By ERWIN CHLANDA
Electricity is out across all of Alice Springs because of a break-down in the generation system, according to a spokeswoman for the Power Water Corporation.
Crews are still seeking to identify the problem and no time can be given for a resumption of service.
Power is progressively being restored in Alice Springs, investigations are underway to determine what causes the outage, says a spokeswoman for the Power Water Corporation.
Darren Burton, of Uncle Edy’s ice-cream shop at the southern end of Todd Mall, says during the six hours of no power – so far – he would have lost an estimated $5000 if he did not have a gen set, which he has as a builder.
He says the neighbours in Todd Mall have shut their doors and gone home.
“The pubs are open, maybe they are just giving it away before it gets hot,” he says.
The Alice Plaza, which had lost its power for only an hour and a half, is having their biggest day ever, he says.
But the sports store across the road is still without power, while the bank and the shops opposite have electricity again.
“We are probably losing more than $2000 worth of trading today,” he says. “I had to send the staff home. I am asking Power Water Corporation, is there going to be compensation.”
[ED – The power at Edy’s came back two minutes after we posted this update. The power of the press?]
The PWC spokeswoman says the majority of the services have now been restored, except for a handful in the Larapinta Area.
It seems the fault started on a pole of the feeder line to the Golden Mile and Jay Creek. That pole has not been found yet but crews are out there checking.
That fault caused a chain reaction that ultimately shut down the ageing Ron Goodin power station, to be closed next year, and also affected the Owen Springs plant.
UPDATE Friday 1:10am
Alice Springs power outage summary from the PWC spokeswoman
- Power in Alice Springs went out at approx. 09 48 am yesterday morning.
- Broader areas included Santa Teresa and Hermannsburg.
- The cause is being investigated.
- We know that a fault occurred on a powerline supplying mostly rural areas south and west of the Alice Springs township.
- This resulted in generation at Owen Springs Power Station shutting down with a subsequent chain reaction leading to a complete loss of power supply to Alice Springs and surrounding areas.
- Power and Water worked with Territory Generation to progressively restore power supply to customers.
- Generators needed to be re-started to bring supply back on, which is a slow and progressive process.
- A power system such as that in Alice Springs is vulnerable. We are looking at all areas including system protection schemes and other possibilities. We want to ensure our systems and equipment are operating as they should.
- As at 4pm, the majority of customers had power restored, except for around 200 in the Jay Creek, White Gums and Larapinta Drive areas, and some areas south of The Gap.
- Crews are patrolling the powerline feeding those areas and restoring power section by section.