Island project powers up below
A POWER project in the Whitsundays is set to deliver peace of mind for tourism operators.
Powerlines have gone underground to keep the lights on at Queensland’s Whitsunday islands.
One year on from Tropical Cyclone Debbie and the devastation that struck through the region, underground feeders have now replaced overheard power conductors connecting to the submarine cables.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said tourism operators made a significant contribution to the region’s economy and it was important to help them get back on their feet after a natural disaster.
Ergon Energy has led the $4.85 million project, which has connected three underground feeders to the submarine cables which supply power to Hayman, Hamilton, Daydream and South Molle Islands.
“Tourism operators at the end of the line will benefit from a more resilient network the next time some of Queensland’s wild summer weather blows through,” he said.
“The overhead network has been damaged by cyclones and is also at risk from bushfires.
“This will significantly reduce Ergon Energy’s maintenance costs and also cut the need for costly diesel generation for island resorts.”
The line route runs through Conway National Park, near Shute Harbour, so environmental protection is a priority for the project team.
“Access was a challenge for construction crews, who had to work along the existing narrow, steep, rocky and winding easement,” Dr Lynham said.
Construction commenced in May last year and the new underground high-voltage feeders were commissioned in September.