Euroa region electricity supply

Here’s what we’re doing to address reliability concerns for the community.

What caused these reliability issues

While some power outages were caused by extreme weather, another reason is the bushfire mitigation technology installed in Benalla and Violet Town in November 2023.

While this technology helps protect communities from potential bushfires, it also makes the electricity network more sensitive to power outages and it can take longer to get the power back on.

This is because the technology acts like a giant safety switch in the electricity network. When a powerline falls or comes into contact with a tree branch or animal, it cuts the power to the whole powerline. We then need to physically find and clear the fault before turning the power back on. For more information, see Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter Program under our Completed projects.

For the powerline supplying electricity to Euroa, this can take some time as it spans over 1,200kms. This is the longest line in Victoria with no alternative path for power supply.

In the map below, the blue shows the powerlines that supply the area, with dots marking where the new technology will be installed


Reliability improvements - what we're doing to fix it

Concerns about the reliability of the Benalla to Euroa line were identified earlier this year. Since then, we've committed to putting improvements in place.

Short-term improvements completed:

  • additional support crews to improve restoration times
  • a scouting helicopter to improve response times
  • thermal imaging and proactive patrols to check the line for potential issues
  • repairs to defective equipment to improve control and response times
  • upgrades to technology to reduce the number of customers impacted by a power outage
  • mobile generators to support major events, such as the music festival and cattle show
  • a feeder portal plan to reduce the time taken to identify faults
  • 45 new barriers to prevent animals from getting onto powerlines in areas where animal related faults have happened
  • changes to our operating procedures and REFCL settings for low fire days to reduce the frequency and duration of outages.

Long-term improvements:

From June to October 2024, we’ll be in Euroa and Violet Town installing technology to improve power reliability, including:

  • a switch that allows us to change between the bushfire mitigation technology and traditional protection systems, allowing us to maintain power reliability and manage bushfire risk for the community at the same time. This switch will be operational by this summer
  • eight advanced reclosers and 11 single phase reclosers. These reclosures help us identify where the fault is, shorten outage times and reduce the number of people impacted by an outage at once. The first two of these reclosures will be in place and operating by next week. The remaining six reclosures will be installed by the end of August.

With these changes, we’re investing more than $10million this year to improve the reliability of the Benalla to Euroa electricity distribution line. This line is also known as BN11. We’ll continue to monitor network performance and work with the community to make sure we’re seeing results. You can read our recent media release here.

We also recognise our impact on the community as part of our obligation to provide a reliable supply of electricity. We’ve paid more than $1.5million in compensation to local customers for outages during the 2023/2024 summer period. If you were impacted during this time, the payment will be automatically credited to your power bill.