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Western Power has completed a $5 million package of maintenance and upgrade works to enhance network resilience for homes and businesses in the Shire of Cunderdin.

The work which commenced in January 2023, included the replacement of more than 290 poles, 47kms of overhead powerlines, installation of new LED streetlights and reclosers and other essential maintenance.

Western Power Executive Manager of Asset Operations, Zane Christmas, said the upgrades have increased network capability and flexibility helping to restore power more quickly in the event of an unplanned outage by increasing the number of switching points.

“Increased switching points enable better flexibility in managing the network by allowing our network controllers and crews to isolate a fault and backfeed power supply to customers via an alternative route,” Mr Christmas said.

“We’ve also replaced aging infrastructure in the area to maintain safety and increase the service life of the equipment.”

The asset upgrades have also enhanced the network’s resilience to major weather events.

“We’ve replaced sections of overhead wires with covered Aerial Bundle Cable (ABC), which is more durable, provides a longer service life and is less susceptible to environmental factors,” he said. 

“We’re committed to enhancing resilience of the network in regional communities like Cunderdin and Meckering and this substantial investment in infrastructure upgrades reflects that.”

Some planned outages were necessary during the upgrades to ensure safety for residents and crews.

“We divided the work into stages to reduce impact during cropping season and worked with the Shire of Cunderdin to understand the needs of the community and keep disruptions to a minimum,” Mr Christmas said.

“We also connected two temporary generators in Meckering townsite to maintain power supply to homes and businesses where possible.

“Following the major storm events in January this year which impacted a significant part of the network, there were some delays to the completion of these works and we thank the community for their understanding and patience.”

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