Engie cops a fine over 2016 SA blackouts

Engie cops a fine over 2016 SA blackouts

South Australians have today received a semblance of justice following the state-wide power blackouts left most of SA in the dark in December 2016.

Power generator Engie has been slapped with a $60,000 fine for their failure to mitigate the blackout by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

The AER alleged that Engie failed to follow dispatch instructions from the energy market operator during the blackout event in 2016, which AER chair Paula Conboy says had serious implications.

"Compliance with these obligations is a focus for the AER and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action to deal with serious failures to comply," says Conboy.

"This was a very serious incident that required all market participants to act in compliance with their obligations. The market needs to have confidence that generators will be there when called upon by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)."

The penalty follows the issuing of three infringement notices to Synergen Power (part of the Engie group) and accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Engie.

The state-wide blackout occurred after SA became isolated from the rest of the national electricity market due to a fault on the transmission network in Victoria.

AER initially issued infringement notices to Synergen because it believed the generator failed to follow dispatch instructions from AEMO for each of its three generators at the Dry Creek Power Station.

As part of an investigation, AER found flaws in Engie's operations including not having sufficient resources of facilities available to ensure that the Dry Creek units could respond promptly to AEMO dispatch instructions.

The December blackout came just months after the state-wide disaster which left parts of the state were left without electricity for approximately 24 hours. Initially the blackout left the entirety of South Australia (except for Kangaroo Island) in the dark for hours.

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