26 September 2023

Western Power to upgrade its grid

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Western Power has said its main electricity grid is to be upgraded following unprecedented load conditions during the Christmas 2021 heatwave.

In a statement, the utility said the upgrade aimed to improve network reliability by mitigating feeder issues due to over-utilisation, and create greater capacity for forecasted future customer demand.

“The upgrade involves reinforcement work undertaken across eight substations, including new feeders and interconnectors with additional switching and offload capability,” Western Power said.

Minister for Energy, Bill Johnston said Western Power’s network experienced unprecedented load conditions during Christmas last year, which resulted in outages that impacted around 107,000 households and businesses.

“The outages occurred during record-breaking temperatures, meaning there was an abnormally high use of air conditioners and fans, which put pressure on the network,” Mr Johnston said.

“Following the heatwave, and in line with recommendations from the independent review into the Christmas power outages, Western Power has mitigated any risks and accelerated works prior to the coming summer season.”

He said a thorough review had been undertaken looking at the most impacted locations, based on consumer numbers and outage times in the cities of Swan, Mandurah, Wanneroo, Armadale and Gosnells.

“With ongoing climate change, it’s imperative our essential infrastructure can withstand extreme weather events, while Western Power continues to ensure Western Australians continue to have safe, affordable and reliable power,” the Minister said.

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