Australia - They keep cool when we swelter : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I hope your American electricity grid doesn't get as convoluted as ours. It makes for more incisive cynicism in AD2000


They keep cool

WHILE the state swelters, South Australians are enjoying air-conditioned comfort courtesy of Victorian power.

At times more than half the electricity saved through Victoria's restrictions has been sent interstate. This is because the national power grid is allowing South Australia to legitimately top up their power using "excess" Victorian energy.

And it could happen again today if Premier Steve Bracks decides to extend Victoria's power restrictions to a seventh day.

After Wednesday's backflip on cancelling power rations, Mr Bracks has deferred his announcement until 10am today.

Hot weather is predicted for next week.

And while Victorians sweltered yesterday, analysis of the national power supply showed SA was receiving up to 500mW of power during Victoria's curfew.

The figures also show that on Wednesday up to 142mW were sent to NSW at the height of the electricity restrictions.

Under the system NEMMCO, the co-ordinating body for Australia's electricity market, does not differentiate between states when distributing power.

"We just run the national market according to the rules," NEMMCO operations general manager Dr Charlie Macaulay said.

"We don't differentiate between states."

The figures were revealed on day six of the power crisis as unions and Yallourn Energy appeared to be edging towards a compromise on some key issues.

In other developments yesterday:

YALLOURN Energy's Mike Johnston confirmed the company had bought electricity on the futures market before the strike and was now selling it. He denied the company was profiting.

A STATE Government department is being investigated over allegations it breached the electricity bans.

MANY businesses were in disarray and breached power bans after the late decision to reintroduce bans.

TEMPERATURE was blamed as the key reason for uncertainty over the state's power supply.

UNIONS called for more protection for working in the heat.

Mr Johnston said the company had not made money out of its decision to buy power on the futures market.

"We have not made profit out of this, we have lost millions of dollars," he said.

"We have gone out and bought cover ... we can't afford the company to be exposed to a massive risk, so we would seek to hedge our position."

Electrical Trades Union state secretary Dean Mighell said the firm had made its first concessions in 10 months and today's noon deadline for a deal had been pushed back.

Angry workers will now meet at 4pm to decide whether to walk off the job again, a step that would see them hit with $10,000 fines.

"It is a bit more hopeful (but) we have got a lot of work to do on contractors and the change of shifts, but we will work through it," Mr Mighell said.

A cool change overnight was expected to avert further cuts, but the Premier said he could give no guarantees.

Mr Bracks again blamed a jump in temperature for reversing the lifting of restrictions on air-conditioners and other appliances.

"I didn't foresee  and I will be honest and open with the Victorian public  I didn't foresee and the people advising me and the Cabinet members involved did not foresee that the weather forecast would change by 5deg. in Victoria," he said.

Mr Bracks said for every degree increase, about 150mW was drawn out of the system, which he said forced the government to reimpose restrictions to avoid blackouts.

Power inspectors will visit the Human Services Department building at 555 Collins St today following reports air-conditioning bans have been ignored.

"It's something that we need to look at," said Allan Kelly, general manager of the Office of the Chief Electrical Inspector.

Mr Kelly said many Victorians had home air-conditioners on all day, after leaving for work thinking the bans had been lifted.

Checks were delayed yesterday because inspectors had been stood down after the State Government indicated the bans would be lifted.

The Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry said many businesses were confused by the renewed bans.


I too am confused. I bet if America has summertime grid troubles you'll also be confused...

Regards from a confusing place

-- Pieter (, February 10, 2000



Thanks again for the information. This is still being ignored in the news here. Perhaps if you put the word "sex" in the headlines our press would pick it up. They like that word. Probably because it's one of the few that they can spell.

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.2all), February 10, 2000.

---is there a major difference in the political party in prominence in victoria as opposed to the country as a whole or south australia? Maybe you are not getting juice, but maybe being taught a "lesson", as in don't rock the boat? Have no ide4a, just asking. We have similar deal here where low population states-like out west-are screwed all the time by the feds in washington because they simply don't have any political clout that can't be ignored by washington. It's a possibility there, too, maybe.

Have no idea what international laws apply, now IF it was legal, and I'm sure it's not, I think I'd say that you guys need to go dig up your treasures, but not knowing, I would err on caution, and not recommend any sort of political "action". You boys and girls just do what you're told now and be good! Big brothers everywhere ALWAYS know what's best for you! What's the name of those politician birds again? buzzards? guzzards? something like that......SQUAWK!!!


-- zog (, February 10, 2000.

zog, hehehe, you're close.

National Liberal Party Government is still shocked at the loss of Victoria to the opposition Labor Party last October. South Australia is Liberal with staggering lagging support. This entire situation has political expediency scribed all over. Nothing subtle at all and the people of Victoria are copping it for daring to vote against expectations...wheels within wheels...

-- Pieter (, February 10, 2000.


Let me also add my thanks for your continuing efforts!

I hold the minority opinion at my job that our area (Central Ohio) will see power problems this summer: we had some brownouts and short- term black outs last summer, so the system is already stressed with many users. Add computer problems and partial shut-down of the regional nuclear plants, and then some 100+ temps, and it wouldn't surprise me if we face a similar situation (minus the labor problems) that you are now.

Stay Cool!


-- (, February 10, 2000.

I should quit and go to bed! That's 100 F ... 104 F = 40 C.

-- (, February 10, 2000.

One of the benefits of deregulation.

Comin' your way, USofA.

A national grid, where all can play.

And of course, who do ya think will pay?

-- pliney the younger (, February 10, 2000.

eyes_open, you said this was still being ignored in USA news. That's because it is TRIVIAL. I would not be in the slightest bit interested if people in Texas had to switch their air conditioners off for a few days. I don't know why Pieter thinks anyone else is interested in his little cut and paste jobs either.

-- Mr. Sane (, February 11, 2000.

As he is a Melbourne dweller, the dexterity of Mr. Sane's mental processes go some way in affirming what we have known for some time, that they play football like pooftahs and they wouldn't be able to repel a determined attack by fairy penguins.

As for where this debate about power is going and why post about it? The answer is found in the electrifying social engineering current running throughout these threads posted to cover the issue. It's about rejecting the pat assumption that socialist organised union holds the system in contempt, when indeed the real issue is allowing multi- nationals to hold us to ransom. That is happening to Americans also, and that's why my dear Mr Sane you will find interest growing and yourself in the minority. You see, Mr Nincompoop, ordinary people do count, even in Melbourne, a place chocker-block with peons to the greed machine of a few internationals. The big boys' games are being found out and they do not enjoy the attention.


-- Pieter (, February 11, 2000.

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