Possum guards on Stobie poles to increase reliability of electricity in the State's South East
Anti-climb guards have been installed around more than 550 Stobie poles in the State's South East to reduce power outages for our customers and to stop possums from using the dangerous powerlines as a super-highway.
A 33,000 volt powerline runs all the way from Snuggery substation to Robe. This line supplies electricity to almost 7000 customers in Millicent, Southend, Beachport, Robe and the surrounding areas. Any outage along this line has an impact on these customers.
In recent years we have seen more possums climb to the top of our poles to use the transmission lines as highways. Unfortunately, when they do this, they run the risk of electrocution. It causes injury to the possum and power interruptions for all our customers from Millicent to Robe.
The purpose of the Guards is to act as an anti-climb barrier to prevent possums climbing to the top of our poles.
The South East has a large possum population, so outages caused by possums are more common than other parts of the state (other than the Adelaide Hills). This line has been prioritised as we have had more possum related outages on it than others.
The Guards were developed by our Networks Equipment Team in conjunction with Reliability Operations and local manufacturer J&M Shanks. They were manufactured and installed by Millicent’s own J&M Shanks who customised and specially fitted each guard to the more than 550 Stobie poles.
This project won’t prevent all power outages as outages are caused by a number of other elements as well, for example lightning strikes. However, we are confident that the new deterrents should have a positive impact for possums and the electricity supply.