State-wide Blackout in South Australia

Yesterday the entire state of South Australia, about 1.5 times the area of Texas, suffered an electricity blackout due to a severe storm that knocked out major transmission lines.

downed-tower-state-wide-network-event-965x369Photo: Electranet Network Services

Here’s an interesting report on the causes of the outage.

Blackout Explainer: sorting through the spin

SA gets about 40% of its electricity from renewable energy sources, especially wind.  Blaming renewables for the power failure, as some people are doing, including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, is wrong-headed.  Instead power grids, including ours here in the US need to be more resilient.  I think this needs to include greater decentralization of both generation and storage capacity.

Related Links

Statement from Australian Energy Market Operator, which runs the wholesale electricity and natural gas markets in most of Australia
https://www.aemo.com.au/Media-Centre/Media-Statement-3—South-Australia-Update

Update from Electranet Network Services, which operates the high voltage transmission network in South Australia
https://www.aemo.com.au/Media-Centre/Media-Statement-3—South-Australia-Update

SA Power Networks, which distributes electricity to residential and commercial customers throughout South Australia
http://www.sapowernetworks.com.au/centric/home.jsp

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