Queensland Minister for Energy Mark Bailey
Queensland’s Electricity Network Ready For Summer Season
Victor P Taffa
With a forecast for a hot start to Summer and predictions of an above average number of cyclones this summer, Queensland’s government-owned electricity corporations have been busy preparing their networks.
Energy Queensland and Powerlink have completed pre-summer preparations to ensure the 220,500 circuit kilometre electricity network is ready and have already been given an early taste of the season with the recent storm activity.
Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said summer readiness preparations, particularly in cyclone-prone parts of the state, were business as usual for Queensland.
“Queensland is the most decentralised state in Australia, making our electricity network extensive. That’s why we continually seek to improve our network resilience and refine emergency response plans and abilities.” Mr. Bailey said.
“Powerlink and Energy Queensland have been through emergency exercises and simulations, vegetation management around lines and substations, and specific inspections of critical network equipment, to get ready for the storm season.”
Energy Queensland CEO David Smales said as the largest electricity distributor in Australia, Energy Queensland was well prepared for storm and cyclone events this summer.
“We face our greatest test during summer when we experience the greatest exposure to significant weather events.” Mr. Smales said.
“Our network businesses Energex and Ergon Energy, as part of our summer preparedness program, have completed essential maintenance checks, increased our inventory of supplies including available generation and tested our disaster management plans to ensure our employees respond safely and effectively to any emergency situation.”
“Our people live and work all across Queensland. They are ready to respond and want to restore power safely and quickly after storm events to meet the expectations of our customers and the community.”
“We have also increased the promotion of our storm and cyclone safety messages in the community in relation to storm kits, safety around power lines, safe use of generators, solar panel safety and the easiest ways for customers to keep up to date with power restoration information in their area.” Mr. Smales said.
Powerlink CEO Merryn York said Powerlink’s network delivers electricity to 4 Million Queenslanders.
“We have experienced people and tested procedures to ensure we restore power as safely and as quickly as possible following an extreme weather event.” Ms. York said.
“Our preparations include everything from running emergency simulations to testing equipment like diesel generators and communications equipment, to having temporary transmission towers on stand-by ready to be transported at short notice if needed.”
Mr. Bailey encouraged Queenslanders to undertake their own preparations for summer storms and extremes in weather.
“Everyone should have an organised emergency kit at home, they should take steps to improve safety around the home, like cleaning up debris in yards or securing items, and have a clear plan for what they will do in an emergency.” Mr. Bailey said.
“You can also follow Powerlink, Ergon Energy and Energex on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-date information during and ahead of weather events.”
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to keeping our government-owned energy assets in public hands unlike the LNP (Liberal National Party) who want to privatise these important organisations.” Mr. Bailey said.