Human error behind widespread NT blackout

Human error was the cause of a widespread Northern Territory power blackout that left thousands of people sweltering, an investigation has found.

About 49,000 or half of all customers on the Darwin-Katherine power grid were left without power on November 18 as temperatures soared into the mid to high 30Cs.

The outage caused by a third-party supplier was unacceptable, NT Minister for Essential Services Eva Lawler said on Thursday.

"Territorians, families and businesses deserve stable, reliable and affordable power," she said.

The blackout happened after the gas supply through the APA pipeline to Darwin's Channel Island Power Station failed, resulting in load-shedding for about four hours.

Customers made more than 35,000 visits to NT Power and Water's outage web page during the outage - which is equivalent to a six-month period of business-as-usual.

Power and Water also responded to 3552 phone calls, 226 emails and 406 Facebook messages during the incident.

Ms Lawler said processes would be put in place to make sure the power supply failure wouldn't happen again.

An independent investigation - which is required under the System Control Technical Code - has been released to the public.

It outlined key recommendations to prevent similar gas supply problems happening in future.

They include ensuring energy infrastructure company, APA, informs Power and Water about any works that could affect the supply of gas.

There should also be an improvement in communication to members of the public and the media when incidents involving Power and Water, Territory Generation and Jacana Energy occur.

The final report was supplied to the Utilities Commission, with all recommendations to be implemented by August.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

  • Print this page
  • Copy Link