Country Energy denies blackout due to load

Ongoing investigations following greater Lismore outage

Power was restored by 8pm to the majority of Country Energy
customers on the Far North Coast affected by a power interruption
earlier this evening.

The interruption affected approximately 65,000 homes in the
greater Lismore, Byron Bay, Ballina, Mullumbimby, Alstonville,
Woodburn, Casino, Kyogle and Evans Head areas.

Regional general manager, Brian Glawson, said that at about 4.10pm
a component failed at Country Energy’s South Lismore zone
sub-station, affecting supply to Lismore central business district
and rural areas to the south and west of Lismore.

“Field crews responded immediately to isolate the defective
component and were well on their way to restoring supply, however,
protection equipment at the greater Lismore electricity bulk supply
point failed during the restoration work,” Brian said.

“This resulted in loss of supply throughout the district,
including the towns of Lismore, Byron Bay, Ballina, Mullumbimby,
Alstonville, Woodburn, Casino, Kyogle and Evans Head.”

Country Energy technicians were on site within minutes to identify
and correct the fault, however, supply had to be restored in a staged
and considered manner for safety and operational reasons.

“Supply was first restored to critical sites, followed by the
bulk of our customers by 8pm,” Brian said.

“Our technicians will continue investigations tomorrow. Early
investigations indicate that the interruption resulted from a series
of isolated faults.

“The likelihood of such an incident occurring again is
extremely remote.”

Brian said reports that the interruption occurred due to increased
demand on the network were incorrect.

“There was not a high demand at the time of the incidents.

“While it was an unfortunate series of events that led to the
interruption, all of Country Energy’s safety devices operated as they
should,” he said.

“We take our responsibility to provide a reliable power
supply very seriously and on behalf of Country Energy, I would like
to apologise to our customers and thank them for their patience.”

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