none
none

SA POWER FAILURE: RENEWABLES NOT TO BLAME

30-09-2016
by 
in 

South Australia was hit by two tornadoes and more than 80,000 lightning strikes this Wednesday, damaging energy distribution infrastructure and bringing down the power grid for a significant percentage of the state. 

Despite the unusual and unprecedented scale of the storms being the clear cause of the state-wide power outages, with some residents being left without power throughout all of Thursday, some senators have chosen to blame the 'unreliability' of renewable energy. Fears of energy generation failure are unfounded, however, according to Labor Premier Jay Weatherill.

"It is a misunderstanding that there is no base load power. This was a weather event," he said. 

"We had winds which were so strong that when they hit power lines, they were creating such [force] they were tearing those towers out of the ground."

South Australia provides 40% of its electricity needs through renewable energy, and is a leading state in the push towards sustainable generation and clean energy. Any evidence that the state's reliance on renewables contributed to the blackouts could set the movement back by a considerable amount. 

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Senator Nick Xenophon have both called renewables into question, but have provided no evidence linking renewable energy generation to Wednesday's events. 

As Mr Weatherill said, the cause of the blackouts appears to be the damaging or destruction of twenty three power transmission points across the state. As these were knocked down or damaged, the power grid was effectively 'short circuited', shutting down to prevent power surges that would damage the grid's components further. 

"The system operated as it was planned to operate... just like a household if there's a surge of power through a faulty piece of equipment a trip occurs... to protect the various assets, so that it can be restored within hours," said Weatherill. 

“If this had happened 20 years ago when there was no renewable energy, the same thing would have happened, that’s the advice we’ve received from the Australian Energy Market Operator."

Work is continuing to restore power in the affected areas. Crews will be removing downed towers, and repairing what can be fixed. While power is expected to be restored across the state, full repairs to the distribution infrastructure will take some time. 

 

Related news & editorials

  1. 16.11.2017
    16.11.2017
    by      In
    Beacon Lighting is well on the way to substantially reducing its carbon footprint as its partner Upstream Energy nears completion of a national solar project spanning more than 70 stores and saving millions of kilograms of carbon emissions each year.
    Upstream Energy developed a proposal to deliver... Read More
  2. 16.11.2017
    16.11.2017
    by      In
    The Brisbane company Nordon Cylinders is well aware that it has a key role in keeping the wheels of industry turning. However, its customers at home and abroad require hydraulic cylinders from tiny to humungous, and they don’t always want them today – sometimes, they want them yesterday.
    At its... Read More
  3. 16.11.2017
    16.11.2017
    by      In
    Wiivv Wearables is on a mission to make body-perfect gear accessible to the masses. Its flagship product, a custom shoe insole, has proven to be a good first step and uses a combination of customer-collected smartphone data and 3D printing to feed its design and manufacturing process.
    According to... Read More
  4. 14.11.2017
    14.11.2017
    by      In
    Good use is being made of the now-closed Holden manufacturing plant in South Australia, as a series of generators has been installed in to supplement the state's power grid during the incoming high-demand summer period.
    The diesel generators have been set up at the former Holden manufacturing plant... Read More