NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer to head up new Energy Security Taskforce

22 Feb 2017

NSW Energy and Utilities Minister Don Harwin has unveiled a new Energy Security Taskforce.

The taskforce will look at improved ways to manage extreme weather impacts on energy security, including readiness, planning, preparation and response capability.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane AC, has been appointed Chair of the new taskforce that will report to Minister Harwin.

“My top priority as Energy Minister is to ensure that we maintain a secure energy supply for the people of NSW in their homes and workplaces,” Mr Harwin said.

“We have a diversified and interconnected energy system that held up in the recent heatwave but I won’t be complacent. Households and businesses should know that the Government is actively pursuing this issue.”

The taskforce will:
·         assess the risks to and resilience of the NSW electricity system from extreme weather events
·         evaluate the adequacy of the state’s management of electricity system security events including prevention, preparedness, response and recovery
·         make recommendations on actions to address any vulnerabilities identified and/or opportunities for improvements to current practices.

Professor Mary O’Kane said NSW needs to be fully prepared for any energy security event, and be able to respond and recover effectively from issues that might arise.

"This is a very important, timely piece of work because as recent events across Australia have highlighted it is critical that households and industry have a resilient electricity system," Professor O'Kane said.

The taskforce will engage with all relevant stakeholders and the broader community in developing its final report. A draft report will be completed in the first half of 2017.

This work will complement the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, led by Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.