$10.4 million network upgrade to improve power reliability in WA

  • New reinforcement work across eight substations to strengthen network
  • Improved switching capabilities at 36 substations to enable flexible load management
  • Work part of improving reliability following Christmas 2021 heatwave
  • Western Power has invested $10.4 million to upgrade Western Australia’s main electricity grid following unprecedented load conditions during the Christmas 2021 heatwave.

    The upgrades aim to improve network reliability by mitigating feeder issues, due to overutilisation, and create greater capacity for forecasted future customer demand.

    The upgrade involves reinforcement work undertaken across eight substations, including new feeders and interconnectors with additional switching and offload capability.

    Three substation upgrades at Clarkson, Byford and Yanchep have been completed with reinforcement work being done to mitigate capacity overloads.

    Work will soon start at the Waikiki substation, which is an important power supply in the southern area.

    Other works planned include installing new feeders at Mandurah, Byford, Waikiki and Henley Brook substations and installing a new cable and changes to configuration at Yanchep.

    As stated by Energy Minister Bill Johnston:

    “Western Power’s network experienced unprecedented load conditions during Christmas last year, which resulted in outages that impacted around 107,000 households and businesses.

    “The outages occurred during record-breaking temperatures – meaning there was an abnormally high use of air conditioners and fans, which put pressure on the network.

    “Following the heatwave and in line with recommendations from the independent review into the Christmas power outages, Western Power has mitigated any risks and accelerated works prior to the coming summer season.

    “A thorough review has been undertaken looking at the most impacted locations, based on  customer numbers and outage times in the cities of Swan, Mandurah, Wanneroo, Armadale and Gosnells.

    “With ongoing climate change, it’s imperative our essential infrastructure can withstand extreme weather events, while Western Power continues to ensure Western Australians continue to have safe, affordable and reliable power.”

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