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. 14.08.2018
    14.08.2018
    by      In
    The former Trade Commissioner of Denmark to Australia and New Zealand, Michael T Hansen has been named General Manager of Nilfisk in Australia.
    Originally from Denmark, Hansen has more than 25 years of experience in business development and sales.
    Over the last 9 years as Trade Commissioner, Hansen... Read More
  2. 14.08.2018
    14.08.2018
    by      In
    World-renowned physicist Dr Cathy Foley has been named CSIRO Chief Scientist with a brief to help champion science, its impact and contribution to the world. Dr Foley is best known for her work developing superconducting devices and systems that have assisted in unearthing over $6 billion in... Read More
  3. 14.08.2018
    14.08.2018
    by      In
    Australian industry is cleaning up its act – both figuratively and literally, with the trend towards more eco-friendly cleaning techniques gathering pace in recent years. And as a company that has pioneered some of the greatest advances in this field, Tennant finds itself in the perfect position to... Read More
  4. 13.08.2018
    13.08.2018
    by      In
    Valmont Coatings Australia has teamed up with ARM Architecture and Architectus to take out the Global Galvanizing Award from the European General Galvanizers Association (EGGA) for the University of Melbourne’s Arts West Building.
    According to Valmont Coatings MD Aaron King: “With 36 projects... Read More