Massive Diesel Engines Used To Balance Australia’s Renewable Energy Fiasco

How does Australia deal with the terrible and chaotic wind and solar power intermittency problem in its electric grid? How about with massive diesel engines used to power large ships?? Sound crazy? Not in Australia. If a country is going to ramp up power generation with insanely erratic wind and solar power, then we shouldn’t be surprised to see these enormous diesel ship engines used to try and fix the problem.

Thus, if we have stupid solutions then we must use stupid bandaids. Again, the insanity continues.

The credit for the information in this brief article goes to StopTheseThings.com, which focuses on the problems associated with wind and solar power generation.  The article, Ships Ahoy! Giant Diesel-Fuelled Ship Engines ‘Solution’ For Australia’s Renewable Energy Crisis, provided me a few good laughs and the desire to share it here.

Here is a picture of the Wartsila 50DF Diesel Ship Engine:

Notice the two workers next to the engine? That should give you an idea of the size of this beast. According to the article linked above, AGL Energy Limited has installed 12 of these engines at the Barker Inlet Power Station in Torres Island, Australia. The total output from these dozen ship engines is rated at 210 MW (MegaWatts).

Here’s another picture of Wartsila’s 50DF Diesel Ship Engine at the factory plant.

These Wartsila engines can run on diesel, natural gas, and bunker oil. Can you imagine how much fuel a dozen of these engines consume to balance the power lost from wind and solar generation?? If you read the article linked above, which I highly recommend, wind power generated in Southern Australia can see drops of 3,000 MWs!!

What is the purpose of these new dozen Wartsila 50DF Diesel Engines? The following article from the Financial Review, AGL flicks switch on SA gas power in time for summer, quoted below:

The addition of the 210-megawatt generator is expected to beef up security of electricity supply in the fragile South Australian market, which is largely reliant on weather-dependent renewables and imports from other states to meet demand.

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