Sunday, June 11, 2017

Energy users could be paid to shut down in heatwaves amid power blackout fears

Australia's electricity grid operator has moved to head off the risk of power blackouts in Victoria next summer by offering to pay big industrial energy users to shut down during heatwaves.

Powering down: Energy users could be paid
to reduce demand at peak times. 
In a highly unusual move, the Australian Energy Market Operator has dusted off previously dormant emergency powers, issuing a tender to free up 600 megawatts of energy from early January to the start of March 2018.

That would be the equivalent of saving about half the power generated by a typical coal-fired plant.

Under the plan, which comes amid alarm about the security of the state's energy supply following the shutdown of the Hazelwood coal-fired plant in March, a little-known mechanism called a "Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader" would be triggered to contract power-hungry businesses such as smelters to stop using electricity during periods of extreme heat.


Read Josh Gordon and Farrah Tomazin’s story in the Melbourne Age -  “Energy users could be paid to shut down in heatwaves amid power blackout fears.”

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