SA is a powerhouse in renewable energy. Recently, SA Premier Jay Weatherill and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed sizing up power options locally.

From our perspective here at Flow Power, the issue at the centre of managing power for the state is the disconnect between consumers and generators – irrelevant of the amount of investment in infrastructure.

Wholesale power purchasing

As the Australian electricity market changes – specifically from energy-intensive to energy-efficient resources and methods – electricity will become easier for consumers.

With our solutions, consumers gain the ability to respond to signals in the power market. We’re already delivering smart wholesale electricity purchasing to businesses across SA and the rest of Australia.

Buying on the wholesale market means cost saving. It provides control over supply critical to many operations and allows businesses to respond to signals during peak periods.

Outage of February 2017 could have been avoided

The high temperatures in SA over February 2017 saw demand for electricity in the region reach more than 3000MW. Available supply exceeded during the evening peak demand period, resulting in the market operating in an insecure state.

The only option for AEMO to restore the market and avoid the risk of widespread supply disruption was to direct ElectraNet to shed 100MW. ElectraNet exceeded this level and shed approximately 300MW.

Consumers were impacted for up to 30 minutes before supply was restored. This equates to around 490 industrial customers. If adequate demand-side response from SA consumers was available to reduce the level of scheduled demand for a short period, the load shedding event could have been avoided.

Times are changing

Despite growing competition and structural changes in the power market, many businesses remain unaware of the flexibility and alternatives in managing power that are available to them.

Wholesale purchasing consumers can respond to market signals to avoid forced load shedding events and extreme spot price outcomes.