Western Australia to fortify power grid with $10.4 million investment

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Image credit: Western Power

State-owned utility company Western Power has allocated a $10.4 million investment to enhance Western Australia’s main power source following the overutilisation of the power grid during a heatwave in December 2021. 

The upgrades, which involve reinforcement work across eight substations, seek to enhance network reliability by mitigating feeder issues and creating greater demand capacity for forecasted future customer demand. 

Western Power will also deploy new feeders and interconnectors with additional switching and offload capability. 

Upgrades at the Clarkson, Byford, and Yanchep substations have been completed and work will soon start at the Waikiki substation, a crucial power supply in the southern area. 

WA saw unprecedented load conditions in December 2021, which resulted in multiple power outages that affected over 107,000 households and businesses. 

“The outages occurred during record-breaking temperatures— meaning there was an abnormally high use of air conditioners and fans, which put pressure on the network,” Energy Minister Bill Johnston explains. 

“Following the heatwave and in line with recommendations from the independent review into the Christmas power outages, Western Power has mitigated any risks and accelerated works prior to the coming summer season,” Johnston said in a statement. 

The company is planning to install new feeders at Mandurah, Byford, Waikiki and Henley Brook substations and install a new cable and implement changes at Yanchep.

“A thorough review has been undertaken looking at the most impacted locations, based on customer numbers and outage times in the cities of Swan, Mandurah, Wanneroo, Armadale and Gosnells,” the minister added.