Thousands of customers in New South Wales have lost power © Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
Thousands of customers in New South Wales have lost power © Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

Flooding hits power supplies

posted by Lucy Patchett
10 February 2020

Heavy rain and flooding has hit areas along the New South Wales (NSW) coastline causing power cuts and disruptions for utilities companies.

Energy suppliers Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy are among firms that have experienced power cuts across its electricity networks due to ongoing thunderstorms and flooding.

Ausgrid tweeted on Sunday: “Power is out to more than 110,000 customers in Sydney, Newcastle & Central Coast. We’ve restored power where we can, but the storm has continued to move and damage more of our network. Crews are working through the night to make these dangerous hazards safe.

“The severe weather has created more than 2,000 hazards on our network. Heavy rain & wind have brought down large trees, branches and powerlines, while flooding is impacting some substations”.

Power has since been restored to 75,000 customers, with a remaining 63,000 still out. 

Endeavour Energy’s said on twitter that its Carlingford Transmission Substation, northwest of Sydney, flooded from “torrential rain”.

The firm tweeted on Monday: “Fresh crews from the Illawarra & South Coast will arrive in Western Sydney & the Blue Mtns tomorrow morning to provide additional impetus to our repair effort.

“Work is continuing to restore power to 16,500 customers. Yesterday’ storm interrupted power to 93,000 homes & businesses. While 76,500 customers are back on, there is many hours of work still needed to repair the 1,150 electrical hazards on the network.”

Since then electricity has been restored to 85,500 customers, with 7,500 homes are still affected.

Meanwhile, the Australian Government is funding projects to increase electricity generation to bring more “affordable and reliable energy” to businesses in Queensland. 

Two projects, which are expected to collectively provide 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of power, will help reduce prices and boost system strength, according to the government.

Michael McCormack, deputy prime minister and minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development, said: “We are supporting two promising new generation projects to deliver the reliable, affordable power that the North Queensland economy needs to grow and thrive.

“The Liberal and Nationals government is ensuring households, businesses and industries get a fair deal on energy, keeping our economy strong.”

The Queensland projects will be funded by the $10m Supporting Reliable Energy Infrastructure programme. Funding will go towards a pre-feasibility study worth up to $2m on a 1.5 GW hydro-electric plant in Queensland, and up to $4m to support a feasibility study for a 1GW high efficiency, low-emissions coal plant.

Keith Pitt, minister for resources, water and northern Australia, said the projects would help secure long-term energy supplies.

He added: “This investment is laying the platform to help ensure that reliable, cheap electricity is available when it is needed, and will help drive down prices for businesses and their customers across Queensland and Australia.”

Angus Taylor, minister for energy and emissions reduction, said: “Our plan to unlock investment in new, reliable generation capacity will increase competition, keep the lights on, and lower prices to better support our commercial and industrial sector.”

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