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  • Australia: Extreme heat and drought could cause summer blackouts, energy market operator says

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Australia: Extreme heat and drought could cause summer blackouts, energy market operator says

Source(s):  Guardian, the (UK)

By Katharine Murphy

Extreme weather over summer could reduce the output of coal, gas and hydro power generators and cause problems with the reliability of electricity supply, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator.


“Extreme temperatures and extended heatwaves elevate the risk of extreme peak demands on the network, and can limit generator capacity or lead to equipment failures,” Aemo’s assessment says.

“Extreme temperatures and events including bushfires, lightning and storms can reduce the output of thermal, solar and wind generation, impact transmission lines and result in loss of supply. Drought is also a factor in the output of hydro generation, which uses water as fuel, and thermal generation, which uses water in cooling.”


The market operator says it has sought additional reserves through its reliability and emergency reserve trader facility to manage the reliability and security risks. Part of the response will include demand management, with 132MW of reserves available to support reliability in Victoria.


The costs of contracting the additional supply are passed through to energy consumers. Last summer the total cost was $52m, which increased annual power bills by 0.3% or about $6 for each household account.


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  • Publication date 15 Nov 2018

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