8 March – Update on Central Highlands reliability work

8 March, 2022

Powercor is using advanced technology to identify the cause of multiple power outages being experienced by some customers in the Macedon Ranges and Central Highlands during the past fortnight.

Forensic patrols of more than 260km of powerline began last week and are well advanced, with crews narrowing down the fault location to a 20km area between Blackwood and Trentham.

This comes after customers in Trentham, Blackwood, Tylden, Spring Hill, Newbury, Kyneton South, Fern Hill, Lauriston and surrounding areas have experienced up to seven unplanned outages since 23 February, including one last night.

While in the past nine months, major storm events in June and October 2021 and January 2022, have severely affected the reliability of power within the region. These necessitated both a quick response from our teams to restore power as well as extensive subsequent works to rebuild parts of the network damaged by extreme winds and lightning.

Powercor crews are using enhanced image technology to identify faults which may not be visible to the naked eye, with the technology able to pick up signs of minor equipment damage that can lead to faults.

Drones fitted with high-resolution cameras are also being used this week to help survey parts of the network from the air, while fault detection technology is being installed between Blackwood and Trentham in coming days to help network controllers narrow-down future fault locations and get customers back on supply sooner.

Powercor has also temporarily transferred supply for more than 500 customers in the area to a different part of the network, while investigation and rectification works continue.

Any issues detected either through the enhanced image scans, drone inspections or foot and vehicle patrols will be immediately addressed.

Powercor is doing everything it can to address the reliability issues being experienced by customers in this area.

In the long term, the reliability of our networks is supported by an extensive, annual program of asset inspection, maintenance and augmentation as well as vegetation management.

Increasingly, how we plan and design our networks to be reliable well into the future is being influenced by the need to be resilient to hotter summers, more erratic weather conditions and longer bushfire seasons which are now more common in our environment.

We will be updating customers as we make further progress on this work.

Customers can also call us on 13 22 06.

March 2 update on reliability and work in Central Highlands