Oct 19 2016

Report reinforces need to learn from SA blackout

More detailed diagnosis of the recent South Australian blackout has reinforced the need to modify the way we manage electricity grids with high penetration of renewables, the energy industry said today.

The second report by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has revealed a number of wind farms switched off in response to voltage changes in transmission lines caused by a major storm at the time.

Australian Energy Council, Chief Executive, Matthew Warren said the unexpected response to storm-related faults in transmission lines resulted in around 445 MW of supply being lost from nine wind farms in the state’s mid-north.  The storm-related transmission faults did not cut supply from the relevant wind farms to Adelaide.

“Wind farms, like other sources of generation, can be designed to ride through these types of voltage events,” Mr Warren said, “there is ongoing investigation about why this occurred, which will inform how we can run a more stable and reliable system in the future.

“South Australia is a living experiment in how we manage high levels of renewables in modern electricity grids.  It is hard to anticipate and test for real world situations like this until they occur. 

“While the blackout was caused by a cascading set of events from extreme storms on the day, the most important thing is that we learn from this experience and do everything we can to prevent it reoccurring in the future.

“This is not just about South Australia or wind farms – it is about how we make the transition to a new electricity system.”


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

Do you have a question or comment for AEC?

Send an email with your question or comment, and include your name and a short message and we'll get back to you shortly.

Call Us
+61 (3) 9205 3100