Major network upgrade to improve safety and reliability in Cohuna region

16 April 2020

Powercor will be conducting major upgrades to the electricity network next week as part of critical work to improve reliability and safety in Cohuna and the surrounding region.

Crews from Bendigo, Echuca and Shepparton will replace eight power poles as well as conduct other maintenance work along Old Echuca Road, Kerang and Leitchville-Kerang Road between 9am and 4pm on Wednesday, 22 April and Thursday, 23 April.

To allow crews to safely conduct the work on the 66kV infrastructure, power will be turned off to 750 customers in the region during these times.

Head of Field Services Ross Young said the Powercor team has worked hard to minimise the impact on customers by:

  • Using generators to supply the townships of Cohuna, Leitchville and Gunbower to avoid impacting the town centres;
  • Transferring the load for some customers to other parts of the Powercor network to allow them to stay on supply;
  • Bringing in crews and resources from across the region to enable additional maintenance activities to be incorporated into the two day work plan that if conducted at another time would have meant repeated power outages;
  • Planning the work to occur at a time of the year when the majority of customers can be supported by generators or re-arrangements of the network; and
  • Conducted live powerline work ahead of the shutdown that has reduced the amount of time needed to complete the upgrades. These actions have allowed Powercor to keep power on for 3150 customers in the region who would otherwise have been impacted by the outage.

“This is the best opportunity we have to do a lot of work to ensure we deliver reliable electricity long term,” Mr Young said.

“We know there is never a convenient time to have a power outage and understand that now more than ever, people are relying on the continuity of supplies as they work or study from home. We assure our customers this is critical work and appreciate their patience.”

Powercor’s routine inspection program identified the need to replace the poles and upgrade other assets in order to ensure the network continues operating reliably. The work schedule took into consideration the seasonal weather conditions which feature less rain and generate lower demand on the network than during summer and winter months when cooling and heating creates high electricity consumption. The lower demand is also why it is feasible to use generators to keep more customers on supply.

“By doing this critical maintenance now, we are reducing the risk of major disruptions caused by unplanned outages in the future,” Mr Young said.

All homes and businesses impacted have received a letter notifying them of the necessary power outage. If there are changes to the work plan, then we will advise customers by SMS.

Powercor has released advice for customers on both how to prepare for potential power outages and the Victorian Government has issued advice on food safety.

Our contact centre remains fully operational for enquiries and support:

  • Powercor: 13 22 06 for general enquiries or 13 24 12 for service difficulties and faults

For residents who rely on electricity to provide vital health support, we recommend they check their contact details are updated with our Customer team via phone: 13 22 06 or email info@powercor.com.au.

 

AUDIO CLIPS: Powercor’s Head of Field Services Ross Young speaks about the network upgrade at Cohuna: