Councils back SA Power Networks' bid to regulator to allow upgrades

Councils across the state including those on the Lower Eyre Peninsula have written to the Australian Energy Regulator in support of SA Power Networks' proposed upgrades to reduce outages and improve some of the worst performing power lines.

The upgrades for 2020-25 were proposed by SAPN in April 2019, however were rejected in October by the AER.

Paul Roberts from SA Power Networks said the AER did not believe there was broad support for a reliability improvement upgrade, but SAPN resubmitted a revised plan in December because it believed those in worst-affected areas would support the move.

The plan was out for public consultation until January 15, with SAPN asking affected councils to write to the AER supporting the plan.

"We think there will be economic benefits...we've seen previously 60 per cent improvements in performance (on upgraded lines)," Mr Roberts said.

The work programs will cost about $30 million, 80c extra per household per year.

The upgrade plan aims to improve line reliability performance for 16,000 customers statewide, and reduce outage times for 50,000.

This includes 979 customers in the Lower Eyre council area, 263 customers in the Elliston council area, and 66 customers in the Tumby Bay council area on lines performing two times worse than average performance on the EP.

Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association president and Tumby Bay mayor Sam Telfer said "rural communities deserve a quality service level from electricity providers".

"If these works are to go ahead, they should help to strengthen the system in some of our less-reliable areas," he said.

Tumby Bay District Council chief executive officer Trevor Smith said this could be the only opportunity to ensure upgrade works on the EP occurred within SAPN's five-year works program, with council agreeing to write in support of the move.

Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council also wrote in support of the upgrades, and Elliston council requested an extension past the January 15 deadline.

The AER will make their decision in April for works beginning in July.

UPGRADE WORKS PROPOSED

SA Power Networks' works program to upgrade low reliability is proposed for power lines in the following areas on the Eyre Peninsula:

District Council of Tumby Bay area (66 customers)

  • Yaranyacka
  • Dixson
  • Butler

District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula area (979 customers)

  • Yeelanna
  • Cockaleechie
  • Brooker
  • Stokes
  • Cummins
  • Wildeloo
  • Wangary
  • Bolingbroke
  • Peake Bay
  • Louth Bay

District Council of Elliston (263 customers)

  • Colton
  • Anxious Bay
  • Talia
  • Mount Damper
  • Polda
  • Witera
  • Port Kenny
  • Venus Bay

District Council of Ceduna(747 customers)

  • Ceduna
  • Goode
  • Mudamuckla
  • Carawa
  • Cohen
  • Penong

District Council of Cleve (355 customers)

  • Wharminda
  • Arno Bay
  • Roberts
  • Verran
  • Mann
  • Yadnarie
  • Campoona
  • Lock
  • Murlong
  • Tooligie
  • Murdinga
  • Cowan

District Council of Streaky Bay area (468 customers)

  • Wirrulla
  • Miltaburra
  • Perlubie
  • Streaky Bay
  • Chandada
  • Inkster
  • Petina
  • Carawa