History of electricity in Adelaide

History of Electricity in Adelaide

A detailed history of Adelaide’s electricity network and advances from the early settlement to the modern world we live in today.

The First Use of Electricity (1855 – 1944)

The first private use of electricity was recorded in 1855 by Mr Hullet of Port Augusta when built a hydroelectric plant to illuminate his dining room. Now you may wonder what this has to do with the history of electricity in Adelaide, but in fact, Mr Hullet’s story would play a central role in the state’s electricity story.

1897 saw the next major step in the development of a running electricity supply in South Australia. At the end of the year, the South Australian Parliament authorised the formation of a privately owned company to build a new power station that would supply power to the Port Adelaide area. And so the South Australian Electric Light and Motive Power Company was born.

In 1898, the newly-formed company built the first public power station. Located in a small stable on the corner of Lipson and St Vincent Streets in Port Adelaide, this temporary station delivered power to the streets of the port well before the city of Adelaide even had electricity.

The New Power Generation and the Grenfell Street Power Station

In June 1899, the history of electricity in Adelaide saw a major development. The temporary power station was relocated to a purpose-built site on Nile Street. Later that year, the UK-based English Brush Electrical Engineering Company Ltd bought out the South Australian Electric Light and Motive Power Company. Before too long, they locked down an agreement to supply electric power for lighting on King William Street and the connection of private customers. They built a coal-fired powerhouse constructed on Grenfell Street that became the sole supplier of the city and its suburbs power. In 1901, the Port Adelaide station closed.

1905 saw the incorporation and renaming of the South Australian Electric Light and Motive Power Company to become the Adelaide Electric Supply Company Ltd (AESCo).

In 1909, Adelaide experienced its first great blackout. You may think the system malfunctioned, but that was not the case. Funnily enough, an operator at the Grenfell Street Power Station tripped and knocked the master switch which plunged the city into darkness.

By 1926, the opening of various substations across Adelaide helped to meet the demand for more power across the city. This evolution extended the transmission of power into rural areas and saw the birth of the stobie pole.

An Electrical Revolution (1944 – today)

In 1944, state Premier Tom Playford established a royal commission, demanding an enquiry into the privately-owned electricity assets. The commission ordered that the state government take ownership of the private electricity monopoly. And just like that, the Electricity Trust of SA (ETSA) was born.

Over the next few decades, a series of power stations would arise across the state to further the power network. In 1971, power prices increased for the first time in 19 years with domestic bills rising by 5%.

In 1999, the state went back to the future. Although no DeLorean time machine was involved in this venture. One of the most controversial decisions in South Australia’s political history was the privatisation of ETSA. This meant that the state’s electrical assets were broken into separate transmission entities.

Two years later, the Howard government introduced mandatory renewable energy targeting. And just two years after that, South Australia’s first major wind farm began to spin. In 2016, the last coal-fired generator at Port Augusta shut down. The plant’s owners had decided it was no longer viable because it was operating as a part-time generator to meet higher demand in the summer. The decision disappointed the residents of Port Augusta because it was the city’s biggest employer.

In 2016, the entire state lost power for days on end in the aftermath of a severe storm. To prevent further blackouts, the South Australian Government announced a $500 million power plan and backup power stations.

The Metropolitan Story

During Adelaide’s electricity supply boom, electrical companies were popping up all over the state. 1995, saw the birth of Metropolitan Plumbing to serve to state with quality plumbing services. Several years later, the company expanded and Metropolitan Electrical Contractors was born. And we’ve been part of the history of electricity in Adelaide ever since.

Since then, we have been delivering top-quality services to tens of thousands of our customers. No electrical job is too big or too small for our team of local experts across the nation. If you need a ‘local Adelaide electrician‘, then look no further. We operate 24/7, every day of the year and can even dispatch an electrician to your door within the hour*.

 


Published: 2020-07-08

doorbell camera installation
 Door Bell
doorbell camera installation

Doorbells

Wifi Remote Security Doorbell
  • Smart Doorbells
  • Doorbell Cameras
  • Video Doorbells
  • Security Doorbells
LEARN MORE

Electricians You Can Trust

Our Promise to You

Our electricians pride themselves with honest reliable services

Honest

We believe in transparency. We will guide you through our process, answer your questions and provide you with upfront, no obligation fixed prices.

Committed to provide excellent and efficient electrical services

Committed

No matter how big or small the job is, whether you're a new or returning customer, we treat every job as important and strive for success.

Professional Expert Electrical Technicians

Professional

We know our job site is your home and we completely respect that. We arrive neat and clean, and tidy up after we've completed the job.

Electrician Zip Pay Payment Options Image
Electrician Zip Pay Payment Options Image

Now Available!

Interest free Electrical with trusted pay later options

What Our Happy Customers Have to Say

Better service starts here

5 stars rating img

Simon was very professional and did excellent work. Provided clear explanations and very informative options for the job. An excellent result was achieved. Thanks again Simon for your help!

Paul - SA
5 stars rating img

Ferris was on time and very professional. He understood straight away what was going on. He fixed the issue with my lights and even did a full electrical inspection. Very happy.

Andrew - VIC
5 stars rating img

Angelo changed some circuits on my board that were damaged and causing the power to go off. He fixed it quickly and explained the damage. Absolute champion.

Kaye - SA
  • HMP Hot Water Logo

    HPM are leaders in the Australian electrical industry and Metropolitan is available 24/7 to install and repair their products.

  • Wilson Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors has experts at installing, repairing and servicing all Wilson electric hot water systems.

  • Thermann Hot Water Logo

    When you need an expert in Thermann electric hot water products, contact your local specialists.

  • Vulcan Hot Water Logo

    When you need an expert in Vulcan's electric hot water systems, contact your local specialists.

  • Stiebel Eltron Hot Water Logo

    We work with Stiebel Eltron electric hot water systems. When you need service you can trust, call Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • Rinnai Hot Water Logo

    When you need an expert in Rinnai's electric hot water systems, contact your local specialists.

  • Schneider Electric Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is your local Schneider Electric specialist.

  • Rheem Hot Water Logo

    Did you know Metropolitan Electrical Contractors can install, service and repair all Rheem electric hot water systems?

  • Philips Hot Water Logo

    For fast and efficient Philips electrical services, Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is your number one local expert.

  • Pierlite Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is proud to use high quality brands such as Pierlite.

  • OMEGA Hot Water Logo

    If you're after quality OMEGA electrical products for your home or business, call the experts at Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • OSRAM Hot Water Logo

    OSRAM electrical products are highly recommended by the expert team at Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • NHP Hot Water Logo

    Need an electrical expert who works with the NHP brand? Look no further than your local Metropolitan Electrical Contractors electricians.

  • Hager Hot Water Logo

    When you need an expert in Hager electrical products you need Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • Legrand Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is proud to work with high quality brands such as Legrand.

  • Crompton Lighting Hot Water Logo

    We are proud to work with high quality products such as Crompton Lighting. Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is a name you can trust.

  • Dux Hot Water Logo

    When you need a Dux electric hot water installation, service or repair, call the team at Metropolitan Electrical Contractors.

  • Clipsal Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors is proud to work with high quality brands such as Clipsal.

  • Bosch Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors are experts at installing, repairing and servicing Bosch electric hot water systems.

  • Chromagen Hot Water Logo

    Did you know that Metropolitan Electrical Contractors supply, install and repair Chromagen electric hot water systems?

  • AquaMAX Hot Water Logo

    Metropolitan Electrical Contractors choose Australian owned and operated AquaMAX for a range of electric hot water services.

metropolitan electrical contractors Service Reviews metropolitan electrical contractors service reviews