David “Strawbs” Hayes, of the Electrical Trades Union, has provided a detailed account of an extensive shut-down of Territory Generation equipment in Alice Springs yesterday evening.
He is saying there is no evidence of a tree branch on the old Brewer Power Station causing the outage, as claimed by the Power Water Corporation.
“This caused eight out the 10 engines that were on line at the Owen Springs Power Station (OSPS) to trip and shutdown. Seven of the eight engines which shut down were the new Jenbachers.
“The incident occurred at about 17:55, soon after operators at the Ron Goodin Power Station were instructed to start generators as no other Owen Springs Generators were available to start at that time.
“The BESS battery system did again not work as required.
“Supply was lost to the majority of Alice Springs, estimated to be two thirds of the town.
“Restoration times were between about 30 and 60 minutes. Rural areas may have been off for longer’
“Without the [old] Ron Goodin power station [pictured, in the main town area] being available, outage times would have been considerably longer,” says Mr Hayes.
By ERWIN CHLANDA
Just in case you’re having difficulty keeping up: November 20: After the blackout on October 13 described by Independent Members for Araluen Robyn Lambley as “horrendous” there is yet another power outage in Alice Springs.
November 21: Ms Lambley castigates Territory Generation (TGen) heavies and its board and demands their sacking for technical and commercial incompetence.
November 22: TGen says the November 20 outing wasn’t their fault and in 2018/19 they contributed $4.25m to the NT Government coffers.
November 23: Simon Kelly, a reader of the Alice Springs News, comments Ms Lambley should get her facts right “or it might be her head that rolls”.
November 23 evening: The Power Water Corporation, which owns the wires reticulating electricity throughout Alice Springs, announces that “a tree has fallen onto a feeder which has affected power supply to parts of the town and crews are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible”. This takes two hours.
Today: The Electrical Trade Union (ETU) says last night’s fault should not have led to two thirds of the town losing power, should not have caused comprehensive failure at the new $75m Owen Springs power station, and the need to fall back yet again on the old Ron Goodin power station (pictured) adjacent to the Golfcourse Estate.
The union’s QLD NT Assistant State Secretary Stuart Traill thunders that Chief Minister Michael Gunner should “sack the incompetent TGen CEO Duignan, GM Assets & Operations Chorvat and Minister Wakefield or face a revolt from the workforce and the Alice community at next year’s Northern Territory election.
“The blackout [yesterday] was the second in four days following another short blackout on Thursday evening and the third since the nine-hour outage on October 13.
“Our members who live and breathe this stuff have been warning that OSPS was not capable of maintaining reliable supply on its own, and what do they get for their trouble? Threats, intimidation and trumped up disciplinary action for doing something that TGen and the government have failed to do – their job,” Mr Traill said.
UPDATE 8.10pm November 24 from Robyn Lambley, Independent Member for Araluen: ‘I stand by my comments last week. What a Shimozzle.”
UPDATE November 25, 4.10pm
Territory Generation CEO Tim Duignan says Territory Generation and Power and Water Corporation are investigating the cause of a power outage in the Alice Springs region on Saturday, November 23.
“Early investigations indicate Territory Generation equipment entered protection mode following a fault on the network line.
“Until Owen Springs Power Station satisfies the stringent operational requirements as identified by System Control and the agreed independent advisor, Ron Goodin Power Station will continue to provide 24/7 standby support to ensure a stable power supply to the Alice Springs region.”