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SA cut off from national power grid

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South Australia will be disconnected from the national electricity grid for up to two weeks after damage to transmission lines in Victoria.

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Storms on Friday damaged transmission towers near the Heywood interconnector, the main link between SA and the eastern states.

SA Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan says the Australian Energy Market Operator has indicated there should be sufficient electricity available.

But loss of the interconnector has again exposed a lack of system strength that leaves South Australia vulnerable and highlights the need for a proposed new interconnector with NSW.

AEMO has also reconfigured the network to allow SA to supply electricity through the smaller MurrayLink interconnector, to ensure continued power to the Alcoa Aluminium Smelter in Portland, Victoria.

“South Australians know too well the damage that can be done to South Australia’s power system from storms,”van Holst Pellekaan said.

“Until the second interconnector with NSW is delivered, South Australia will remain vulnerable to shocks to the system such as Friday’s storm.”

The new SA-NSW interconnector was recently approved by the Australian Energy Regulator.

-AAP

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