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Companies asked to shut down to avoid rolling blackouts

Image: ABC

As the summer heat ramps up, so too does the demand on the Australian energy grid.

In a bid to avoid mass blackouts the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has struck a deal with businesses that consume huge amounts of energy, where they can ask them to shut down.

South Australian iron forge Intercast and Forge is one of those businesses with General Manager Brett Lawrence joining Ross Greenwood.

“We’ve got a deal which is called demand and response, which effectively enables AEMO to contact us. We have the right to say no we cannot afford to shut… but we have the option to say yes we will do it.

This strategy was called into action in yesterday’s hot weather.

“We advised them if the weather continues to be as hot as it was, and therefore the grid was under too much of a load, then we would be able to turn off.”

Chief Executive of AEMO Audrey Zibelman joins Ross saying the summer has started well.

“I think the system has gone well. We had hot weather, so we planned the days. We made sure there were enough resources available.”

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