Er­gon to in­ves­ti­gate power up­grade at last for Moss­man

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

BLACK­OUTS in Moss­man could fi­nally be rel­e­gated to the dark ages once and for all.

Er­gon En­ergy has ap­proved the busi­ness case for undertaking pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the pos­si­bil­ity of con­nect­ing the Greater Moss­man area to the highly-re­li­able 132Kv Ma­ree­baMoss­man feeder.

Rocky Point Port Views Es­tate Community As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary Mal­colm McKel­lar has been fight­ing for the up­grade for more than 15 years and is de­lighted with the lat­est de­vel­op­ment.

“We un­der­stand this ap­proval process to un­der­take the pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions will now lead to Er­gon’s de­vel­op­ment of the de­tails of the project with re­gard to de­sign, cost, and con­struc­tion sched­ul­ing,” Mr McKel­lar said.

“I have lit­tle doubt that con­sum­ma­tion of this project will be of as much ben­e­fit to Er­gon En­ergy, in those mea­sures of ef­fi­ciency, per­for­mance, and cus­tomer ser­vice ap­pli­ca­ble to Er­gon, as it will be to the 7500 long-suf­fer­ing res­i­dents of our community, and its ex­pec­ta­tions for im­ple­men­ta­tion of the cut-over to re­li­able sup­ply.”

Er­gon En­ergy’s Net­work In­vest­ment Re­view Com­mit­tee last month con­sid­ered the busi­ness case to up­grade the Moss­man Zone Sub­sta­tion to a 132/22Kv ar­range­ment and con­nect into the high-re­li­a­bil­ity 132Kv Turk­inje - Craiglie trans­mis­sion line.

Re­gional ser­vices north­ern op­er­a­tions man­ager Ge­off Bowes said he was pleased to an­nounce the pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions had been given ap­proval by the com­pany.

“Ap­proval has been given to progress to a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the scope and costs of de­vel­op­ing the new sub­sta­tion on the ex­ist­ing site of the Moss­man sub­sta­tion,” he said.

“These pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tions will take 12 months and will cover a num­ber of is­sues in­clud­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues - prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant be­cause where the lines have to go would be through the Wet Tropic World Her­itage area.

“We have to con­sult widely with the community be­cause there are two views be­ing held at present, some peo­ple want the power, oth­ers don’t.

“Also Er­gon is ex­cised from some ar­eas of the re­gion through leg­is­la­tion and so we can­not pro­vide the power even if we wanted to.

“The community also has to make ap­pli­ca­tion to Er­gon to have the power sup­plied to them and they have to bear the cost to ex­tend the net­work to get that power to them.

“But the present pro­posal en­tails build­ing a new 132/22Kv sub­sta­tion, de­com­mis­sion­ing the old 66/22Kv sub­sta­tion, and re­mov­ing the 66Kv sub-trans­mis­sion lines across the Rex Range.

“Er­gon En­ergy is now pro­gress­ing to the next phase of project de­vel­op­ment and es­ti­mate prepa­ra­tion is an­tic­i­pated to take around 12 months to com­plete, and, sub­ject to fi­nal ap­proval at that stage, would then pro­ceed into the con­struc­tion phase.”

Photo by BRAD DEANE

Here I am: the Lumholtz tree kan­ga­roo joey

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