People power wins
ERGON Energy will conduct a business case review into improving power supply reliability in the Greater Mossman area after persistent lobbying from affected residents.
After 15 years of power blackouts hindering lives and throwing businesses into chaos, Rocky Point Port Views Estate Community Association secretary Malcolm Mckellar is hopeful a meeting last Thursday with Ergon managers will lead to a solution to the power failures.
Mr Mckellar said the major concern of the poor power sup- ply reliability in the Greater Mossman area was to improve power supply reliability in the short term by immediately addressing issues with the local 22kv electricity distribution network and on the old and “wobbly” 66kv MareebaMossman line.
To put an end to the “band aid” measures used to fix up the problem, locals are pushing to be connected to the “bulletproof” 132kv Port Douglas feeder supply.
Ergon’s manager for regional services northern operations Geoff Bowes gave an undertaking to specifically look at how Ergon could eventually move the region on to the 132kv feeder supply at the meeting.
A number of alternatives have already been identified for review and these range from developing a 132/22kv substation at the current Mossman substation site, to utilising the existing Craiglie 132kv/22kv substation and extending the 22kv distribution system, or building a new substation on an alternative site.
“But first we must development a business case for this project and then negotiate its passage through the executive and approval processes,” Mr Bowes said.
Mr Mckellar said if Ergon agrees to upgrade and invest in the much-needed new infrastructure, Mossman’s regular power failures could end within two years.
“We have been fighting them for the past 15 years to do this and all of a sudden it seems they are willing to move,” he said.
Ergon’s first stage business case review is expected to be completed by June 30.
If the upgrade is recommended, internal approvals and preliminary project scopes would take about 12 months followed by two to three years for detailed design and construction activity.