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Local and specialist crews from Western Power will be on standby as essential planned maintenance is undertaken on Synergy’s two gas turbine generators at Mungarra between 2–24 October 2023.

The gas turbine generators act as a backup power supply for Geraldton and surrounds and can be used for significant planned or unplanned outages on Western Power’s network by ‘islanding’ the area from the main network.

‘Islanding’ is an approach commonly used to ensure continued power supply to communities while network infrastructure upgrades and maintenance is undertaken.

The approach has been used successfully for several years to avoid large scale outages, including after Cyclone Seroja where Midwest customers were islanded while repair and recovery works were underway.

Synergy is undertaking essential upgrades on the two generators between 2–24 October 2023, including preventative maintenance, to improve reliability for the community and industry.

Western Power’s Acting Executive Manager of Asset Management, Craig Julian, said while this work was underway it was important to be prepared as the risk of a fault occurring on the network remained, which could result in an outage.

“In the event of any unforeseen issues or a fault on the main feeder line causing an outage during the maintenance work on the generators, local crews in the Geraldton and Three Springs area will respond to minimise the impact on the community. Specialist crews can also be deployed if necessary,” Mr Julian said.

“It’s important for people to be prepared should any potential outage affect them – such as making sure medical equipment, computers and phone batteries are charged.

“During unplanned outages, we communicate with impacted customers and stakeholders via SMS and if the outage is significant in duration and the numbers of customer impacted, we use additional communications channels such as radio.

“Earlier this year, Western Power completed essential network renewal and upgrade work in the area to improve network resilience, with no impact to customers.

“As part of our network renewal and maintenance program, we continually identify and replace infrastructure and assets as they age or that have been identified as needing replacing.”

Western Power said its priority is to safely meet the energy needs of customers, with the work ensuring the network is as resilient as possible.

Featured image: A power substation at Mungarra. Courtesy of Western Power.

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