The energy market operator is set to ask businesses to power down on Thursday to help Victoria and Australia avoid blackouts.

It was revealed on Thursday afternoon that the Australian Energy Market Operator had begun talks with major energy users – such as large manufacturers and smelters – to adjust their power usage ahead of a hot day.

“These reserves give us the ability to deal with these heatwaves, that’s why we have this in our back pocket,” AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman said.

It was initially thought these talks would have to be held on Wednesday ahead of a hot Thursday but it appears Friday is now the problem.

AEMO has warned of a potential blackout on Friday at 3pm due to a 27-megawatt shortfall.

Gold 104.3 Melbourne