Late last month the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCoSA) issued its report into SA Power Networks’ response to the December storm event.
In its response to the report, SA Power Networks has told its community engagement partners (including Consumers SA):
"We are pleased the Commission has acknowledged the unprecedented nature of the storm; the high number of outages caused; that we restored power as soon as practicable; and confirmed our approach to crew resourcing.
SA Power Networks has acknowledged that communication to customers, particularly through direct SMS, could have been better and we are taking a number of steps to improve how we communicate during these kind of major events.
A copy of the ESCoSA report is available at ESCoSA review 27-29 December 2016 storm response
In summary, the Commission report makes the following key points:
· The extent of damage from the storm was unprecedented.
· The long average restoration times reflected the severity of the storm.
· Damage to the network led to an exceptionally high number of outages.
· SA Power Networks restored supply as soon as practicable given the level of damage to the network and the weather conditions, which hampered restoration.
· The cost of building a storm-resistant network outweighs the benefits.
· SA Power Networks’ approach to crew resourcing is appropriate.
· There is no justification for increasing resources to respond specifically to these type of events as the resources would otherwise be idle other times during the year."
Queries about the report can be directed to: Grant Cox, Manager Regulatory Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org