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Western Power successfully completed essential network renewal and upgrade work during ‘islanding’ of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder area last week.

Islanding’, where electricity supply to an area is temporarily disconnected from the main network and supplied by another source, ensures continued and uninterrupted power supply to the community.

Western Power Head of Network Operations, Shane Duryea, said the five day (2 to 6 May) islanding enabled Western Power to complete an essential package of work focused on the replacement of switchgear at Merredin Terminal substation to improve network resilience.

“These works required the de-energisation of the 220kV network that supplies the area,” he said.

“During islanding, the Kalgoorlie-Boulder area was disconnected from the grid and supported via Synergy’s local gas turbine plant. This process involved significant planning and collaboration with Synergy and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

“The 220kV network has been successfully reenergised and Kalgoorlie-Boulder is now connected back to the Western Power network. There was no interruption to power supply to the community.”

Islanding is an important tool used by Western Power to efficiently and effectively maintain and upgrade the SWIS, one of the largest stand-alone grids in the world. While extensive planning and mitigation work is done when undertaking islanding, it is not risk free.

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