Powercor is using advanced technology to identify the cause of multiple power outages being experienced by some customers in the Macedon Ranges and Hepburn Shire during the past fortnight.
Forensic patrols of more than 260km of powerline are well advanced, with crews narrowing down the fault location to a 20km area between Blackwood and Trentham.
This comes after customers in Trentham, Blackwood, Tylden, Spring Hill, Newbury, Kyneton South, Fern Hill, Lauriston and surrounding areas have experienced seven unplanned outages since February 23, including one last night.
Powercor crews are using enhanced image technology to identify faults that may not be visible to the naked eye, with the technology able to pick up signs of minor equipment damage that can lead to faults.
Drones fitted with high-resolution cameras are also being used this week to help survey parts of the network from the air, while fault detection technology is being installed between Blackwood and Trentham in coming days to help network controllers narrow-down future fault locations and get customers back on supply sooner.
Powercor has also temporarily transferred supply for more than 500 customers in the area to a different part of the network, while investigation and rectification works continue.
Any issues detected either through the enhanced image scans, drone inspections or foot and vehicle patrols will be immediately addressed.
A spokesperson said Powercor was doing everything it could to address the reliability issues being experienced by customers in this area.
“In the long term, the reliability of our networks is supported by an extensive, annual program of asset inspection, maintenance and augmentation as well as vegetation management,” the spokesperson said.
“Increasingly, how we plan and design our networks to be reliable well into the future is being influenced by the need to be resilient to hotter summers, more erratic weather conditions and longer bushfire seasons, which are now more common in our environment.
“We will be updating customers as we make further progress on this work.”