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A $5 million network upgrade to improve power reliability and enhance network resilience in the Shire of Cunderdin is entering the final stage.

The work package, which started in January, involves the replacement of more than 293 poles and 47km of overhead power lines.

Western Power Executive Manager of Asset Operations, Zane Christmas said in addition to increasing the service life of equipment, the new infrastructure will increase capability and flexibility to improve response times and restore power more quickly in the event of an outage.

"We’re replacing sections of overhead wires with covered Aerial Bundle Cable (ABC), which provides better durability and service life and is less susceptible to environmental factors,” he said.

“Along with increasing the number of switching points to enable network flexibility and replacing aging wood poles to maintain safety and reliability, the overall work will deliver improve power reliability for homes and businesses in the shire.”

Around 200 of the total 293 poles and half of the total 47kms of overhead wires have been replaced in parts of Cunderdin townsite and West toward Meckering.

“Our current work is focussed on upgrading poles and wires in Meckering townsite,” Mr Christmas said.

“Early next year we’ll be replacing the main feeder line between Meckering and Cunderdin, the last piece of upgrade work in the package.”

“We’ve broken it into stages to avoid multiple outages and to reduce impact during cropping season and are working closely with the Shire of Cunderdin to keep disruptions to a minimum.

“It’s important to note that some work needs to be carried out on de-energised lines to ensure safety for residents and workers so power outages will be required to complete the upgrades,” Mr Christmas said.

“Given the volume of work, unfortunately some customers will be impacted by outages. To ensure they know and are prepared, we’ll notify them minimum of three business days but generally around nine business days prior to any planned outage.

“We understand the planned work and the required planned outages may cause some short-term inconvenience, but these upgrades will bring improvements to power reliability in the area so we thank and appreciate the community’s understanding and patience.”

The upgrades are scheduled to be complete in February 2024.

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