It has been a batty problem
Hopefully problem behind the Biggenden area’s loss of power has been resolved
IT HAS been a frustrating couple of weeks for Biggenden and district residents with the sudden dropping out of power.
Ergon senior corporate communications advisor Rod Rehbein said customers in Biggenden, Degilbo and Dallarnil may have experienced a few momentary power supply interruptions, most likely evident by lights dimming, fans briefly slowing or clocks needing to be re-set.
“These voltage fluctuations appear to have been related to a bat colony roosting on 66kv lines near the Childers Historical Complex,” he said.
“This is near the start of the line that supplies communities out to Biggenden.”
“The momentary dips in supply were caused by bats’ wings making contact between wires.
“It seems a wellintentioned local had has been removing bats’ bodies before Ergon crews were able to investigate.”
Mr Rehbein said the affected stretch of network has now been altered – to extend the distance separating wires – to ensure they are wide enough to prevent bats’ wings making contact between them.
“This work was completed on Friday,” he said.
“We believe this has been successful to date, but we will continue to monitor the situation.”
Ergon apologises to customers for any inconvenience they experienced as a result of this problem.
Before the bat solution, Ergon had taken to the skies “to fly the lines” after complaints from Biggenden locals.
Mr Rehbein said flying the lines was one of their standard methods for trying to locate faults that were not easy to find.
“Intermittent faults of this type are more challenging to identify than those that cause the power to stay off,” he said.
At the same time, sugar cane farmers in Childers are reported to be in dire straits after power outages left crops without reliable irrigation as pumps shut down from the unexpected outages.
❝ Intermittent faults of this type are more challenging to identify than those that cause the power to stay off.
— Rod Rehbein
FAULT FINDING: Flying the line is one of Ergon Energy's standard methods for trying to locate faults that are not easy to find.