Brodie Bott

Upgrade to improve supply

ABOUT 1000 Murwillumbah homes will be shining brighter soon, thanks to more than 700 metres of new powerlines.

Country Energy crews from Tweed Heads assisted Murwillumbah crews last week to start a $242,000 upgrade to improve electricity supply. Eight power poles will be replaced, 740 metres of copper line will be replaced with aluminium line and three gas switches will be installed during the upgrade.

Regional general manager Far North Coast Richard Wake said the investment would provide a more reliable supply of essential services, while enhancing the local power infrastructure for local customers.

“We're focused on providing the safest and most reliable electricity supply to our customers in Murwillumbah and this project is one example of how we are working towards achieve this,” Mr Wake said.

“Country Energy is always finding better ways to improve our network. Replacing copper wire with larger and tougher aluminium powerlines and installing gas switches that minimise the risk of interference by animals are just some examples.

“We will be using specialised live line techniques where possible, which involves crews working on the power line while it's energised. This removes the need to turn the power off and minimises the disruption to customers.”

However, Mr Wake said that to ensure the safety of their crews a small number of supply interruptions would be necessary.

“We recognise that these outages may cause some inconveniences and we thank customers for their understanding and patience.”

Stage one of the project, which involves replacing the power poles and installing two gas switches, has started. Stage two, which involves the replacement of powerlines and installation of the final gas switch, will be completed next month.

“Investing in the future growth of the area through network upgrades isn't just about ensuring we have a robust electricity network - it simply makes good business sense,” Mr Wake said.

The upgrade will take place from Murwillumbah Street along Byangum Road to the Prince Street intersection.

The refurbishment of the power infrastructure in the Murwillumbah area is part of $700 million Country Energy is investing to improve and maintain the network across regional New South Wales this financial year.

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