At approximately 1.45pm on Tuesday 25 May, a fire occurred in one of the turbine halls at CS Energy’s Callide power station. As a result, the three units that were generating at the time went offline.
The sudden trip and loss of generation immediately impacted other generators in Queensland and Powerlink’s transmission network in various parts of the state. There were flow on impacts to Energy Queensland 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 3,100 megawatts 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 our expert technical teams are looking in detail at the impacts to the Queensland power system.
We thank our customers for their patience during this unexpected event. We also appreciate the efforts of our industry counterparts at AEMO, Energex, Ergon Network and CS Energy in working together to respond.
We thank the Queensland community for their patience and support.
We greatly appreciate everyone's efforts in voluntarily reducing electricity use throughout this evening. Your cooperation and our team’s efforts with Ergon Energy and Energex has limited any ongoing impacts on customers tonight.
Statement from Queensland Energy Minister Mick de Brenni
The Australian Energy Market Operator has advised that some customers in Queensland may experience further outages this evening following the incident at Callide C Power Station earlier today.
Energy Minister Mick de Brenni thanked Queenslanders for their patience and understanding.
“I’m thankful no one was injured in this incident and we’re working hard to resolve these unprecedented issues as quickly as we can,” the Minister said.
“Essential services such as hospitals, transport networks, ports, airports and other key infrastructure will stay online.
“AEMO have advised this should be resolved by 9:30pm.
“The best way to ensure this is done as quickly as possible is to conserve energy use.
“If you and your family are in a position to, please consider conserving energy by turning off appliances, heaters and reverse-cycle air conditioning.
“Commercial and industrial users can also contribute to the effort by reducing energy use where it’s safe to do so.
“Importantly, this may affect traffic lights so it is important people stay off roads unless absolutely necessary. If you are on the roads, be careful.”
Powerlink, Energex and Ergon Network have been managing an unexpected power outage impacting various locations across the state this afternoon.
The outage follows an incident at CS Energy’s Callide Power Station near Biloela in Central Queensland.
At approximately 1.45pm today, a fire occurred in one of the turbine halls at the power station. As a result, the three units that were generating at the time went offline.
The power station was immediately evacuated and emergency services attended site. At this stage, there are no reported injuries.
Ergon and Energex crews were immediately on standby to restore power supply as soon as safe to do so. Working with Powerlink our teams were mobilised quickly to restore power in affected areas.
We thank customers for their patience during this unexpected incident.
We will provide more information as it becomes available.
CS Energy Media Line – 07 3854 7399
Powerlink - 24 hour media line (07) 3860 2654
Energy Queensland - 24 hour media line (07) 3664 5191