Media release

Wind was supplying half of SA’s power as lights went out

South Australia’s wind farms were pumping nearly 1000 megawatts of energy into the state’s electricity system before yesterday’s mega storm tripped the network, the Australian Wind Alliance says.

Alliance national co-ordinator Andrew Bray says around 960 megawatts were coming from South Australia’s wind farms at 3:48pm yesterday, covering around 50% of the state’s demand.

“Wind was going strong when the network went off and was among the first back on when the network recovered,” Mr Bray said.

“The failure of the network was a weather event, pure and simple. Extreme weather knocked out 23 transmission pylons. Storms of this magnitude will knock out the power network no matter what the source of power is.

“When the wind blows South Australia gets the majority of its power from clean renewable energy. That is something South Australia can be proud of.”

Mr Bray says attempts to blame renewables for the state-wide blackout were not only unfounded but irresponsible.

“Nick Xenophon started making claims yesterday before he bothered to check the facts. He was totally wrong to claim that South Australia’s reliance on renewable energy was to blame,” Mr Bray said.

“At a time when South Australians are struggling without power, this kind of behaviour is grossly opportunistic.

“This mega storm is a wake-up call for Australia. Climate science shows that we will experience more extreme weather events like this as the temperature rises.”