Network failure, not wind power responsible for SA blackout
The second report into last month’s South Australian blackout raises more questions about the preparedness of the country’s electricity network than wind energy, the Australian Wind Alliance says.
National coordinator Andrew Bray says today’s report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) clearly shows that South Australia’s wind farms aren’t to blame for the lights going off.
“The report outlines that South Australia’s wind turbines did exactly what they are programmed to do when the mega-storm destabilised the state’s electricity network,” Mr Bray said.
“A review of turbine operating settings by AEMO and the power generators will hopefully lead to better integration with the electricity grid in extreme events when voltage fluctuates.
“More questions need to asked about why back-up gas generators took so long to switch on and what more could have been done to prepare the state’s energy system for the extreme weather.”
Mr Bray says the AEMO report clearly states that wind power’s ‘intermittency’, or variable output as wind speeds change, was not a factor in the state-wide blackout.
“The South Australian storm provides no evidence that Australia needs to slow its transition towards renewable energy in general, or wind power specifically,” he said.
“While there is plenty to learn from South Australia’s recent storm event, Australia clearly needs to upgrade and adapt its energy system to better deal with more volatile weather systems under a changing climate.”
The Australian Wind Alliance is a community-based advocacy group of farmers, wind workers, small businesses and residents. We share a common vision of harnessing Australia’s world-class wind resources to power our homes, cities and industries with clean renewable energy. Go to www.windalliance.org.au for details.