Yesterday all of South Australia was blacked out and parts of the state are still without grid power today. This occurred because a powerful storm damaged transmission lines and the entire state grid automatically shut down as a safety precaution to prevent more damage.
Restarting a grid after a complete shutdown is complex and requires several hours. And it took several hours for grid power to start to be restored.
There is no mystery to what happened. It is very simple:
1. There was a really big storm.
2. Transmission lines were damaged.
3. The grid shut down automatically as a safety precaution, like it should have.
If you don’t believe power lines were damaged by strong winds, here is a picture of high voltage, steel girder, transmission towers near Port Augusta. The wind bent them over so their tops touch the ground.
This picture shows how unusual the situation was. Transmission towers do not normally lie down on the ground to take a rest.
In addition to gale force winds there were also so many lightning strikes they would have been countless if someone hadn’t counted them and tornadoes. As more detailed information is reported we will probably learn if it was lightning strikes, gale force winds, or a big willy willy that provided the straw that safety precautioned the camel’s back. [Continue reading…]