End-of-life generators cause blackout


p2308-power-failure-1By ERWIN CHLANDA
A failure at a power station whose engines are near or past the end of their life caused extensive blackouts in Alice Springs yesterday and this morning.
We reported in August 2006: “All eight of the Ron Goodin Power Station’s piston engines will reach the end of their life within 10 years, some of them within just three years.”
Yet Territory Generation says it was a failure at that power station that deprived the town of refrigeration and airconditioning on a steamy day, and plunged it into darkness.
Broadcast announcements about when the problem was going to be fixed had to be updated several times. In some areas power was restored during the evening but dropped out again.
Territory Generation Chief Executive Officer Tim Duignan says: “Power supply in Alice Springs failed at about 2:45pm on Saturday due to a generator failure at Ron Goodin Power Station.
“The generator failure triggered a number of protection mechanisms in the power system due to the change in frequency it caused.
“We are working closely with Power and Water to investigate the event and address any issues that are identified,” says Mr Duignan.
“Alice Springs and at least three surrounding communities lost all power.
“With regards to compensation, Territory Generation will review the relevant service agreements and discuss with government over coming days.”
We are seeking comment from Territory Generation.
UPDATE 2:40pm
Mr Duignan says: “Territory Generation has been working on a strategy to renew the generation in Alice Springs and we will continue to work closely with the Northern Territory Government on those plans.” He was not available for further comment.


  1. This is not good enough. The Owen Springs power station which is located in the new industrial area near the Bohning cattle yards, opposite the jail, recently had four new Rolls Royce turbine engines put in at a cost of $6m each.
    So why did this occur, as I am under the impression that this substation kicks in when the other has failed.
    I can imagine a number of businesses seeking compensation.
    Also, the solar panels opposite the trucking museum, what does that service do?


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