A $350,000 project to keep possums away from power lines is expected to improve the reliability of electricity to Beachport and other coastal towns. The installation of the possum anti-climb guards on power poles on the 95km of power line between the Snuggery sub-station and the Robe township is one of a number of remedial measures being undertaken by SA Power Networks.
Complaints about the frequency of power interruptions had been aired at a public meeting arranged by Federal Liberal MP for Barker Tony Pasin in Beachport late last year. Mr Pasin took the community concerns to SA Power Networks and has recently released a written reply from its chief executive Robert Stubbe.
He provided a log of the seven power cuts lasting more than a minute at Beachport in 2020, with the majority of the causes being lightning strikes. There was one occasion when a lizard was at fault. “There is no doubt the proximity of Beachport to the coast makes it susceptible to the forces of nature including extreme weather, severe corrosion and wildlife,” Mr Stubbe said.
He said Beachport’s location at the end of the radial line meant it lost power whenever there was an interruption at any point in the line. The report from Mr Stubbe said the duplication of the power lines was cost prohibitive. SA Power Networks spent $1.2m in 2018 and 2019 to make all the insulators on the Snuggery/Robe power line lightning resistant.
It is mid-way through a $500,000 project to install mid-line switches for improved remote monitoring and supply restoration response.