Short and long term plans developed by Energy Security for South Australia Working Party

THE Energy Security for South Australia Working Party has produced a 20-year plan for Eyre Peninsula from the 26 steps and issues highlighted at last month’s Energy Security Summit. 

The goals from the summit included making energy affordable, providing generation and storage mixes, developing energy efficiency programs and engagement strategies and engaging government support.

Retired electrical engineer and working party member Steve Sawyer said the plan developed from the summit included timeframes, within a 20-year period, in which to complete the steps.

He said the plan included transmission upgrades, wind and solar farm expansion, battery storage systems and energy efficiency programs. 

“Shortly after this the body that represents the electricity networks in Australia, issued a draft of their Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap, allowing the Eyre Peninsula plan to be cross checked to ensure it was focusing on the correct areas and its recommendations fitted with national proposals.”

Mr Sawyer said the working party completed a risk assessment for Eyre Peninsula towns, taking into account population, risk of outages based on transmission and distribution line lengths, and access to a backup power station.

From the assessment, the top priority areas for the plan’s implementation are the Port Lincoln area with Coffin Bay, Tumby Bay and Cummins, which are also connected to the Port Lincoln substation, followed by Ceduna and Streaky Bay. 

Mr Sawyer said a sub-plan had been developed from the 20-year plan to include short term solutions like grid scale solar and wind farms to operate in conjunction with grid scale battery storage. 

“That will immediately improve the security of the electricity supply on EP,” he said.

Mr Sawyer said the battery storage capacity would be sized to suit the area load and give a couple of hours of operation allowing time for network operators to reconfigure the system for isolated operation. 

He said the “islanded” system could operate as long as generation sources in the area allowed, enabling the network provider to repair network system faults without jeopardising the continuity of supply and to avoid large outage times like those in September.

“Armed with these community based plans, the (working party) will be promoting these with community and regional organisations as well as state and federal government representatives,” Mr Sawyer said.