Repower Port Augusta says the report emphasises that South Australia’s renewable power was not the cause of the blackout, but tripped safety settings at wind farms that AEMO was unaware of.
“What the report makes clear is that South Australia needs more homegrown on-demand energy and we can do that by building solar thermal with storage in Port Augusta. Solar thermal uses the sun and storage to spin a steam turbine which helps provide clean grid stability” Mr Spencer said.
“Moving forward we need the Premier Weatherill and Prime Minister Turnbull to work together and make this shovel-ready solution happen for South Australia. Premier Weatherill can take the first step by announcing the State Government will buy power from a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta as part of his energy plan” Mr Spencer said.
Repower Port Augusta says questions remain unanswered as to why AEMO was unaware of software settings at wind farms that tripped following tornadoes taking down transmission infrastructure leading to the blackout.
“The market operator makes clear that software issues, that have now been fixed, tripped following transmission lines being taken down by tornadoes caused power to be lost in South Australia, not the clean nature of our power” Dan Spencer campaigner with Repower Port Augusta said.
“Had these settings not been in place South Australia’s lights would’ve stayed on, so we have to ask why the market operator didn’t know about these safety settings in the first place?” Mr Spencer said.
Repower Port Augusta welcomes actions that have already been taken to strengthen South Australia’s energy security.
“South Australia’s wind farms have now been updated so they will ride-through extreme events like we saw in September. This, along with South Australia’s new Energy Security Target which will prioritise local generation over Victorian coal and provide incentive to build on-demand renewables like solar thermal, should give South Australians piece of mind moving forward” Mr Spencer said.
“Hopefully we can now move forward and see the State and Federal Government work together to back long term solutions like solar thermal in Port Augusta for South Australia. That’s the action South Australians want to see, not lumps of coal passed around in the Federal Parliament”.
“Let’s not forget, before the Federal Election South Australians were told a solar thermal plant would be the Federal Government’s number one priority for its clean energy funds and just last week Premier Weatherill said he’d love to see solar thermal get up. Let’s get on with it” Mr Spencer said.
For media inquiries: Dan Spencer 0423 865 632