It Took 260km/h Winds To Kill South Australia's Power Grid

It took "one of the most significant severe thunderstorm outbreaks in recent decades", with seven tornadoes and a storm producing phenomenally damaging wind speeds, to bring down South Australia's power grid and cause a blackout in late September. Although the national electricity market operator and conservative commentators were quick to blame renewable energy, it's now clear that the entire network was at risk -- and the blackout could have been lessened had precautionary steps been taken.

RenewEconomy reports on the Bureau of Meteorology's investigation into the 28 September thunderstorms, saying that a series of travelling localised tornadoes destroyed transmission lines and crumpled towers near Wilmington and Blyth in central South Australia -- not any issue related to renewable energy. The wind speeds recorded are similar to those measured when Cyclone Tracy effectively leveled Darwin on Christmas Day in 1974.

A total of 22 towers being destroyed between Adelaide and northern South Australia caused a cascading power overload that caused the statewide blackout, starting at 3:48PM and lasting for several hours through the night. Despite the warnings of impending damaging storms from the BOM, Australia's AEMO continued to run the energy-transferring interconnector between South Australia and Victoria.

AEMO will submit a response to the Bureau of Meteorology's statements in its December report into the blackout. The energy market operator continued to run the inter-state interconnector at "near full capacity" until the blackout occurred, according to RenewEconomy, and then shifted blame onto South Australia's installed renewables -- the state is the largest producer of wind energy in Australia.

[RenewEconomy / Bureau of Meteorology]

WATCH MORE: Science & Health News


Comments

    I didn't realise that sucking up all that sunlight, and pulling power out of the air could cause such bad storms!

    Why is it that when I click on a story, it then asks if I want to read more ? Of course I want to read more. I read the first part, I click the story and it repeats the first part and then asks if I want to read more. That's idiotic.

      It's go something to do with getting more adverts in front of us.

        Nothing to do with that. If you read the first paragraph and don't want to read more, you scroll past the Read More button and find yourself a different story.

          I stand corrected!
          But I'm not a fan either. Like @backfromthedead says if I clicked then there is a 99% chance I want to read it.

          You can read the first paragraph before you click on the story anyway so what's the point of repeating the same paragraph when you click on the story and then have "read more" to click on to get the whole story. How about just have "read more" on the first part instead of the second part.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now