News State South Australia Energy regulator launches legal action against windfarm operators over SA statewide blackout
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Energy regulator launches legal action against windfarm operators over SA statewide blackout

Hundreds of thousands of SA customers lost power during the blackout. Photo: ABC
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The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has launched legal proceedings against four wind farm operators over South Australia’s 2016 statewide blackout.

The AER said the Federal Court proceedings were against subsidiaries of AGL, Neoen, Pacific Hydro and Tilt Renewables.

It alleged the companies failed to comply with performance requirements to ride through major disruptions and disturbances.

“The AER has brought these proceedings to send a strong signal to all energy businesses about the importance of compliance with performance standards to promote system security and reliability,” AER chair Paula Conboy said in a statement.

“These alleged failures contributed to the black system event, and meant that AEMO [Australian Energy Market Operator] was not fully informed when responding to system-wide failures in South Australia in September 2016.”

South Australia was plunged into darkness during the emergency. Photo: ABC

The blackout occurred on September 28, 2016, when extreme weather — described at the time as “tornadoes” — caused major damage to electricity infrastructure, knocking down huge transmission lines.

The AER said a subsequent loss of wind generation then triggered the blackout, which left 850,000 people without power.

The regulator said it was seeking to impose penalties against the four companies.

More to come

-ABC