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Western Power is preparing the network for any potential storms during the winter months to minimise any impact on network infrastructure and the resulting power interruptions on the community.

Last year Western Power responded to more than 4,400 storm/wet weather incidents between May-September 2022.

Western Power Acting Executive Manager of Asset Operations Zane Christmas said significant work had been completed in the lead-up to the storm weather season, with further work done as needed prior to forecasted storm events, to ensure the network was as well-prepared as possible.

“As part of our network renewal and maintenance program, we’re constantly replacing and identifying infrastructure and assets as they age or that have been identified as needing replacing,” he said.

“Our priority is to ensure the network is as resilient as possible and that we are fully resourced to deal with the impacts of storms and any resulting repair and restoration.”

Mr Christmas said part of this preparation was ensuring a stockpile of required materials and supplies including transformers, surge diverters and poles at various depots throughout our regional areas.

“Two common causes of safety hazards and power outages are tree branches and debris falling onto powerlines usually due to high winds or lack of tree trimming by landowners and vehicles colliding with power poles and lines,” he said.

“It’s important that the community are aware of the steps they can take to make sure they are safe around electricity infrastructure prior to storms.”

These measures include ensuring:

  • loose items around the home are secure
  • tree canopies on your property are not in close proximity to poles or wires
  • you make the safe call to Western Power on 13 13 51 if you see something leading up to a weather event e.g. if you noticed trees growing into lines, call it in before we experience bad weather.

Mr Christmas said each year Western Power invests about $1 billion upgrading and maintaining the network to manage safety, reliability, and environmental risks.

Western Power is also increasing its fleet of emergency response generators to assist in the safe and reliable delivery of power supply to communities that may be affected by weather-related events.

“We intend to source up to 14 emergency response generators (ERGs) in addition to the existing fleet of 12. ERGs can be connected to existing infrastructure to provide continued power generation as required when a town/community is experiencing an extended outage.”

Western Power also roster on additional staff prior to forecasted major weather events to ensure those with specialised skillsets required are available.

“When we have an escalated response – particularly out in the regions – it always impresses me how many people put their hand up to assist, on top of the rostered response crews, and work in pretty extreme conditions to help safely get power restored for the community.”

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