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Have your say on guidelines for powerline safety device

Published:
Tuesday, 21 May 2024 at 6:05 am

Energy Safe Victoria is inviting public feedback on guidelines for electricity distribution companies when operating a key powerline safety device that protects the community.

Rapid earth fault current limiters (REFCLs) act like a large safety switch by quickly detecting earth faults on powerlines and reducing the energy flowing through them.  

They help to prevent bushfires, especially when powerlines fall, or trees fall across them. They also protect against electrocution if a person or machinery comes into contact with powerlines.

REFCLs were installed at substations supplying 22 kilovolt powerlines in the highest bushfire risk areas following the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. They are now operated at more than 45 substations throughout Victoria by electricity distribution businesses Ausnet, Jemena, Powercor and United Energy.

Energy Safe is developing guidelines to set minimum standards distribution companies need to meet when operating REFCLs to ensure their benefits are optimised into the future.

Some of the factors being considered include REFCL operating frequency, settings, potential further deployment, maintenance programs, recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Online information sessions are available for anyone who wants to know how REFCLs protect the community, and how to provide feedback that will be used to inform the guidelines. They’re being held on:

  • Sunday 26 May, 2pm 
  • Monday 27 May, 7pm 
  • Thursday 30 May, 12pm 

To register for a session or provide feedback visit esv.vic.gov.au/consultations 

People without access to the internet or email may have a consultation pack posted to them by phoning Energy Safe on 03 9203 9700.

Feedback on the draft REFCL guidelines is open until 12pm (midday) on Monday 8 July 2024.  

Energy Safe. Always.

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