Update: Hydro Tasmania reports fire damage near Fisher, Rowallan hydropower plants

PUBLISHED JAN. 21, 2016:

A fire near Tasmania’s Lake MacKenzie has caused a disruption in production at Hydro Tasmania’s 46-MW Fisher hydropower plant, the utility reported yesterday.

Employees at Fisher were evacuated, the utility said in a statement, while transmission lines and power poles near the 10.5-MW Rowallan hydroelectric plant and Lake MacKenzie were also damaged.

Hydro Tasmania said it has already conducted an aerial inspection of the damaged areas, and that Fisher will resume operations after maintenance is completed and transmission lines are repaired.

Fisher and Rowallan are part of a Hydro Tasmania run-of-river cascade located in the northwestern Mersey-Forth catchment.

UPDATE, JAN. 22, 2016:

Hydro Tasmania reports that it is “working closely” with the Tasmania Fire Service and TasNetworks to protect its assets, but also says the fires pose no threat to its energy supply.

“A fire at Gordon River Road was yesterday, burning close to transmission lines that service the 432-MW Gordon Power Station,” COO Evangelista Albertini said. “The transmission lines were turned off while back-burning took place, and Gordon Power Station was proactively closed down. The station was returned to service this morning.”

Also shuttered were Fisher and Rowallan due to damaged power poles and transmission lines. Neither suffered significant damage, however, and crews are working to return them to service.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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