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A new funding model will be trialed in Western Australia to develop powerline undergrounding in the state. 

Western Power’s Network Renewal Underground Program Pilot will be tested in four suburbs where significant capital works projects have been planned to replace and upgrade sections of overhead network.

Local governments invited to participate in the pilot include the Town of Bassendean (Eden Hill), City of Stirling (Scarborough), City of Fremantle (Hilton) and the Town of Victoria Park with the City of Canning (St James).

Western Australia Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, said, “This is an opportunity for local governments to capitalise on the significant investment Western Power commits to rejuvenating and upgrading the network that supplies its customers’ energy needs.

“On top of the reliability and aesthetic benefits that underground power brings to the customer, the increased capacity also helps unlock the network to new technologies.”

Under the pilot model, local government authorities are being given the option to contribute additional funds to cover the difference between like-for-like pole replacement and the cost of converting the area to underground power.

Because the poles and wires in the pilot areas are old and due to be replaced, the cost to homes and businesses are expected to be lower than the State Government-led Underground Power Program and other local government-led programs for undergrounding.

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