High voltage experts are one of a kind

Australia’s only electrical crew trained to work on live high voltage substation equipment is working around 275 kilovolts at two Powerlink substations near Gympie and Maryborough.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the ten-person crew was the only expert team of its kind in Australia.

“Doing maintenance while high voltage transmission equipment is still live is highly specialised work,” Dr Lynham said.

“It minimises power supply impacts on electricity customers because it reduces the need for planned outages.

“Queenslanders’ publicly-owned transmission company, Powerlink, is the only transmission utility in Australia to use these innovative live work techniques.”

Live work specialists use a “hot stick” – a long insulated pole that extends several metres in the air with different attachments to complete essential maintenance on the live equipment.

This ensures the live work specialist always maintains a safe working distance from any energised piece of equipment.

The crew will be at the 12-year-old Teebar substation this week, and Woolooga substation from next week.

Powerlink Executive General Manager Operations and Service Delivery Gary Edwards said the live substation team was highly experienced.

“Powerlink crews have been carrying out live work for 18 years throughout Queensland to maintain safety and reliability of the transmission network.”

This year’s maintenance schedule will see live work being undertaken all over the state, from Cairns to the Darling Downs.

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