NEW technology designed to reduce the risk of bushfires over the hotter months will be installed around Ararat over the next couple of weeks.
Powercor will be conducting works in Ararat to improve the safety of power lines in high risk areas.
The Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter device operates like a large safety switch on the network and is designed to minimise the chance of a spark occurring if a power line comes into contact with the ground or a tree limb, reducing the risk of fires starting from power line faults.
A planned interruption to the town's electricity supply will take place in stages over the coming days, and some residents may have already experienced disruptions.
Residents and businesses have been notified that their power supply may be interrupted during the following times:
- October 23 between 10.15pm - 3.15am
- October 24 between 10.15pm - 3.15am
- October 27 between 6am and noon
Powercor expects power supply will be impacted to a total of 2438 customers.
How the Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter device works:
The works were originally planned for October 13 but were rescheduled due to Bathurst 1000 being televised on the same day.
The device is being installed at the Ararat Zone Substation which supplies power to 6699 customers in the region and is supplied by four feeders and 793 kilometres of power lines.
Technical director Andrew Bailey said most of the work will be conducted overnight to minimise disruptions to customers.
"The REFCL device will significantly improve the safety of our infrastructure and reduce the risk of fires starting from electricity assets," he said.
"We understand that planned power outages can be inconvenient for our customers and we thank residents for their patience."
The devices are already operating across other sites and Ararat will be the ninth zone substation in service this summer.
CFA District 16 operations manager Bernie Fradd said he "applauded" anything Powercor was doing to make the fire danger period safer.
"Over summer it's hot and dry and strong winds - there's that potential for the tree limbs and other objects to come in contact with power lines," he said.
"They can either bring them down and cause fires or just the clashing of the trees against wires can cause fires.
"Sometimes the lines that feed remote farms in the past have been shown to cause fires. Any electricity on those sort of days is pretty dangerous when it's outside.
"A lot of farmers as a matter of good practice turn off their electric fences, but power lines we can't do much about so if Powercor are installing this new technology it's got to be a good thing."
Mr Fradd said the works provided the CFA with a good opportunity to remind residents to start thinking about their own fire season preparation.
"It's really important that people start cleaning up around their properties and start reducing the risk to their own places," he said.
"Everything's green right now but after a few hot days it will start to dry out. We're doing all our preparedness works and we're just asking the community to do their share and clean up around their own properties."
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