In the Northern Territory, Power and Water Corporation is currently undertaking an intensive repair and maintenance program designed to improve the reliability of the electricity network and increase operational flexibility.

The works include construction of a new indoor switchroom in Tennant Creek, and the replacement of a 132kV circuit breaker at the Pine Creek switchyard.

The great indoors

The new indoor switchroom at Tennant Creek will house safer and more reliable 22kV switchgear replacing the aged outdoor 22kV switchyard.

Having an indoor switchroom means that the equipment is protected from dust, weather conditions and bird strikes, which are particular issues in Tennant Creek.

The switchgears are essentially circuit breakers that will operate to clear faults on the overhead line feeders. The new indoor switchroom project was initiated in 2013 and the overall investment at its completion is estimated at $4.76 million.

According to General Manager of Power Networks, John Greenwood, “This important project is part of Power and Water’s ongoing commitment to improving the security and reliability of the electricity network in regional areas.

“The switchroom is being constructed by specialist contractors offsite and will be delivered to Darwin initially, where it will undergo intensive testing. Local contractors are being engaged to complete the initial civil works.

“Other upgrades already completed include the automation of the Ali Curung Line Feeder 2, replacement of old high voltage pot heads and the fitting of bird protection devices aimed at reducing bird strikes on key infrastructure.”

Following the testing phase, the building will be transported to Tennant Creek in early 2015 and installed and commissioned by August 2015.

Circuit breaker energised and in service

At the Pine Creek switchyard, replacement of a 132kV circuit breaker was successfully completed and in service on time and on budget.

The clearly defined project timeline was met with a day to spare.

“The process of replacing, testing and returning circuit breakers to full service always creates some fragility in the power network,” said Power and Water’s A/General Manager Power Networks Paul Ascione.

“However Power and Water had developed comprehensive contingency plans and our technicians were able to complete the project without any power interruptions to customers.”

For the duration of the circuit breaker replacement works, the Katherine/Pine Creek network was supplied from the Katherine Power Station, operating independently of the Darwin


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