Power company told to start cutting power to save energy
The Australian Energy Market Operator has ordered power cuts in several Melbourne suburbs as Victoria’s energy supplies struggle to keep up.
Three hours after AEMO boss Audrey Zibelman assured Neil Mitchell “the networks are performing really well”, they have told power company Jemena to start “load shedding”.
That means power will be cut for short periods to conserve supplies.
North-western suburbs including Essendon and Broadmeadows will be impacted.
“Jemena has been instructed by [AEMO] to shed customer load to ensure broader stability of the Vic electricity system,” Jemena tweeted.
“Impacted suburbs include: Glenroy, Oak Park, Broadmeadows, Essendon, Strathmore, and Kalkallo. We will keep you updated as we know more.”
Wind power and other reserves will prevent any brown-outs as Victoria swelters, according to the market operator.
A third power generator has shut down, putting further stress on Victoria’s power supply that’s being pushed to limit amid high demand.
AEMO boss tells @3AWNeilMitchell there are “unprecedented levels of demand for this time of year”.. today.. but wind farms will likely save the grid this afternoon..
— Heidi Murphy (@heidimur) January 24, 2019
Energy Minister Lily d’Ambrosio this morning said Victoria’s infrastructure was struggling to keep up.
“That means we now have for today three units across Yallourn and Loy Yang A that are not functioning,” Ms d’Ambrosio told 3AW.
“This means we can’t rule out brown-outs.”
Audrey Zibelman, the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator, told Neil Mitchell she was seeing “unprecedented levels” levels of energy use.
But she said with reserves to kick in between midday and 5pm, she has confidence supply can meet demand.
“The networks are performing really well,” she said.
“We’ve had some localised outages but yesterday, but we had 20,000 (outages) out of six millions (customers); for this time of year, that’s amazing.
“That’s not to say we’re out of woods.”
Click PLAY to hear more of Neil Mitchell’s interview with Audrey Zibelman
Meanwhile, thousands of Victorians spent a steamy night without power.
Almost 6000 homes experienced blackouts in Melbourne’s west, which began just before 10pm.
Alcoa’s aluminium smelter had to power down for more than an hour last night to conserve supplies.
With more pressure on the grid today, Victorian’s are being asked to avoid non-essential power use and not use the dishwasher, the washing machine and pool pumps.