New blackout fears for South Australia

Maintenance work on a major electricity transmission line in Victoria is raising the prospect of blackouts across South Australia.


Work on the line will be conducted on Tuesday after being delayed following an explosion and fire at Adelaide’s Torrens Island Power Station last week.

The Australian Energy Market Operator says it expects to have sufficient capacity to meet power demand across SA, but has warned of the potential for load shedding if another event should disrupt the national network.

Work on the Moorabool to Tarrone line will take it out of operation from about 4.30am to 5pm.

The work had originally been planned for last weekend but was cancelled after the incident at Torrens Island, which also tripped the nearby Pelican Point Power Station, reducing local electricity generation by about 600 megawatts.

The loss was compensated by extra electricity moving from Victoria through the Heywood interconnector while solar and wind generation in SA were at high levels.

South Australian consumers also responded to calls to reduce power use and there were no blackouts.

Transmission company ElectraNet completed repair work on one of two damaged connection points late on Sunday with testing and other safety checks conducted on Monday.

Work on the second connection point is expected to take up to two weeks.

The latest issues with South Australia’s electricity supplies come after heavy demand on the system last week during heatwave conditions.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast slightly milder conditions this week, although Adelaide will have tops in the low to mid-30s from Tuesday until Friday.