In their summary of the event AEMO outline three main causes for the failure to match generation to demand. They specify that supply was rapidly changing in the period prior to the peak at 18:00, but the problem came down to:
- Demand was higher than forecast
- Wind generation was lower than forecast, and
- Thermal generation capacity was reduced due to forced outages
When you analyse the report it becomes clear there was available capacity (Pelican Point 2) that could have been brought on line to meet the demand, but the market based processes of AEMO failed.
It is important to emphasise here that Adelaide and most of South Australia on Wednesday 8 February was experiencing extreme temperatures in the middle of an exceptional heatwave. Climate scientists have been predicting that heatwaves would get more intense. This sort of extreme heat event is in line with their predictions.
Adding to the extent of the issue, AEMO ordered at the evening peak at 18:03 100MW of load shedding to balance supply versus demand, but it appears SA Power Network shed 300MW, much more than was required.
I reported initially on this event the day after, on February 9: AEMO orders South Australian #heatwave blackout while Gas turbine remains idle.