Feb 16 2017

Report Highlights Fragility of SA Grid

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s report into load shedding in South Australia last week has again highlighted the fragility of the state’s electricity grid, the energy industry said today.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Matthew Warren, said, “the events of last week remind us that South Australia’s grid regularly operates on a knife edge and requires everything to go right to avoid blackouts.

“AEMO’s report highlights the very real challenges of accurately forecasting supply and demand particularly at times of extreme weather and in a grid with high levels of intermittent generation.

“When a high proportion of your generation comes from wind, accurate forecasting becomes increasingly critical.

“This is on top of now only having ‘wafer thin’ reserve margins of electricity generation during periods of high demand, like hot weather. Under these conditions, any human error or even modest system fault can now result in blackouts. AEMO’s report reinforces that fact.

“This is unacceptable. It is also fixable. We need a durable, stable and integrated national climate and energy strategy, whilst also upgrading the operating systems for the grid to handle these new technical challenges.

“None of this is beyond us. It will require co-operation between state and federal governments, and both major parties. Right now this appears to be the biggest barrier to fixing South Australia’s reliability challenge.”


About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.

Media contact             Carl Kitchen                0401 691 342

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