With extreme weather conditions expected this summer, Western Power is acting to mitigate bushfire risk across its network, focusing on poles and insulators in fire risk areas, as well as community and crew safety.
Western Power head of Asset Performance, Archana Viswanathan, said the business had invested $152 million in infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, and vegetation management in addition to annual maintenance.
"As part of our commitment to delivering safe and reliable power supply to the community, we're spending an additional $77m on pole replacements, $51m on conductor replacements and $24m on vegetation management to enhance safety and network resilience," Ms Viswanathan said.
"We've inspected more than 150,000 poles in high and extreme fire risk areas and are replacing more than 6500 insulators.
"Our bushfire mitigation strategy now includes a mix of smart network settings and proactive management of poles and wires in high and extreme bushfire zones.
"The safety of our crews and the community is critical, and we've worked closely with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to make sure we have workable and effective exemptions in place to safely restore power on days where total fire bans are in place.
"As a result, we may need to inspect powerlines before automatically restoring which can result in longer outage times for customers, many of our rural distribution feeders are over 100km long and pass through different grades of bushfire risk areas, often in challenging terrains which are difficult to access."
To report fallen or damaged powerlines and emergency situations affecting the electricity network call 13 13 51.
For more information - https://www.westernpower.com.au/safety/bushfire-safety/
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