Extreme temperatures in the southern states of Victoria and South Australia are increasing electricity consumption levels to potential record highs and placing additional strain on the national power system.
A combination of intense weather, high electricity consumption and some unplanned outages on the generation network has triggered the potential for load shedding to occur in parts of South Australia and Victoria.
Load shedding can sometimes be required when there is an imbalance between electricity demand and electricity supply. When there is a shortfall in the electricity supply, there can be a need to reduce demand very quickly to an acceptable level, or risk the entire electricity network becoming unstable.
Load shedding if required, generally commences with industrial and commercial customers prior to any residential customers. This involves electricity customers being without power for defined periods.
This week, Victoria and South Australia has recorded the highest levels of electricity consumption since January 2009, with a maximum demand of 10,151 MW recorded in Victoria and 3,046 MW recorded in South Australia yesterday.
In South Australia, AEMO’s current estimate suggests electricity consumption of around 3,200 MW and 3,360 MW over the next three days (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday). Electricity on a typical weekday at this time of the year in South Australia is around 1,980 MW.
Some areas may be experiencing localised interruptions to electricity supplies as a result of these conditions.