New off-grid technology to reduce bushfire risk

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The Victorian Government is providing grants to targeted landowners in selected regional areas to purchase Stand-Alone Power System (SAPS) as part of the 750 million Powerline Bushfire Safety Program.

Properties at the end of high voltage power-lines in the most acute bushfire-risk locations will be given the opportunity to go off the grid, by installing a SAPS.

“The Stand-Alone Power System Grant will provide energy solutions to Victorian communities living in high bushfire risk areas,” Acting Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lisa Neville said.

By choosing to go off the grid, these properties at the end of the line will allow the remaining powerline to be shorter, reducing bushfire risk, as well as increasing the reliability of their energy supply.

The SAPS grant will consist of renewable energy such as wind and solar panels, batteries for storage and back-up generators.

It’s part of a range of technology solutions, such as undergrounding and insulation, which will be used to replace or remove high risk powerlines in bushfire prone areas.

Following the devastating 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, the Victorian Government has implemented a range of measures that came out of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, one of these being the Powerline Bushfire Safety Program.

The Program was established in 2012 as a 10-year program to significantly reduce bushfire risk associated with Victoria’s electricity distribution network.  

“By permanently removing high risk powerlines, the risk of bushfires started by powerlines will be significantly reduced,” Ms Neville said.

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