Queenslanders have been told to brace for possible power outages in the coming days after a fire took out a major plant and cut power to half a million customers.
The blaze at the coal-fired power station, now surrounded by a 550-metre exclusion zone, in central Queensland on Tuesday afternoon robbed the state of a major generator.
Emergency workers were waiting to get inside the Callide Power Station plant, near the town of Biloela last on Tuesday. All plant workers were evacuated and there are no reports on injuries so far.
Danny Donald from power company Energex says he’s not sure the Queensland network has ever experienced an outage on a similar scale.
But the restoration was quick, and almost everyone who lost power was back online within two hours.
But it’s unclear when the four generating units will be back on line.
Mr Donald warned there would be “instability” in the network in the coming days.
The Australian Energy Market Operator issued a “lack of reserve” notice to the national market to import power to Queensland.
Later, the AEMO was telling households to avoid using heavy appliances to “minimise stress on the system” until at least 9.30pm to mitigate the risk of further brownouts or blackouts.
The widespread blackouts affected consumers from the Queensland/NSW border to north Queensland and blacked-out traffic lights causing hectic conditions on the roads.