In a first for metropolitan WA, Western Power has stationed standalone power systems (SPS) on two Perth Hills properties.

The works were part of the major rebuild of the electricity network in areas affected by the Wooroloo bushfire.

The units will significantly improve power reliability and quality for the landowners, whose properties are located on challenging terrain, while providing cost savings as they remove nearly 2km of poles and wires out to their properties.

Western Power CEO, Ed Kalajzic, said installing SPS was part of the approach to include enhancements and upgrades to the network rebuild following the bushfire to improve services to the community.

“The bushfire was devastating for people in these areas and decimated much of the network assets out there with around 579 poles, 47 transformers and 56 underground assets damaged or destroyed,” Mr Kalajzic said.

“We had a good look at where we could use technology and alternative solutions to replace these assets to improve both power supply and operational efficiencies for the benefit of the community.

“During the last five years we’ve made significant progress to transform the grid using innovative technology and incorporating renewable energy, so we wanted to use this where we can for those affected.

“In addition to the SPS, we’re upgrading some areas to three-phase lines which will provide for more back feeding in the future, upgrading overhead conductors to improve system capacity and installing some LV aerial bundled conductors in high vegetation areas to add additional network resilience to external factors.”

Mr Kalajzic said that to fast-track the rebuild a temporary depot was established at Gidgegannup to house the necessary equipment needed for repair and restoration, as well as provide a base for employees involved on the ground.

“This has been one of the largest rebuilds we’ve ever undertaken and we‘ve had around 270 employees and 200 light, heavy and support vehicles on the ground every day for the past two weeks,” Mr Kalajzic said.

“Currently, we have around 220 customers remaining without power and we’ve been able to restore power to small pockets as work has progressed. We expect to complete the restoration by the end of February and will continue to work as quickly and safely as possible.

“To the people who have lost homes, businesses or been displaced from the bushfires, we’re thinking of you and thank you for your perseverance during this time.

“I would also like to acknowledge the local businesses who have been providing important supplies to our temporary depot.

“It’s been a fantastic collaborative effort and we’re proud to work alongside the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and other emergency and support services, to support the community during the bushfire and moving forward.”

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