ENERGY network operator Powercor has apologised to Port Fairy customers over the third outage in less than a week.
About 100 customers, most in the town centre, were without power yesterday morning for nearly an hour because of disruptions caused by a blown fuse.
The minor incident came after separate outages on Friday and Tuesday, triggering anger from cafe owners, who lost thousands of dollars when they were forced to close their doors.
Powercor regional manager Nick Rees told The Standard heavy demand from airconditioners and refrigerators was the likely cause of a fuse that blew in a circuit box on the corner of Sackville and Bank streets.
“We had a low-voltage circuit fuse that blew, which was caused by an overload over the past couple of days,” Mr Rees said.
“We’d like to apologise to our customers in Port Fairy who are affected.
“We’ll be working today on the issue to find a resolution,” he said.
He said the company would also monitor the circuit closely.
While cafes making the most of the busy tourist season managed to stay open for business yesterday, there was frustration over the number of outages.
The Hub cafe owner Craig Hood said he had to send several staff home.
“It’s cost me money,” Mr Hood said.
“You rely on the summer to get you through the winter.
“I sent a couple of staff home and they’re uni students working over summer so they rely on this as well.”
Rock Salt cafe owner Bronwyn Mellor was also angry.
“We would have lost half our breakfast service,” Ms Mellor said.
“The infrastructure is pathetic, it just doesn’t cope.”
Port Fairy Business Association head Ken Brookes said the group would seek a meeting with Powercor to discuss the recent outages.
Meanwhile, a purpose- built, gas-fired power station, designed to step in during peak demand is running at full capacity, according to operator Origin Energy.
“The Mortlake Power Station was designed to meet periods of peak demand and the facility is running at full capacity today to support the near-record demand for electricity during the current heatwave,” a company spokesman said yesterday.
The region’s wind farms have been unable to alleviate demand pressures.
A spokeswoman for AGL said the company’s 140 turbine Macarthur wind farm had limited output because of weather conditions.
“Macarthur Wind Farm is not currently operating at full capacity,” she said.
‘‘However, it is performing as expected in a low-yield wind week.”