Sydney reliability project to place cables underground

Above-ground power lines will be removed from the north Sydney suburb of Greenwich and placed underground to improve the reliability of power supply to the local area.

Ausgrid general manager reliability John Eisenhuth said the work is part of a $3 million project to help improve the supply of electricity to about 3000 homes and businesses around Lane Cove.

“We know there have been six interruptions to the local power supply in the past 12 months caused mainly by trees,” Mr Eisenhuth said.

“More than a kilometre of overhead power lines has already been removed and a small substation has been installed to help boost power supply to customers in the area,” he said.

“Placing an additional 700m of 11,000V power lines underground and upgrading two other small substations will further improve the reliability of power supply to local homes and businesses.

“The upgrade will also inject more than 1000A of extra capacity into the local electricity network.”

The remaining work includes trenching 300m to house new underground cables; removing 700m of high-voltage overhead power lines; replacing a kiosk substation in Kara St, Lane Cove; upgrading equipment in a kiosk substation at Greenwich Hospital; and installing smart grid technology on the high-voltage overhead network to help isolate and identify faults.

About 60 per cent of interruptions on the Ausgrid network are caused by external activities like trees coming into contact with power lines.

“Areas like Lane Cove and Greenwich, with mature trees lining the streets, can pose some challenges for an electricity network,” Mr Eisenhuth said.

“Undergrounding high-voltage power lines along River Road will help reduce interruptions caused by trees hitting power lines.”

Work to underground the power line has begun and specialist crews, including cable jointers and line workers, are expected to complete the project by mid-2012.