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south australia blackout electricity storm

If you’ve been following the media in recent months, you will know that South Australia has become a bit of national joke due to the apparent fragility of its electricity infrastructure.

In September 2016, the state experienced a near-total electricity blackout after three of the four electricity interconnectors with the eastern states were taken out simultaneously by a massive storm.

Although the storm was classified as a once-in-50 year event, we’ve had several more of those in the last six months and each time our electricity infrastructure has experienced difficulties with regular, prolonged outages in various parts of the state.

The electricity issues have become a delicate political issue, with the Labor Government copping plenty of flak for its shift to renewable energy, supposedly at the expense of redundancy in our state’s electricity supply system. Local media has been peppered with stories of food producers ditching their spoiled stock, small businesses being unable to trade, and senior citizens suffering in the searing summer heat without air conditioning.

In this maelstrom, I’d like to give a thumbs up to the guys at @SAPowerNetworks. They’d have to be the most overworked social media monitors in the state at the moment and from where I sit, they’re doing an admirable job.

The other day we experienced an outage at the Regency Park TAFE. The manner in which the entire building shut down was very much like the event back in September 2016, so I dashed off a quick tweet:

power outage

I didn’t expect a reply. I didn’t ‘reach out’ to anybody in particular by adding a Twitter address or hashtag in the tweet. But the following reply arrived shortly after service was restored:

power outage response

Whilst a response wasn’t expected, it was much appreciated, particularly as an explanation for the outage was provided. This sort of proactive social media monitoring and ‘reach out’ is very effective. It helps to soften opinions of those who harbour a negative mindset towards a particular organisation (I don’t, by the way), and it can serve to disarm those who may have otherwise chosen to continue their online criticism.

@SAPowerNetworks have obviously got their social media monitoring software set up well – an earlier example of a blog post I wrote about stobie poles is evidence of this:

stobie pole



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Again, love the fact that they ‘value added’ on the original tweet by providing additional interesting information about the subject matter, and were willing to engage in an online dialogue with me.

So, hats off to the guys at @SAPowerNetworks – ask your boss for a raise.  Hope that there are not too many storms in the weeks ahead for you.

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