Offshore Living


West Pittwater Reliability Project

Project need

Ausgrid is exploring options to improve reliability to the West Pittwater and Scotland Island areas as a result of two major outages involving the submarine cables which supply these areas. In addition to these two major outages, reliability has been compromised by storms and vegetation impacting the overhead network. Since 2015, there have been a total of seven outages on Scotland Island and West Pittwater that were caused by issues unrelated to the submarine cables. In addition to the comprehensive solution being developed, Ausgrid is also implementing operational improvements to reduce the duration and impact of future outages for residents.

Project Planning

Ausgrid has already implemented a range of measures to improve the reliability of the power supply, and are continuing to investigate longer term solutions.

Short term improvements

You may have noticed Ausgrid staff undertaking work in your area in recent months. This work is ongoing and contributes to long term reliability together with the more comprehensive solutions discussed above. Improvements include:

  • Assessment and upgrades of network assets including existing cables, vulnerable points in the network and isolating capability.
  • Assessment and improvements to current vegetation management.
  • Improvements to staff access procedures (including marine transport) and storage of equipment.
  • Improvements to current work practices and increased specialist field training for operators.
  • Establishment and roll-out of an improved community information system.

As Ausgrid continues to develop this project, there are a number of factors being considered consider, including:

  • community impacts
  • availability of space around existing utility services
  • environmental and heritage impacts
  • cost (minimising the impact on customer electricity bills)
  • technical feasibility
  • traffic impacts including access to wharves and local roads
  • stakeholders who may be uniquely impacted by temporary power disruptions or construction.

Project investigations

West Pittwater

The linear nature of the network on West Pittwater means there is no traditional ‘poles and wires’ solution that can address all the types of outages faced in the area. As such, Ausgrid is proposing to install a hybrid solution to address the various types of network outages being experienced.

Details of the final solution are still to be determined and relies on more detailed information from individual households and consultation with market experts. However, based on preliminary consultation this hybrid solution will most likely be a combination of technologies such as household batteries and solar, plus a hybrid community generator. Ausgrid will be seeking expert market input in early 2018.

Home Energy Audits

Ausgrid has undertaken individual household energy audits of many properties on West Pittwater to gain detailed energy consumption data, and identify opportunities to reduce impacts in the event of an outage. These audits will ran from Monday, 8th January until Saturday 3 February 2018. 

Download West Pittwater Home Energy Report

West Pittwater Home Energy Report June 2018 West Pittwater Home Energy Report June 2018 (1679 KB)


Project approval process and environmental assessment

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Ausgrid is the determining authority for this project. An environmental assessment will be prepared on the works in accordance with Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Clause 228 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

Next steps

Ausgrid will continue to update and engage both communities and stakeholders as we implement immediate improvements and continue to develop the proposed long-term reliability solutions.

December 2017

Further investigations into West Pittwater solution and development of energy market brief

Now – mid 2018

Design and approval of the new underground cable for Scotland Island

Now and 2018

Implementation of short term measures in both areas

January 2018

Home Energy Audits West Pittwater

Mid 2018

Construction to commence for Scotland Island cable

End 2018

Developed design for West Pittwater solution

Ausgrid - West Pittwater Reliability Project Website

Ausgrid Reliability Project Dec 2017. Ausgrid Reliability Project Dec 2017. (534 KB)

Ausgrid Update and Survey Letter March 2017 Ausgrid Update and Survey Letter March 2017 (207 KB)

West Pittwater & Scotland Island Community Feedback Summary Report June 2017 West Pittwater & Scotland Island Community Feedback Summary Report June 2017 (774 KB)

Ausgrid Community Newsletter March 2016 Ausgrid Community Newsletter March 2016 (313 KB)

West Pittwater Home Energy Report June 2018 West Pittwater Home Energy Report June 2018 (1679 KB)



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