Western Power will spend $1.5million on a pilot program aimed at improving the quality and reliability of power supplies in Perth’s Hills area.
Energy Minister Francis Logan said the program involved the installation of a new high-tech cable system that could withstand strong winds, fallen tree branches and lightning strikes.
Mr Logan was in Hovea today to launch the program, which is expected to be completed by February next year.
He said the Hills area often suffered poor power reliability because of bush fires and damage from wind, trees and birds.
He said the new Hendrix spacer cable system would be installed at three locations in Hovea, Darlington and Glen Forrest, and should improve power supplies to 2600 properties.
“The Hendrix spacer cable is virtually maintenance free and has the mechanical strength to withstand severe storms,” Mr Logan said.
“A special wire at the top also protects the conductors below by absorbing the impact of falling trees branches, contact by birds or lightning strikes.
“The unique construction of the system also means that pole-top fires caused by heavy pollution cannot occur.”
Western Power managing director Doug Aberle said providing a reliable electricity supply to the Hills area was particularly challenging and had forced Western Power to “look outside the square”.
He said the faults were often caused by acts of nature like falling tree branches, flying debris, lightning, bushfires and strong winds.
“We are installing the Hendrix system for nearly two kilometres along Park Road in Hovea and more than one kilometre along Lionel, Marnie and Bilgoman roads in Darlington and Glen Forrest.
“As a result of the system’s strength, I am confident the people of Parkerville, Darlington, Mahogany Creek, Glen Forrest, Hovea and Mundaring will experience fewer blackouts and less problems.”
Swan Hills MLA Jaye Radisich said she was pleased that Western Power was working to improve reliability in the Hills area.
“I have spoken to Western Power and the Energy Minister about these issues on several occasions and I am pleased that they are listening and taking action,” she said.
“The State Government is already spending millions of dollars on upgrading the local power systems and this latest program is another step in the right direction.”
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