Substation fire cuts power to 2700

More than 2700 Aurora Energy network customers in the Queenstown area had no power for up to an hour and 42 minutes yesterday after a fire broke out at Delta's Queenstown substation.

The failure of an 11kV circuit breaker at 2.41pm resulted in the transformer unit catching fire, with two Queenstown Fire Brigade engines attending the fire at the substation in Brecon St for about an hour and a-half.

Worst affected was the Gorge Rd area, where 686 customers went without power until 4.23pm, but the town centre was also hit hard, with 125 customers losing power for over an hour and a-half and 108 in the CBD south area had no power for about an hour.

Queenstown south's 257 affected customers regained power at 3.52pm, while 445 Glenorchy customers and 1085 in the Arrowtown area regained power at 3.30pm and 2.58pm respectively.

Firefighters monitored the situation until Delta technicians had rendered the system safe.

The two fire crews attempted to extinguish the fire using dry powder and carbon dioxide powder and, when that failed, used water to put it out.

Delta marketing and communications manager Gary Johnson said Aurora Energy was working to identify what caused the circuit breaker to fail.

Skyline Queenstown chief executive Jeff Staniland said the outage had cut power to the Skyline complex, but a back-up generator had ensured no-one was left hanging on the gondola.


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