AuthorTopic: How collapse happens in a complex system - South Australia total blackout  (Read 606 times)

Offline Palloy

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The MSM is all over the place on this.  This is my summary.

South Australia gets 41% of its electricity from wind so when a severe storm swept in, the high winds caused the wind turbines to automatically switch off.  This threw a huge load change onto the instant back-up system - the national grid inter-connector from Victoria.  Then the wind blew over 9 transmission towers supporting the inter-connector, throwing a huge load onto the SA fossil fuel powered power stations.  Some are saying a power station was hit by lightning, others not, but everybody admits there was a lot of lightning about.  The power stationes then protected themselves from overloading by shutting down, leaving the whole State without power for over 12 hours.   According to the national energy market regulator, AEMO, this was the correct procedure to follow under the unusual circumstances.

That didn't stop everyone pointing the finger of blame at everyone else: "too much reliance on intermittent wind", "too much reliance on the inter-connector", "global warming", "not having gone nuclear".  Nobody seems to have asked if 9 towers falling over indicates bad design.  Nobody seems to have asked why after the power stations shut down, they didn't restart with half the network on-load and half not.  Can the system run without the inter-connector?

The political solution:  a comprehensive energy enquiry, reporting back in a year.
The State is a body of armed men


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