Load shedding leaves 40,000 SA homes without power

South Australian residents were left in the dark last night after the Australian Energy Market Operator ordered 100MW of load shedding.

At 7pm, 40,000 homes lost power in the sweltering heat for about 30 minutes.

AEMO instructed SA Power Networks to commence the load shedding due to lack of available generation in the state.

“Load shedding was instructed by AEMO to avoid damage to network equipment due to potential overloading,” the AEMO said in a statement.

The cuts have put the security of South Australia’s energy supply in the spotlight once again.

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the load-shedding was avoidable.

“There was sufficient local generation to meet our demand tonight, but AEMO didn’t instruct it on,” he posted on Twitter.

Mr Koutsantonis criticised the national market operator for failing to use the extra capacity at the Pelican Point power station.

“The second unit at Pelican Point (power station) could’ve been turned on last night, it had gas, was ready to go and it wasn’t turned on. The national market isn’t working,” he told News.com.au.

“We (the State Government) have been taking advice from the market operator and others but after last night we have to reassess. We will do what’s necessary to make sure SA has sufficient generation.

“It’s my understanding that AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) was made aware more generation was available and chose not to turn that generation on. Serious questions have to be asked about why we had generation available that wasn’t used.”