NSW heatwave: AGL turns off smelter again to prevent state blackouts
The Australian Energy Market Operator issued an alert for a potential lack of power reserve from 7:30pm to 8:00pm this evening.
Households and businesses were asked curb their power use throughout the weekend to avoid blackouts.
AGL also announced it would limit electricity use at the Tomago Aluminium Smelter for a second day in a bid to ease pressure on the power grid.
Yesterday, NSW residents were warned to cut down their power use to avoid mass blackouts.
AGL also took the precautionary measure of shutting down the Tomago smelter near Newcastle — responsible for about 10 per cent of the state’s electricity consumption — yesterday afternoon.
A spokeswoman said they had “provided significant notice” to the smelter to allow them prepare and there was an arrangement in place with Tomago since 1991.
“The commercial agreement … exists to give flexibility to AGL to manage its customer load during plant outages,” an AGL spokeswoman said.
“In exchange for this flexibility, the smelter has gained commercial benefits under its supply contract.”
There is a significant heatwave across the state over the weekend with record-breaking temperatures putting pressure on energy infrastructure.
The smelter would be off for the evening until heat conditions ease.