Extreme bush fire conditions on 4 January 2020

10 January 2020

As the bush fire crisis continues, TransGrid has been working closely with the Rural Fire Service and other authorities to enable safe and efficient electricity transmission throughout New South Wales and the ACT.

Protecting our people and the community continues to be our highest priority.

Extreme temperatures further exacerbated the bushfire crisis at the start of January.

On 4 January, extreme heat and strong winds heavily impacted transmission assets at the Upper Tumut and the Lower Tumut substations in the Snowy region, putting pressure on the grid.

The Lower Tumut substation was quickly restored. The Upper Tumut substation is fully operational. Due to being impacted by fire, it is still operating on battery supported by diesel generation. Diesel fuel is being replenished as required.  

TransGrid CEO Paul Italiano spoke with ABC News as the situation unfolded.

Mr Italiano went into detail about pressures on the network during periods of fire extreme heat:

"We have fires directly under powerlines and surrounding substations. They are generating a huge amount of heat and that really compromises the safe operation of that asset.

"If people are fairly cautious and judicious with energy use at the moment, making sure they keep energy consumption down to essential level then we can avoid a load shedding event," he said.