TransGrid 330kV substation near Tallawarra Power Station on fire [updated ~20:30]

When it rains, it pours … or so it seems with this ‘2022 Energy Crisis’.

This evening I noticed this tweet here about a fire in the TransGrid 330kV substation near the Tallawarra Power Station in the Illawarra region:


Thanks to Peter Hannam and others!

In a quick scan I noted this other tweet from Peter, and the ABC article ‘Fire engulfs part of Tallawarra Power Station in Yallah, with one transformer fully alight’.

A quick glance at this ez2view ‘Unit Dashboard’ widget shows that it’s not stopped the Tallawarra power station ramping back up to partial output.  I’ve not had time to check further*  to see if the ~2 hour outage until quite recently has anything to do with the fire … and may not be able to tell without ‘Next Day Public’ data…

*  … see PS1 below, and update on the ez2view snapshot highlighting that the short outage was the result of the fire.


Note that newer versions of ez2view v9.4 (like v9.4.2.53 here) are now showing uncapped CPD Price (at a participant’s request) … as it better helps participants bid for dispatch under these strange market conditions.


PS1 around  ~20:30 on Saturday 18th June

Worth adding a few links to other updates provided by others:

(A)  Updates from the electricity industry

At 18:25, the AEMO published this tweet to reassure all ok with electricity supplies:


Additionally, EnergyAustralia published this Media Statement on TransGrid’s fire at Dapto substation…. importantly clarifying two things:

1)  The statement noted that the fire resulted in the ‘power station coming offline for around 2 hours’ … and that … ‘returned the plant to service around 17:15’… as a result of which the ez2view image above has been updated with the additional note.

2)  ‘Despite earlier media reports, there was no fire at EnergyAustralia’s Tallawarra power station today.  ’

I had a quick look, and could not see anything published by TransGrid (though the event does not seem too dramatic).

(B)  Other media coverage

In addition to the ABC article above, I’ve also seen these media articles since initial posting:

1)  In the Guardian, Peter Hannam wrote about ‘Large fire at Illawarra substation note expected to impact energy supply’.

2)  In the SMH, Angus Dalton wrote ‘A very dangerous operation: substation engulfed in flames south of Sydney’.

3)  Later (~22:03) we see 9News’ Romy Gilbert and Jo Attanasio write ‘Secure all doors and windows – Residents warned to stay inside as oil file tears through power station in Woollongong’ (i.e. another article mistaking the substation for the power station).

4)  Though first published ~17:00 I only saw later the Illawarra Mercury had Desiree Savage write ‘Dapto substation in Yallah Bay on Fire’ … an article that has some further updates coming in.

So, at least for now, looks like nothing too significant in terms of electricity supplies:

1)   though from the perspective of the NEM, very conscious of the risk of ‘straw that broke the camels back’ … both in terms of the physical grid but also in terms of overwork and exhaustion in the various control rooms and associated functions across the NEM

2)  More directly, though, thoughts also with the Fire and Rescue NSW people trying to put the fire out … hope everyone stays safe!


About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

1 Comment on "TransGrid 330kV substation near Tallawarra Power Station on fire [updated ~20:30]"

  1. Report in the Guardian that the transformer was not energised at the time of ignition. Begs the question of why it caught on fire in the first place.

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