A record number of distribution transformers will be upgraded in 2022 as part of ongoing works by Western Power to increase the resilience of the electricity network.
Distribution transformers, which convert the high voltage used in transmission lines to a lower voltage that’s suitable for residential use, are a vital part of the electricity grid.
In a standard year, Western Power upgrades between 50 and 60 distribution transformers.
This year we’re working on upgrading 70 which experienced extremely high demand during last year’s heatwave.
Despite a global supply shortage of key components, Western Power expects to have all its planned works on distribution transformers completed by the end of December.
Transformers identified for upgrades are in the suburbs including Mandurah, Nollamara, Dianella, Port Kennedy, Spearwood, Westminster, Ocean Reef, Padbury, Muchea, Sawyers Valley, Busselton, Inglewood, Yokine, Southern River, Wanneroo, Kewdale, Lansdale, Gosnells, Yanchep, Clarkson, Forrestfield, Kalamunda, Beechboro, Northam, Mosman Park, Katanning, and Padbury.
“During the 2021 Christmas period, Western Australia endured record-breaking high temperatures over consecutive days, with the extreme heat and high demand putting significant pressure on the network resulting in widespread outages across the metropolitan area,” Executive Manager Asset Management Gair Landsborough said.
“While we cannot guarantee 100 per cent reliability, we’re doing everything we can to improve network resilience to minimise the duration and number of unplanned outages.
“As the Bureau of Meteorology has forecasted this summer to be as hot or hotter than last year, we’re doing what we can to strengthen the network well ahead of time.
“We’ve identified a number of key measures to accelerate the capacity and reliability of the network, which will help in extreme situations like prolonged heatwave conditions where high demand can cause stability issues.
“This includes upgrading and replacing key infrastructure at a distribution and transmission level, including distribution transformers.
“Significant progress has already been made and the network is in a much stronger position this time than last year.”