In 2018, Ausgrid discussed with the community the option to install a Microgrid system to provide a backup supply for long duration outages.
Since then, Ausgrid has undertaken extensive investigations into the feasibility of this option, including engaging with potential suppliers, reviewing detailed pricing estimates, construction methodologies and completing ecological studies. We have also looked at other network solutions.
This extensive feasibility investigation process has determined that:
- the cost of a Microgrid would be considerably higher than forecast
- a behind the grid solar option would require full funding by residents, something residents told us via a survey they do not support
- a microgrid option would have also required significant clearing of trees and vegetation to ensure bushfire safety clearances for the site.
Additionally, with recent advancements in cable technology and construction methods, this process has determined a submarine cable is a more cost-effective and low maintenance solution for West Pittwater and our broader customers.
The new submarine cable will provide a more reliable electricity network for West Pittwater and will:
- greatly reduce construction and maintenance costs;
- significantly reduce the environmental footprint
- limit visual impacts.
After detailed environmental assessment approvals are completed, Ausgrid is planning to install the submarine cable in mid-2021.