Western Power has begun upgrading 70 distribution transformers across the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), including 43 transformers throughout the Perth and Peel region, to increase the resilience of the network.
Distribution transformers, which convert the high voltage used in power lines to a lower voltage that’s suitable for residential use, are a vital part of the electricity grid.
Western Power Manager of Operations East Ben Vasiliauskas said the upgrades were part of an extensive package of summer preparedness and bushfire management works to minimise fire risk, strengthen network resilience and improve reliability, with work prioritised based on network requirements.
“With the Bureau of Meteorology signalling increased risk of heatwaves and bushfires this year, Western Power is ensuring the network is as prepared as possible for potential extreme weather conditions.” he said.
"We’re working hard to reinforce network infrastructure in preparation for this, including upgrading aging equipment and improving the capacity of our assets.
“The upgrading of these transformers will help manage overload as these assets have previously experienced or are forecast to experience extremely high demand.
“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.”
The distribution transformer upgrades commenced in August and involve assets which service more than 6,500 customers across the SWIS.
“Our crews are working to complete the upgrades as quickly as possible to prepare for the warmer weather but some sites are more complex than others so they may take more time to complete,” Mr Vasiliauskas said.
“The majority of the transformers in the Perth and Peel region will be upgraded by the end of the year with the remaining to be completed by early 2024.”
The transformers selected for upgrade in the Perth and Peel region are located in Bayswater, Claremont, Cockburn, Joondalup, Mandurah, Melville, Mundaring, Perth, Rockingham, South Perth, Stirling, Vincent and Wanneroo.