As your correspondent reported last week, most of SE Australia was isolated from the SA power grid due to the loss of some transmission towers. Jo Nova updates the situation.
It would have been nerve-wracking in the control rooms. The Portland Aluminium Smelter in Victoria, which is the largest single user of electricity in Victoria, had a near death experience. Both pot lines shut down immediately. It appears emergency workers only managed to get 50% of the power back up 3 hours and ten minutes later. The future of the plant hung in the balance — after a few hours without power pot lines can freeze permanently solid. It’s referred to as a “near fatal event”. If those 1,000°C pot lines cool to 700°C the molten aluminium sets solid and that’s the end of the plant.
The isolation of the eastern states is an echo of a possibly fictional headline in a London newspaper “Fog in channel continent isolated”.