Underground cables to be replaced
The entire underground electricity network on St Huberts Island is to be replaced under a $7 million Energy Australia program designed to modernise the area's power supply.
Due to start in March, the project will replace more than five kilometres of 11,000 volt distribution cables, as well as a number of low voltage cables connecting homes to the network, according to Central Coast area manager Mr Tom Wilcox.
He said the project would improve the quality and reliability of supply for about 500 customers living on the Island.
"The existing network has served the community well since the early 1970s," Mr Wilcox said. "But it is nearing the time when it needs to be replaced to make sure it continues to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity."
Mr Wilcox said the entire underground network would be replaced in six stages over 18 months.
At the same time, the local distribution substation would be upgraded "to cater for increasing demand for power" from homes on the Island.
"The original underground electricity supply was installed directly in the sub-soil, leaving it more susceptible to corrosion and accidental damage.
"As part of this work, special conduits will be laid to encase the new underground cables," he said.
The first stage of works is scheduled to start in March in the area around Barracouta Ave and Helmsman Boulevard.
Energy Australia did not expect any disruption to roads outside the island but there would be some inconvenience to residents as a result of road closures required for trenching,
"We will be doing everything possible to minimise these impacts," said a spokesperson Ms Philipa Wheeler.
Existing cable routes would be followed where possible, but this may not be possible in some areas due to substantial changes to the streetscape since the original network was rolled out, she said.
"We'll also be providing more information to residents affected by any interruptions required for the work as we start each stage of the project," Mr Wilcox said.
More than $610 million is being invested in the Central Coast electricity network from 2009 to 2015 to replace existing infrastructure, cater for increasing demand for power and meet new reliability standards.