Media Release: Call to support power investment for south west dairy community

28 May, 2020

Victoria’s south-west community are being encouraged to voice support for a Powercor plan to invest millions in upgrading local power supplies to deliver economic benefits for the region, with the public submission process on the proposal set to close next week.

As part of its Regulatory Reset proposal submitted to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) in January, Powercor is proposing an $8.7 million investment to upgrade more than 85km of single-phase electricity network (SWER) to three phase power in Tyrendarra, Strathdownie, Cape Bridgewater and Gorae West.

The upgrade would improve supply for 1,130 customers and increase the network’s capacity to support growth.

Upgrading the SWER network to three-phase power is listed as a priority action as part of the Moyne Shire’s 10 year economic development strategy, which identifies utility infrastructure restricting industry growth capacity as a key challenge to increasing gross regional product above $913 million.

The strategy considers the potential benefits are highly significant given the interdependence of local manufacturing and agriculture which together generate 75% of local expenditure in the Shire and support more than half the local jobs. Submissions on Powercor’s proposal close on 3 June 2020 and can be made at www.aer.gov.au and by emailing VIC2021-26@aer.gov.au.

Powercor General Manager Electricity Networks Steven Neave said the proposal responds directly to customer needs and priorities.

“We understand our commercial and industrial customers need to be supplied by a resilient network which is reliable and safe,” Mr Neave said.

The areas identified for the proposed upgrade are:

  • Tyrendarra – a 37.4 kilometre single phase line between Yambuk and Narrawong supplying 497 customers, many of which are dairy farms and commercial businesses;
  • Strathdownie – a 28.5 kilometre line supplying 220 single phase and SWER customers;
  • Cape Bridgewater – a 20 kilometre single phase line supplying 285 single phase and SWER customers; and
  • Gorae West – a feeder in Gorae West (near Portland) supplying 128 single phase and SWER customers.

Powercor consulted customers and key groups including the United Dairy Farmers of Victoria, Great South Coast Food and Fibre Council and Dairy Australia to develop its proposal.

If the proposal is successful, work to upgrade the electricity network in the area would take place between 2021 and 2026.

The plan was submitted for approval by the Australian Energy Regulator in January 2020.

The three-phase upgrade is part of Powercor’s Regulatory Proposal to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) for the 2021-2026 period, which delivers more for customers at a lower cost.

For more details on the Powercor proposal, visit www.talkingelectricity.com.au and to have your say, visit www.aer.gov.au and select the Powercor proposal or email VIC2021-26@aer.gov.au.