Monday, April 06, 2009

Sydney Buildings Told To Reduce Power

Sydney's CBD and some surrounds were again affected by a power blackout on Saturday. It was the second blackout in six days. Both also affected the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, and an emergency generator has reportedly been installed to ensure it remains open. Owners of large buildings have beeen asked to reduce power consumption, especially from air conditioners, to avoid more blackouts.

Energy australia has indicated it will take some time to restore all the "backup" supply lines, and repair the main, 130kV, line under Circular Quay, which apparently failed when some earth subsidence affected its insulation.

Perhaps it is pertinent for the NSW State Government to look at:
  • electricity supply lines to the CBD, and other strategic areas.
  • current and future requirements, capacity and infrastructure.
  • building codes for large, multi-storey, air conditioned buildings. Should there be a requirement for emergency power to take lifts to the next lowest level, from backup generators or battery systems? Before you laugh, consider the dozens of people who had to be rescued, largely in darkness, from 34 lifts across the CBD last Monday, 30 March. 34 different lifts for emergency services to attend! Perhaps, too, building codes for new multi-storey buildings to have solar power generators on their rooftops, and greater requirements for passive cooling systems on all buildings to reduce reliance on energy-gulping air conditioners. Hey - there'll be economic stimulus & job creation benefits, too.
Governments, and Oppositions, in this situation are usually light on action, and big on talk and approtioning blame. Premier Nathan Rees's Government will likely be no different. Someone else will be told to "fix it".