New substations and cables reduce blackouts

The average length of blackouts across the EnergyAustralia network has been cut by almost 30 per cent over the past 12 months, according to figures released in November 2010.

The reliability analysis of the electricity network also shows that the average number of blackouts has been reduced by 20 per cent in 2009/10.

EnergyAustralia general manager for reliability, John Eisenhuth said the results coincided with the delivery of new substations and cables, and high levels of maintenance across the electricity network.

“More than $1.1 billion has been invested in 655 major projects across the network in the past 12 months,” Mr Eisenhuth said.

“Much of this work is the replacement of older parts of the network that have performed very well over the years, but we are reaching the stage when it’s more efficient to replace them,” he said.

“It’s a once-in-a-generation chance to make modern, lasting and noticeable improvements to the electricity network. We’re replacing major equipment and building extra capacity that will provide greater flexibility across the electricity network. It means a safer and more reliable supply of electricity.

“The results are also a reflection of more favourable weather conditions last financial year. In fact, the number of blackouts caused by trees and vegetation has been cut by about one-third.

“More than 60 per cent of interruptions to the electricity supply are caused by external factors like trees coming into contact with powerlines, animals, or workers digging into cables.”