Falling power use due to coronavirus risks system overload and blackouts, experts warn

Falling demand for electricity caused by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could leave Western Australia’s main electricity system at risk of a solar power overload within months, experts have warned.

Use of electricity in Perth and WA’s south-west has fallen up to five per cent since the State and Federal governments started shutting down the economy last month in response to the threat of coronavirus.

Industry figures say the slump threatens to reduce the demand for electricity from the grid to a level where output from the region’s 300,000 household solar panels could overwhelm the system, potentially triggering rolling blackouts.

The situation has prompted WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston to say the McGowan Government is “monitoring things very closely” and the body that operates the market to stress it has contingencies in place to safeguard the system.

Source: ABC News