The power should stay on across South Australia during this week’s heatwave but it may be close thing.
The Australian Energy Market Operator says SA should have sufficient electricity despite temperatures in the mid to high 30s forcing up demand.
But AEMO has warned that unexpected generator or network issues could change things fast.
Such are the slim margins the energy market operates on, AEMO also pointed to minor shortfalls in electricity reserves for a three-hour period on Tuesday night and across an hour on Wednesday afternoon.
Temperatures are likely to be the highest on those two days with the mercury in Adelaide hitting 38C on Tuesday and tipped to reach a similar level on Wednesday.
Conditions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are forecast to be slightly cooler.
“Given the dynamic nature of the power system, changes in weather forecasts and or equipment failures, all can impact the situation quite quickly,” AEMO said in a statement.
“AEMO is engaging closely with local generators, network businesses and the South Australian government regarding reserve levels, generator availability, network outages and the forecast conditions to securely manage the power system.”
Earlier in February power was cut to 90,000 homes or business in SA for about 30 minutes during a heatwave.
The blackout was a result of load shedding ordered by AEMO when demand for power went higher than originally expected because of errors in forecast temperatures.
In an initial report on the incident the market operator said load shedding was the only viable option at the time to avoid damage to the electricity network and a “potentially disastrous” impact on power customers.
The Bureau of Meteorology said this week’s hot spell was being driven by high pressure systems sending northerly winds across SA.
“I imagine we’ll see an extended period of dry weather, with warmer than average temperatures, right through to the early part of next week,” senior forecaster Mark Anolak told AAP.
Despite the hot conditions, the Country Fire Service said total fire bans were unlikely because of light winds.