Vic power 'blackouts' warning cancelled

·1-min read

Victorian households and businesses will not go without power after a blackouts warning over shortfalls in energy supplies was cancelled.

The Australian Energy Market Operator on Tuesday issued a "lack of reserve" warning for Wednesday evening, meaning forecast demand was likely to outstrip supply in Victoria.

It initially said "blackouts" could be expected between 6pm and 7.30pm.

After seeking a market response, the regulator cancelled the alert at 4pm on Tuesday.

Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio blamed the scare on "strange behaviour" from power companies sitting on their reserves and not bidding into the market.

She said the generators are "potentially" gaming the system, a topic federal, state and territory energy ministers asked AEMO to investigate after their meeting last week.

"No one likes the situation we're seeing now," Ms D'Ambrosio told ABC Radio Melbourne.

"We've been told and assured by the market operator that there is more than sufficient power in Victoria available, it's just not being bid into the market."

NSW and Queensland were able to avoid predicted blackouts on Monday, but were warned of possible supply shortfalls from Tuesday evening with generators revising market availability.

AEMO has also triggered the $300 megawatt hour price cap in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia as wholesale electricity prices spiked.

The operator has issued market notices to increase generation.

A perfect storm of coal-fired power station outages, high demand due to a cold snap, and problems in the global and domestic gas markets has caused the shortfalls.

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