Powercor will be replacing sections of powerlines in the Lockwood and Bridgewater areas as part of our continued investment to help protect communities against the threat of bushfires.
Powercor is investing an additional $15 million in 2019 to continue the work undertaken during the Victorian Government’s Powerline Replacement Fund which was aimed at preventing powerline related bushfires in high risk areas.
The replacement of overhead bare powerlines with underground cables in Victoria’s highest bushfire risk areas was a recommendation from the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission
Between April and August 2019 our team will be conducting preliminary assessments of the project site including:
- Environmental flora, fauna and cultural heritage assessments
- Survey and detailed design of underground power system
- Engagement with some private landholders about easements.
Typical project timeline
Once we have complete our assessments and finalised our design, construction will take around 14 weeks, depending on weather and any unforeseen issues. Our priority is to complete the works as quickly and as safely as possible, with minimal disruption to customers and communities.
In planning for our work we will engage with local Council, community and landowners to minimise impacts on customers during construction.
What are we doing?
- Ploughing, boring or trenching works to lay underground cable
- Installing and jointing of cables on our poles and on the roadside
- Retiring overhead wires and poles
- Replacing existing conductor with covered conductor
How will this impact you?
- Some roads will be affected by lane closures
- Some roads will incur traffic restrictions due to roadside works
- Planned outages towards the end of each construction area
How will this initiative benefit you?
- Reduced risk of bushfires started by powerlines
- Some improved visual appearance
- Less vegetation maintenance required in certain areas
- Increased power supply reliability as a result of putting powerlines underground and/or installation of high voltage covered conductors
Powercor Bushfire Mitigation Program
This program complements Powercor’s extensive bushfire mitigation programs which operate all year round to ensure our customers and assets are protected as much as possible against the risk of bushfires.
Powerline Replacement Fund – a Victorian Government initiative
The Powerline Replacement Fund (PRF)
The PRF is part of the Powerline Bushfire Safety Program (PBSP) and has seen powerlines in the highest risk bushfire areas replaced with insulated overhead conductor and/or underground cable, which are both less likely to start a fire.
Funding for the $200 million PRF has been directed in stages to priority areas identified in conjunction with the Emergency Management Commissioner, Energy Safe Victoria, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and technical experts.
The Fund is directed at replacing both High Voltage and Private Overhead Electric Lines in highest priority Local Government Areas. By June 2019, the PRF will have retired 192km of bare-wire Private Overhead Electric Lines on 797 private regional properties.
To date, Poweror has completed works costing $52 million in the Colac, Otway, Surfcoast, Macedon Ranges and Mount Alexander Shires, removing over 200 kilometres of bare wire and installing 260 kilometres of underground powerlines.
We have created a list of commonly asked questions below – these may provide you with further information that is relevant to you.
If you would like to speak to someone, please ring us on 1300 301 101.
The full program of works usually take 14-18 weeks, starting from approval and ending with bare wire network being removed. Sometimes the old wire network may be decommissioned but removed later due to access and other issues. The wires are no longer live, so they are not a risk. Our goal is to always complete the full program of work as quickly and safely as possible, working with local council and broader community.
We undertake extensive community out reach to ensure local residents, businesses and visitors have as much notice as possible about any changes to roads or other infrastructure. This includes local letter box drops, signage and updates through council websites and social media pages.
Powercor’s network covers central and western Victoria and we conduct regular reviews of all our infrastructure, as well as take part in specialist programs such mimimising risks from bushfires. Currently, we are focused on the areas as identified by the Victorian Government to replace the overhead power lines.
Generally, power supply will be reliable as a result of the undergrounding of powerlines and/or installation of high voltage covered conductor.