to climate science, and whether it is a “science”. Is it capable of producing accurate measurements on a similar scale to our estimations of gravitational forces, the weight of an electron, the shape of DNA, or even the circumference of a circle to X decimal places?

    In simplistic terms, if a climate scientist was rocket scientist and you were an astronaut, based on their calculations would you trust them to send you to the Moon? The scientists and astronauts who planned and executed the Apollo missions had sufficient faith in Einstein, and in the many engineers who relied upon other replicable and predictable theories, to put men into those capsules.

    James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, Al Gore, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Sarah Hanson-Young, etc tell us that the “science is settled”, yet there is not a jot of “science”in the Einsteinian sense, about this entire farce – all we have is vague computer models, which can only hind-cast if the many input variables are carefully chosen, regardless of what the actual “current” condition of those variables might be. That should immediately throw out anything “scientific” about this process, whatsoever, and put it soundly in the category of the many millions of theories which people have come up with over the centuries, which might be right, but which lack a sound, scientific basis .

    The fact that many people consider anthropogenic global warming/climate change to be “scientific” in the first place (when we previously reserved that status to theories with much greater provenance), and when you consider that its predictions amount to nothing more than using a computer to predict the weather in advance – not just a few days, but in 5, 10 or 50 years – the ignorance of entire generations of mankind’s greatest gift – science and the scientific method of thought – is an absolute tragedy.

    I have done my best to school my own children in critical thinking and the gifts that true science has provided us with, however I am undoubtedly in the minority. Even the majority of supposedly intelligent and educated people these days don’t have a skeptical bone in their bodies against the mainstream consensus.

    If our society chooses to make an about turn, it will take many years. I’m resigned to being in the minority for a long time to come.

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