As the mercury reached 40 degrees on Friday 10 February, air conditioning units hummed in unison right across the capital as the saviors from the extreme heat.
However, the additional consumption of electricity put pressure on the power grid with energy provider ActewAGL forced to put out a call for Canberrians to help reduce the territory’s power consumption for the afternoon’s peak period to minimise the potential for rolling blackouts across the city and surrounding region.
Canberra Airport’s Managing Director, Stephen Byron said the Airport responded immediately to ActewAGL’s call with a plan to switch the passenger terminal over from running on mains electrical power to its diesel backup generators.
“The exchange from mains power to the generators was seamless and caused absolutely no interruption to our operations,” said Mr Byron. “This relieved the electricity grid of 1.9 Megawatts of power. It was also a worthwhile exercise to showcases how important our backup systems are to maintain business as usual.”
After many households, businesses and government agencies rallied to help reduce the demand on the grid, rolling blackouts did not eventuate.
“The combined proactive effort of everyone across Canberra, particularly our large commercial customers, enabled ActewAGL to sufficiently reduce load across the ACT to meet the requirements of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and do ‘our bit’ to help stabilise the network,” ActewAGL General Manager Energy Networks Stephen Devlin said.
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