Victoria exported power to NSW as it battled blackout

Victoria exported power to NSW as it battled blackout

January 24, 2019

As Victoria struggled to ensure it had enough power top keep the lights on it was still exporting energy to New South Wales.

Victoria faced a heatwave on Thursday that pushed its electricity grid to its limits as demand for power rose to try and beat the heat.

Even as the Australian Energy Market Operator was calling on businesses to power down to ensure there was enough electricity to meet growing demand, Victoria was exporting energy to NSW.

Victoria was exporting energy to NSW despite facing potential power shortages itself.Credit:AEMO

Grattan Institute energy director Tony Wood said for most of the day the power flowed from NSW into Victoria but a problem with the interconnector, which exchanges energy between NSW and Victoria, may have reversed this flow.

“This is an issue to do with the interconnector and how it does some odd things over the short term,” Mr Wood said.

“It’s more an anomaly than something that was planned.”

University of Melbourne energy expert Dylan McConnell disagreed saying this change of flow wasn’t particularly surprising.

“One consideration from a system security perspective – you don't want to be importing too much at once,” he said.

“If you do and something happens in Victoria, such as another generator trips, then there might be limited ability to import more. There are sometimes limits on the interconnectors to ensure there is enough headroom to quickly transport power in case there is a contingency somewhere.”

South Australia, which is facing its own energy shortage on Thursday, was exporting to Victoria.

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