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Perth is sending more electricity underground


The final phase of Western Power’s state-owned underground energy program has been completed, with the Collier and Manning site projects in the City of South Perth nearing completion.

The Programme, which has been in operation since 1996, has so far completed 98 individual projects, with over 94,500 properties in 60% of the Perth area connected to underground electricity.

The projects dismantled 985 wooden power poles and 35 kilometers of overhead cables, and installed more than 660 energy-efficient LED street lights.

“The state’s underground energy program is a proven example of what can be achieved when there is a collaborative approach between state and local government,” WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said.

“Switching to underground power has many benefits: not only does it beautify the streets, it also reduces power outages during storms, lowers maintenance and operating costs, and improves public safety.”

According to Western Power, there are another 300 areas in Perth with high levels of aging overhead power lines that could benefit from switching to underground power over the next two decades.

The goals of the State Underground Energy Program are:

  • Increasing the reliability and safety of electricity supply to consumers
  • Improve streetscapes and visual appeal
  • Reduction of tree maintenance costs for local authorities
  • Improvement of street lighting and public safety
  • Reduce Western Power’s maintenance costs

Responsibility for funding the projects is shared between the Western Australian Government, Western Power and local authorities.

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