As we move towards a more sustainable future with an increasing demand for renewable energy, we need a robust and flexible power network to support it. One way to achieve this is through undergrounding power.
Undergrounding power involves installing new underground power cables, connecting to the grid, and installing ground-mounted transformers and switchgear units or primary equipment to manage the distribution of power throughout the area. This means that we can improve safety and reduce the likelihood of outages.
Our commitment to undergrounding power is not only for safety and reliability purposes but also to support the rapid growth and demand for renewable energy. Renewables such as rooftop solar, batteries, and electric vehicles require an increased capacity for the network to handle them, and underground power increases this capacity in several ways.
For instance, the use of larger rated cables increases the capacity of our low voltage network, and the underground network has around five circuits instead of two, enabling load to be managed more efficiently. This means that new network designs can accommodate higher future energy demands of customers, and there's improved hosting capacity for residential rooftop solar connections.
All these benefits of undergrounding power mean that your household can be better prepared for the incorporation of renewable energy such as solar and electric vehicles.
If you recently had a pole changed in front of your house, but you live in an area where underground power is being proposed, you may be wondering why the pole got changed? The reason is that areas are selected for undergrounding based on a network-driven approach, targeting areas with a high density of aging overhead assets. Some assets may need to be replaced before the underground power project is scheduled to be completed to maintain safety and reliability of the grid.
Our commitment to safety and reliability goes hand-in-hand with the drive to prepare the network for renewables. We are continually renewing and upgrading the distribution overhead network when assets are coming to the end of their service life. However, when identified as beneficial to the community and cost-effective to do so, we are installing electrical infrastructure below ground to support a more sustainable future. This joint venture with local and state governments and our community is all part of the pathway to net-zero.