Heatwave, bushfires threaten Victoria’s power grid

Australia’s energy market operator has issued a sudden warning of a shortfall in back-up power in Victoria and is calling for emergency reserves as power station outages and bushfires threaten the grid and elevate the risk of blackouts.

Bracing for a supply squeeze amid scorching temperatures of more than 40 degrees across the state, the Australian Energy Market Operator issued a level-two “lack of reserve” warning applying from 3.30pm to 6.30pm on Monday evening, when hundreds of thousands of households power up their airconditioners at once.

Heatwaves and bushfires are imperilling Victoria's power grid.
Heatwaves and bushfires are imperilling Victoria’s power grid.Credit:Paul Jones

Authorities would ask large industrial energy users to power down and tap generators to bring more supply online in a bid to ease the strain.

The warning was attributed to a combination of unplanned power plant outages and bushfires endangering transmission power lines.


It comes as a key generator unit at AGL’s Loy Yang A coal-fired power plant in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, which has been out of service for months, was brought offline again on Friday due to an “installation issue”. It could remain out of action for several days more.

“We have been offline since Friday night and will be for a number of days while we conduct work on an installation issue,” an AGL spokesman said.

An AEMO spokesman on Monday said it would commence negotiations seeking additional reserves.

“AEMO will continue to closely monitor reserve levels to maintain adequate supply and will provide further updates,” a spokesman said.

… more to come 

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Source: Thanks smh.com