Western Power pours millions into bushfire preparation

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Western Power is performing upgrades and maintenance to lines across the Mid West
Camera IconWestern Power is performing upgrades and maintenance to lines across the Mid West Credit: Supplied

Western Power has delivered more than $20 million of maintenance and upgrades to prepare the Mid West power grid for bushfire season.

Executive manager of asset management Gair Landsborough said work had been completed on replacing poles, wires and insulation, as well as clearing tree branches away from the lines.

“We are planning to invest close to $10m on bushfire mitigation, $1.8m on replacing conductors, almost $8m on pole replacement and reinforcement and $1m on vegetation management” he said.

“We’ve increased insulator replacements and network maintenance and renewal to improve power reliability where we can and help prevent pole top fires in the region.”

Western Power is also continuing research into pole top fires in the hope of better predicting where weather could affect the network and potentially spark a bushfire.

“Every year we implement our bushfire mitigation strategy to help reduce the risk of bushfires,” Mr Landsborough said.

“This strategy includes a mix of smart network settings, proactive management of poles and wires in high/extreme bushfire zones.”

The investment comes after a spate of power outages left many Mid West towns and CBH grain bins without power earlier in the month.

Western Power is working on a back-up scheme for Northampton, which would allow one of the town’s two feeder lines to take over the majority of supply if one was to fail.

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