Maintenance delay reduces SA blackout risk


The fragile nature of South Australia's energy network has again forced delays to maintenance work in Victoria, because of the fears of blackouts.

AusNet, which runs the Victorian transmission system, started the maintenance work on Tuesday but has postponed remaining work planned for Wednesday and Thursday.

That coincided with a notice from the Australian Energy Market Operator of a shortfall in reserve electricity supplies in SA on Wednesday, a notice that was later withdrawn.

Maintenance work on the Moorabool to Tarrone transmission line had originally be scheduled for last weekend but was delayed following an explosion and fire at Adelaide's Torrens Island Power Station on Friday.

AEMO expects to have sufficient capacity to meet power demand across SA over the next few days but has warned of the potential for load shedding if another event should disrupt the national network.

Also on Tuesday, electricity generator AGL Energy revealed the Torrens Island Power Station could no longer operate at full capacity because it was coming to the end of its life.

"(It) is a very old station and its reliability is poor because it's very much getting to the end of life," AGL wholesale markets general manager Richard Wrightson told a Senate committee in Melbourne.

"That's not going to change no matter how much money gets thrown at it because it is a 50-year-old plant."

The latest issues for SA's energy supplies come after heavy demand on the system last week during heatwave conditions.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast slightly milder conditions this week, although Adelaide will have tops in the low to mid-30s on Wednesday and Thursday.