According to a policy maker, South Australia can reduce its reliance on the National Electricity Market through major infrastructure investment as it looks to overcome a privatised market that has proven to be unreliable as reported by ABC News.
The state’s power supply was not enough last week when wind-generated electricity was down and technical issues at the three generators blocked them from providing baseload power which prompted the Australian Energy market Operator to switch off power to 90,000 households in Adelaide.
Renewables critics stated that the situation could have been averted if AEMO ordered to switch on a backup generator located at Pelican Point.
Professor John Spoehr, director of the Australian Industrial Information Institute said the NEM was all about maximising the revenue for the generators that are bidding into the market for the energy provision and according to the professor, they are responsible for some of the chaos that they are having.
Premier Jay Weatherill has pledged to spend a substantial amount of money from the state’s budget surplus to intervene in the present market but he did not elaborate on what actions he will be taking.
Last Wednesday’s blackout was the latest in a series of power outages that have been significantly disrupted South Australian customers and businesses. Professor Spoehr stated that it was possible the Government would look to enhance its self-sufficiency by moving forward with gas-fired power station to provide about 75% of the Government’s long-term needs.
He also said of another option was to spend the budget on a third interconnector since South Australia is presently relying on just two interconnectors to Victoria, although, it is less likely because of the high cost and the lukewarm attitude of the federal government to invest. The professor also said that there’s no guarantees that they’ll get enough electricity in additional interconnectors either. He said that they have seen AEMO choose to load shed rather than getting Pelican Point into the loop.
Featured Image Credit: Gary Sauer-Thompson