Workers electricity pole

Jemena is continuing to invest in improving the resilience and safety of its electricity network through its ongoing program to protect electricity assets from the impact of extreme weather-related events.

The four year program which commenced in 2021, has seen Jemena replace 100 wooden, previously reinforced power poles in Gisborne South, Diggers Rest, Sunbury, Keilor and Mickleham, Westmeadows and Bulla so far, with another 175 planned.

Jemena’s Network Investment and Delivery Manager, David Speairs, said that improving the resilience of its network is of the utmost importance for Jemena.

“As well as the fact that concrete poles have far superior resilience to bushfires compared to wooden poles, they also require less maintenance and have a longer lifespan. We will no longer be reinforcing wooden poles in these areas of the network, and we will be replacing the poles that reach end-of-life with concrete poles.

“We’re also removing all bare low-voltage mains and replacing them with small pole-mounted transformers or aerial bundled conductors. Undergrounding of wires is also considered in certain circumstances.

“We’ve completed almost half of these replacements so far, having removed 14km of bare low-voltage powerlines in Sunbury, Yuroke, Mickleham, Oaklands Junction and Bulla using the safest option available at each location,” Mr Speairs said.

Mr Speairs said that safety of people and the environment is always Jemena’s first priority.

“We work hard to prepare for, and mitigate, impacts of extreme weather and to increase the resilience of our electricity assets. Importantly, we’ve coordinated the works to minimise the impact on the community and our customers.

“We also clear vegetation, check electricity poles and wires are in good condition, and apply additional safety procedures on total fire ban days as part of our bushfire mitigation approach, helping to manage the safety and reliability of power supply across our network,” Mr Speairs said.

It is anticipated that the work program will be completed in 2024.

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