Key Statistics & Information
Population 1,706,500 (March 2016)
Current Energy Mix (2015-16)

 Source: AEMO SA Electricity Report 2016, link

  1. Gas (48.5%)
  2. Wind (42.9%)
  3. Rooftop PV (7.8%)
  4. Diesel and small non-scheduled generators (0.8%)

AEMO do not have enough data to calculate the total demand on the Heywood interconnector from Victoria.

Renewable Energy Target

 Source: Renewables SA, link

50% of power generated from renewable energy sources by 2025.
Minister for Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis MP, Member for Peake (ALP)
Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, Member for Stuart (LP)
2015/16 standing offer bill $1693

Key Event: September Black Out

At approximately 3:50pm on 28 September 2016 South Australia experienced a state-wide power outage as a result of storm damage to electricity transmission infrastructure.

On the day of the failure, South Australia experienced a violent storm reported as being a once-in-50-year event. There was gale force and storm force wind across wide areas of the state. It included at least two tornadoes in the vicinity of Blyth, which damaged multiple elements of critical infrastructure. The state was hit by at least 80,000 lightning strikes. The wind damaged a total of 23 pylons on electricity transmission lines, including damage on three of the four interconnectors connecting the Adelaide area to the north and west of the state.

Early indications were that as the transmission lines in the Mid North failed due to damaged pylons, the automatic safety features in the network isolated the generators to protect both the generation facilities and the end consumers’ equipment. Over a short period, this resulted in most of the state’s distribution network being powered down as the transmission network acted to protect it.

AEMO identified software settings in South Australian wind farms that prevented repeated restarts once voltage or frequency events occurred too often. The AEMO further found that the faults with these wind farms contributed to the black out. The group of wind turbines that could accept 9 ride-throughs in 120 seconds stayed on line through much of the event before the system went black. The rather larger group of turbines that could not accept this many repeated ride-throughs dropped out, instigating the overload and shutdown of the Heywood interconnector from Victoria, and hence the electricity supply.

Power was restored to Adelaide within 24 hours, however large areas of the Mid North and the Eyre Peninsula were without electricity for 24 hours. By the morning of Friday 30 September 2016, about 10,000 properties had not yet had power restored since the blackout on Wednesday afternoon, and 18,000 more had lost power due to distribution network faults caused by continued stormy weather. An additional transmission line fault near Tumby Bay was only detected as ElectraNet tried to power up the system, and this fault prevented the power generator in Port Lincoln from being used to power the lower Eyre Peninsula.

Source: AEMO, “Update Report – Black System Event in South Australia on 28 September 2016”, 19 October 2016, link.