Mass blackout cases energy sector concerns

Collie Power Station contributed to the mass blackouts across the state over the weekend and caused sparks to fly between WA politicians, calling the disaster a "disturbing omen" for the energy sector.

More than 100,000 homes and businesses across Perth, Kalgoorlie and Geraldton lost power after a Kwinana generator failed due to a local bushfire and two failures at Badginarra Wind Farm and Collie Power Station ensuing shortly afterwards on January 10.

Opposition Leader Liza Harvey labelled the outage a bad sign for the energy sector and called for the Labor Government to explain what was happening to the state's power.

"Mr McGowan needs to enlighten us as to why was there insufficient back-up generation available, why system frequency could not be maintained and why the plant failed, despite a recent performance audit," she said.

"This is an extremely concerning development for our electricity system.

"We have not seen widespread blackouts like this since Labor was last in government, when it ran down the electricity system by refusing to properly invest.

"This widespread blackout is a disturbing omen, especially given the national energy operator AEMO warned the McGowan Labor Government that blackouts will become commonplace without substantial and immediate investment.."

The blackout follows a $650 million loss reported by Synergy for the 2018-19 financial year, the worst government business loss in the state's history.

State energy minister Bill Johnson hit back at Ms Harvey's comments claiming the outage had more to do with the privately-owned power station rather than the state's ability to supply power.

"Liza Harvey's comments show she doesn't understand the electricity system and her plans to privatise Western Power is a risk to our state's energy security," he said.

The unlikely rare event was the worst power outage in the state in five years due to the tripping of three generators at the same time.

An Australian Energy Market Operator Executive spokesperson said the organisations would investigate the incident to ensure it would not be repeated.