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Fix the rules, build storage and halt the repeated energy crises

SACOSS is today calling for an urgent new contingency rule and a package of other measures to address energy instability across SA. 

SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley said, “We believe that the public is sick of the politics involved in this issue and would like to see a collaborative approach to addressing the issues. We propose the following series of measures as a vital and constructive contribution to the debate. We believe these are in the best long term interests of South Australian energy consumers and will reduce the likelihood of events like yesterday’s which saw the imposition of power cuts to 40,000 houses and businesses in Adelaide, which according to the Market Operator was “because of a lack of available generation supply in SA”.

Ross Womersley said, “To the best of our knowledge and given the extremely rapid developments in storage technology, we believe South Australia’s long term interest would be best served by:

•    Immediate investment in a 200 Mega Watt utility-scale battery storage facility combined with renewable generation;
•    Recognising that gas is an essential transitional fuel;
•    Imposing technical requirements on wind farms to deal with the related frequency issues;
•    Urgently finalising the Australian Energy Market Commission's (AEMC’s) protected contingency events Rule Change.

SACOSS yesterday lodged its submission to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) supporting a crucial change to energy market rules to enable the creation of a new category called “protected contingency events” as an essential measure to address the instability in the current system supply. 

click here for SACOSS’ submission to the AEMC.

CEO Ross Womersley said, “One of the issues surrounding the load shedding that led to last night’s blackouts relates to the market operator’s (AEMO’s) decision-making processes in some way”.

“While we understand that the technical issues are extremely complex in each load shedding situation that occurs, and that it takes considerable investigation to accurately determine the cause, SACOSS has strong concerns about what we perceive as systemic issues within AEMO.”

“Strong governance is essential to the efficient operation of the market in the long term interests of consumers. This rule change in itself won’t address all of the key issues and hence we think there is a package of measures which could go a significant way to reducing the likelihood of failures such as mass blackouts due to load-shedding.”

Ross Womersley said: SACOSS notes that the energy market is in transition and that transitions are not always smooth.

Published Date: 
Thursday, 9 February 2017