RSM Australia

AEMO report on the South Australian blackout

On Tuesday 28 March 2017, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released its fourth and final report into South Australia's September blackout with the conclusion that overly sensitive settings in some wind farms resulted in the statewide blackout. It also found the intermittent nature of wind was not to blame for the statewide blackout. Hence, the changing nature of South Australia's electricity generation mix played no role in the blackout. 

What is also clear is that AEMO action prevented further blackout 

The report said the unexpected operation of the control settings resulted in the sudden loss of generation from the wind farms.

Key points to note:

  • Storm caused enormous damage to transmission grid.
  • AEMO action prevented further black out.
  • Need for better access to data on grid connected equipment. These are complex systems that AEMO need visibility to, such as meter data.
  • Need for speedy implementation of gas market reform.
  • NEM rules needs updating to cater for renewable energy and energy storage solutions. • Battery storage raises a number of challenges.
  • Price of gas doubling over the past 2 years affecting price of electricity in the future as the price are being set by gas prices.

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