AEMO Report Shows That South Australia Should Have Kept Lights On

AEMO Report Shows That South Australia Should Have Kept Lights On

South Australia Minister for Energy Tom Koutsantonis

AEMO Report Reveals Load-Shedding In SA Should Never Have Occurred

Victor P Taffa

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis has said the report released by AEMO late yesterday proves the load-shedding of 90,000 South Australian customers last Wednesday should never have occurred.

“This report outlines a litany of errors that lead to 90,000 South Australians being left without power.” Minister for Energy Tom Koutsantonis said.

AEMO report into the load-shedding event shows that the operator got their demand forecasts wrong in South Australia, causing it to order load-shedding to manage the system despite the fact there was additional gas-fired generation available to be turned on.

“Even more alarmingly this report shows that AEMO directed the local private owners of our poles and wires, SA Power Networks, to load-shed 100 MW, but they accidentally load-shed 300 MW unnecessarily turning off power to 60,000 South Australians.” Mr. Koutsantonis said.

The report also revealed that after AEMO ordered SA Power Networks to load-shed 100 MW, SA Power Networks erroneously load-shed 300 MW, resulting in 60,000 more customers having their power turned off than was required.

“It shows that we had no notice of load-shedding, whereas New South Wales received 36 hours notice of load-shedding the following day.” Mr. Koutsantonis said.

Background

On Wednesday 8 February the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) incorrectly forecast electricity demand for South Australia for the peak afternoon period.

There was spare gas-fired generation available at Pelican Point to supply the grid, however by the time AEMO realised they had incorrectly forecast demand there was not enough time for AEMO to direct Pelican Point to turn on.

Subsequently, there was not enough supply to meet demand. To balance the system AEMO directed SA Power Networks to load-shed about 30,000 homes. No notice was provided before load-shedding occurred. The next day in NSW 36 hours notice was provided before load-shedding started.

SA Power Networks now advises that they erroneously load-shed a total of 90,000 homes 60,000 more than was required.

State Government is using the procurement of its electricity load to incentivise the entry of new electricity generation into the local market, which will increase the supply capacity.

Weatherill Government is also working on a package of more dramatic market interventions that will lower prices and increase grid stability, and will be in a position to announce those policies soon.