Australia - Power outage; then fault at Armidale transformer during maintenance? : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Transformer blamed Story Published Friday

21 January 2000

By Frances Hibbard

Large area left without power

A FAULTY transformer is to blame for the huge power failure that left a large chunk of northern NSW in the dark this week.

Many regional centres, including Armidale, Inverell, Tenterfield, Goondiwindi, Lismore and Coffs Harbour, were thrown into chaos just before 5pm on Wednesday due to a problem at Transgrids Armidale sub-station. The huge sub-station, housed in brick facilities on the Waterfall Way, contains three transformers.

One of these transformers was already out of use due to general maintenance on Wednesday, meaning the remaining two were bearing the load of power for much of the region.

Transgrids acting corporate manager, Ashok Manglick, said the fault in the second transformer tripped the entire system, causing the widespread disruption to supply.

Larger centres experienced complete power loss for up to 90 minutes, while smaller townships had to wait until late yesterday for NorthPower to reconnect electricity supplies.

Mr Manglick said it was very unusual to experience a fault at the time power transformers were undergoing maintenance.

No single transformer could carry the entire power load, he said, meaning 300 megawatts of electricity were lost in Wednesdays failure.

In Armidale the blackout forced many local businesses to close due to difficulties with computer systems, machines and refrigeration capabilities.


The Northern Daily Reader, Australia

-- Lee Maloney (, February 21, 2000

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