Following a fire at CS Energy’s Callide Power Station on Tuesday 25 May, three units at the power station have been put offline, having an immediate impact on other generators in Queensland and Powerlink’s transmission network in various parts of the state. 

There were flow-on impacts to Energy Queensland’s distribution network and Essential Energy in northern New South Wales.

This impact occurred within milliseconds of the incident at the power station.

At its peak, the outage impacted 470,000 customers – about 380,000 in South-East Queensland and another 90,000 in regional Queensland. In total, there was a loss of 3,100MW of generation in Queensland.

Powerlink, Energex and Ergon Network teams worked to progressively restore power supply as soon as it was safe to do so.

Power was progressively restored throughout the afternoon and the numbers of impacted customers continued to reduce. 

All SEQ customers affected by the power station issue were resupplied within two hours. Most Ergon customers were restored within an hour, with the final regional customers back on by 4.30pm.

In response to the shortfall in available generation heading into the evening peak demand period, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) issued an actual Lack of Reserve 2 (LOR) notice at 4:45pm and a forecast LOR3 notice at 5:07pm identifying the potential for electricity demand to exceed supply in Queensland.

Queensland customers were also asked to voluntarily reduce their energy usage to assist in managing demand on the network. This notice was later cancelled at 7:13pm due to sufficient power supply from generators returning to service around the state.

Investigations are now underway into the incident and Powerlink said its expert technical teams are looking in detail at the impacts to the Queensland power system. 

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