icon-electricity 28 September 2016 state-wide power system outage

  • Project Released: 12 Dec 2016
  • Project Closes: 2017
  • Contact: Natasha Cheshire


The Essential Services Commission has commenced a compliance review to determine whether or not electricity licensees complied with the conditions of their licences (granted under the Electricity Act 1996) before, during and after the 28 September 2016 state-wide power system outage.


Current status is Initiate

  • Initiate
  • Final

On Wednesday 28 September 2016, a state-wide power system outage occurred in South Australia.

The Commission is reviewing the performance of electricity entities, including generators and network businesses, prior to, during and after the system outage in the context of the conditions contained in the licences they hold under the Electricity Act 1996.

As the licensing authority under that Act, and consistent with its general powers and functions under the Essential Services Commission Act 2002, the Commission has compliance and enforcement powers in relation to the performance of licensees. Using those powers, the Commission is reviewing electricity entities' compliance with their licence conditions.

In many cases, licence conditions also require compliance with technical standards and requirements, the National Electricity Rules and the Australian Energy Market Operator’s operating standards. The Technical Regulator, the Australian Energy Regulator and the Australian Energy Market Operator have compliance roles (respectively) in relation to those matters and are also undertaking reviews. The Commission is working closely with each of those bodies in its review to ensure regulatory coordination.

Public reports detailing the Commission’s findings and observations in relation to licensees’ compliance with electricity licence obligations will be released at the conclusion of review.

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