Residents in Wimmera may notice a flurry of activity on parts of the electricity network over the next two months as electricity distributor Powercor undertakes its major pole replacement and reinforcement program.
Crews will be replacing more than 370 wooden poles in and around Horsham and the broader Wimmera region area during May and June, helping build a strong and safer network.
The new poles are made from reinforced concrete and were selected due to being resistant to termite populations found within the Wimmera region.
Customers may notice increased vehicles and crews along local streets, roads and highways as works take place, with some changed traffic conditions and planned power outages required to complete work safely.
Crews will also be working with landholders to arrange access to poles in rural locations.
The work is part of Powercor's expanded pole program being rolled out across central, northern and western Victoria. It involves replacing or reinforcing a minimum of 7,000 power poles each year between 2022 to 2026, marking a significant shift in how network safety is proactively managed.
Head of Major Projects, Marcus Olive, said while Powercor has always replaced every pole it identifies as needing to be replaced, the new program takes a proactive and precautionary approach.
"We know climate change will likely bring fiercer storms, stronger winds and a greater risk of bushfires, and this program is aimed at making our network more resilient to these types of events.
"To allow us to safely conduct this work, we will need to temporarily turn off power to some customers.
"We will be taking all steps to minimise the impact to households, landowners and business owners as much as possible and will notify them in advance of work to allow them to prepare.
"We understand power outages are never convenient however this work is an essential part of building a stronger and safer network."
Using a leading-edge asset management approach, Powercor tailors our inspection and maintenance activities for each of more than 356,000 wooden power poles in our network.
"Our approach takes into consideration factors including the type of wood, their age, and prevailing weather conditions at their location," Mr Olive said.
"By taking this precautionary approach to managing poles, we are supporting safety and reliability objectives and over time, reduce the average age of our assets."
Works will also be taking place in and around Ballarat, Shepparton, Kyneton, Geelong, Mildura, Maryborough, Bendigo and Echuca.
For more information about Powercor's pole replacement program visit Pole replacement program | CitiPower Powercor
Tips for getting through a planned power outage
Download a fact sheet with detailed advice on managing a planned outage here: Planned-Outages-Preparation-Fact-Sheet.pdf (powercor.com.au)
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