Major electricity infrastructure upgrades in Padbury and surrounding areas have significantly improved power supply reliability and capacity in a large section of the northern suburbs, Energy Minister Francis Logan said today.
Mr Logan said the $19million upgrades had led to an immediate impact, with new Western Power figures showing that power outages in the area had dramatically reduced.
He said that in the 12 months to March this year, the total number of minutes without power had decreased by 15 per cent.
The average number of customers affected by each power outage had decreased by 31 per cent.
“Western Power has made a concerted bid to increase power capacity to meet growing demand and to improve electricity reliability in the northern suburbs, beginning with the construction of the $10.22million Padbury substation in 2006,” the Minister said.
“Since then, the installation of a second $3million transformer at Padbury has increased the amount of power delivered to the substation.
“Work has now begun on a new $5.74million project that will see the installation of a third transformer and the construction of three new feeders.
”In addition, Western Power has replaced nearly four kilometres of overhead powerlines in Kitchener Street in North Beach and Frobisher Avenue and Raleigh Road in Sorrento.”
Mr Logan, who visited the Padbury substation today, said the work had helped to improve power reliability in the area by reducing equipment failure faults and, as a result of shortened feeders, had reduced the number of customers impacted by faults.
“Western Power recognised a need for increased capacity and allocated millions of dollars to upgrade and improve this equipment,” he said.
“Power interruptions from vegetation or debris contacting lines or from car accidents knocking down poles are always a risk for overhead networks, but this work will certainly reduce the number of outages."
Western Power managing director Doug Aberle said the improvements represented a significant investment in the reliability of supply for customers.
“The improvement we have made here in Padbury represents a significant reinforcement of the network and will improve reliability for our customers,” Mr Aberle said.
Mr Logan said millions of dollars had been allocated to several other major projects in the northern suburbs, including:
· $1.965million to establish a new substation at Warwick;
· $1.919million to continue work on a new substation at Osborne Park (total cost $5.31million);
· $1.033million to continue work on a new substation at Joondalup (total cost $9.174million);
· $23.708million to complete work on the new Neerabup terminal station (total cost $57.636million);
· $179,000 to complete work on the installation of a second transformer at the Clarkson substation (total cost $2.549million); and
· $3.133million to complete work on the new substation at Wangara (total cost $3.157million).
The Minister said the amount of money being spent on upgrades to Western Australia’s main electricity network was unprecedented.
“From 2001 when we were elected through to 2012, we will have spent $8.7billion on the network - a staggering amount,” he said.
“It has been a period of enormous reform within WA’s electricity sector.
“Since these reforms began, eleven new privately owned generation facilities have entered or will be entering the market - a total investment of more than $2billion.
“This includes six gas-powered generation facilities, two coal-fired plants, two wind farms and a biomass plant. This mix of renewable, gas and coal plants represents good diversity.”
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