AEMO has questions to answer

19.10.16 By
This article is more than 7 years old

Australia’s energy regulator has questions to answer about why they didn’t take more steps ahead of the destructive SA storms to reduce the risk of blackout, the Climate Council said today.

Andrew Stock, a 40-year energy veteran and Climate Council councillor, said AEMO’s report made it clear that the storm brought down South Australia’s electricity network.

But he said there were questions for Australia’s Energy Market Operator to answer as to why they failed to operate the electricity system with contingencies for the forecast extreme weather.

“There are serious questions that remain unanswered as to why, in the face of very serious storms forecast well in advance, that AEMO took no actions to improve the supply security of the systems in advance of the storms,” he said.

“Under abnormal weather conditions, AEMO can ‘reclassify’ power system infrastructure as potentially vulnerable to failing.

“These steps could have increased supply resilience if parts of the system failed.

“The fact that they didn’t, despite the forecast, meant the system was being operated as normal in the face of a 1-in-50 year storm.

“Having run many high-risk energy operations in my career, I find it inconceivable that these steps were not taken, particularly when storms were progressing across the west of the state and the severity of the thunder and lightning was obvious.”

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