We are expanding and evolving the South West Interconnected System to enable decarbonisation and meet the growing demand for clean energy. This means increasing the network’s capacity to support renewable energy, such as rooftop solar, batteries, and electric vehicles. One of the ways we’re doing this is through underground power programs.
We are continually renewing and upgrading the distribution overhead network when assets are coming to the end of their service life. Traditionally, the work involves like-for-like replacement of these assets. However, when identified as beneficial to the community and cost-effective to do so, we install electrical infrastructure below ground to improve safety and reduce the likelihood of outages.
Undergrounding also increases network capacity and supports the connection of more renewables and efficient use of renewable energy, which is essential to enabling a decarbonised future. The future of the grid is modular rather than linear – instead of power being generated in just a select few places and then delivered to the community, we are now seeing power being generated in many ways (wind, solar, etc) and locations, even our own homes. Undergrounding enables this modular, two-way flow of energy and results in a more robust, safer, and reliable grid.
The State Government has been supporting underground power programs since 1996, with more than 100,000 properties converted from overhead to underground power to date. Now, through programs like our Targeted Underground Power Project (TUPP), that growth is accelerating.
Our grid is evolving to minimise the impacts and challenges of climate change where possible while continuing to deliver a safe, affordable, and reliable power supply to our community. By investing in the future of Western Australia, we are supporting renewable energy so we can reduce our shared carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future.