How to keep power out for your home during the power outage that affected more than half of Australia’s electricity markets on Wednesday.
The Federal Government has been forced to call off the nationwide blackout because of high demand and supply constraints and the lack of a backup generator, meaning the blackout was likely to last into the night.
The outage was due to a lack of power in some areas of the state, and was a partial response to the coal-fired generators, which were still operating, and were able to generate electricity for some areas.
However, it is expected that the blackout will last for the rest of the night as it requires more than a few hours of supply from the generators to be maintained.
Amber Rudd, the Minister for Industry and Science, said it was an “extreme” situation that was likely in the “near future”.
“The power grid is already struggling to keep up with the demand for power and this means a lot of Australians will need to rely on generators to help keep the lights on,” she said.
“This is an extreme situation and it will take a while to recover from, but we know there will be a lot more people in need of power during the night.”
She said there was an estimated $2.8 billion worth of energy-related damages.
The blackout affected about 12 per cent of the total electricity generation in NSW, with the rest coming from Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.
The electricity grid was shut down in the Northern Territory for three hours on Wednesday night.
Ms Rudd said the Government was working with customers to get power back on.
“There are no plans to shut the power grid down,” she told the ABC.
“We have been working closely with our partners in Victoria, the NT and the WA to ensure there is enough capacity to restore power and restore service as quickly as possible.”
She added that a backup system was being put in place, but she could not give any further details.
In Victoria, some areas received power outage warning letters but there was no immediate need for a blanket blackout.
However Victoria Police and the Victorian Emergency Service have said they are not able to provide an update as power has been restored.
Ms Rudd has also said the Federal Government will work with the states and territories to ensure that the state’s energy markets are resilient.
The Government said there were still some small parts of the electricity system that had been impacted and that there were no immediate concerns about the reliability of those systems.
“We are taking the steps necessary to ensure we are prepared for the worst,” she added.
The power blackout was due in part to the closure of the coal plant, which supplied about 70 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively, of the NSW electricity.
The NSW Power Networks (NSP) said the plant was the only one of its kind in Australia and it had not seen any significant problems with its operation.
“The NSP is a state-owned entity and has had the capability to operate coal-powered generators for many years, and the NSP has never experienced any issues with the operation of coal-burning generators,” the Nsp said in a statement.
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