Reply to post: SA Energy Minister wrote to Energy Market Commission about Blackout Risk

18 seconds that blacked out South Australia


SA Energy Minister wrote to Energy Market Commission about Blackout Risk

Intermittent renewables definitely played a roll in both causing the blackout and the length of the blackount. The SA Energy Minister wrote to the Energy Market Commission on July 12 expressing concerns that a blackout could occur if there was insufficient synchronous generation.

The reliance on renewables also means that SA pays the highest prices in the country for electricity. When renewable generation is insufficient, expensive gas turbines are run to generate power. When renewables generate an excess, this flows to the national grid and reduces prices on the eastern seaboard.

SA urgently needs to look at options for storage of power, but the easy options like hydro are challenging in the driest state on the driest continent in the world. Alternatively adding more connections to the national grid to increase redundancy would help.

Renewable energy: Tom Koutsantonis July letter said solar, wind uptake in SA makes electricity security 'complex' from which I quote:

In an article for the Australian Financial Review, Industry Minister Greg Hunt said, "The South Australian Government's conscious policy to drive baseload energy out of the system meant the system collapsed further and faster than it would otherwise have done and recovered far more slowly than it should have".

Mr Koutsantonis's letter acknowledged renewables had forced conventional generators out of a market that could not operate without them, because their "synchronous" energy was still needed to ensure power system security.

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