New taskforce to consult widely on energy security matters

7 Mar 2017

The Chair of the new Energy Security Taskforce is seeking community and industry input as it examines the resilience of New South Wales’ energy system.

The NSW Government announced last month that Chief Scientist & Engineer Mary O’Kane would lead the Taskforce – investigating improved ways of managing extreme weather impacts on the state’s energy security, including our readiness, planning, preparation and response capability.

The Taskforce also comprises Dr Brian Spalding, a commissioner on the Australian Energy Market Commission; and former Deputy NSW Police Commissioner Dave Owens, who previously held the legislative role of State Emergency Operations Controller.

It was set up in response to concerns surrounding the resilience of our energy system over summer.

“The strain placed on the grid by the run of hot days in January and February was considerable, and we were very fortunate to get through the extreme heat without any major disruption to our power supply,” Professor O’Kane said.

“It’s critical that households and industry across NSW have access to a resilient electricity system; we must be fully prepared for any energy security event, and be ready and able to respond to and recover effectively from issues that might arise.”

Professor O’Kane said the Taskforce will consult broadly as it assesses the resilience of the system.

“We will seek input from relevant state and federal government agencies; regulators; electricity generators, distributors and retailers; industry users, both big and small; and concerned members of the community,” she said.

Submissions can be made to the Taskforce via email: energy.taskforce@chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au

The Energy Security Taskforce will provide an initial report to the Minister for Energy & Utilities, The Hon. Don Harwin MLC, by mid-year; with its final report and recommendations to be published by the end of 2017.

The Taskforce’s work will complement that of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (the Finkel Review), chaired by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel.

For more information about the NSW Energy Security Taskforce go to: http://www.chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au/energytaskforce