Equipment failures and human error caused a major blackout in Alice Springs in October with the chiefs of two Northern Territory power companies now sacked over the incident.
Tim Duignan of Territory Generation and Michael Thomson from the Power and Water Corporation have been dismissed, following an independent investigation set up by the NT Government.
The investigation followed the October 13 power outage which forced businesses to close as temperatures hit the high 30s.
It found the "system black event" was the result of complex technical issues but also revealed an unacceptably low level of preparedness by the power providers.
After receiving the findings, the government told both companies it no longer had confidence in their chief executive officers.
David Brown has been appointed acting CEO of Territory Generation and Djuna Pollard the acting head of the Power and Water Corporation while a recruitment process is undertaken to fill the roles on a permanent basis.
"The system-wide power outage that occurred on 13 October was simply unacceptable. The people of Alice Springs deserve much better," Energy Minister Dale Wakefield said on Monday.
"That's why the government has acted swiftly and decisively to ensure similar incidents don't occur again."
The blackout took out most of the Alice Springs area, with some properties without electricity for more than eight hours.
However, critical infrastructure, including the Alice Springs Hospital, was brought back online within 30 minutes.
It was the third 'system black event' in the town since January 2015 and the ninth blackout over that period to impact 5000 or more customers.
The review made 15 recommendations to improve procedures, load management and demand forecasting with the government accepting 14 and seeking more information in relation to one.
The report called for the ageing Ron Goodin Power Station to be maintained in a state that could allow it to restart the Alice Springs network should another blackout occur.
At the time of the October outage, the Electrical Trades Union questioned Territory Generation's handling of the transition of supply from the Ron Goodin station to the new Owen Springs Power Station.
The independent report also noted that an unforeseen reduction in output from solar generation due to cloud had placed additional demand on Owen Springs before the blackout.
ETU secretary Pete Ong said the review had vindicated the stand taken by its members in pointing to issues with the power plants.
"This whole debacle could have been avoided if the companies and the government had shown real leadership by listening to workers and acting on their concerns," he said.
"For that reason, it will be absolutely necessary that the new CEO's come with the full suite of skills and attributes to do the job effectively."
Australian Associated Press