Bats interrupt power supply in South Douglas towns

ENERGY

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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More than 500 people experienced power outages caused by bats in a number of localities in the Douglas Shire last month.


536 customers lost power on four occasions over a three-day period in April lasting between 20 minutes and two and a half hours according to Ergon Energy.

The outages were experienced in Craiglie, Oak Beach, Mowbray and Wangetti Beach and Ergon Energy say they have made improvements to the network to avoid damage from bats in the future. 

“Ergon Energy crews have completed work designed to reduce the risk of bat strikes on the network,” an Ergon spokesperson said.

“Ergon’s network protection system operates like the safety switch in your home, but on a much grander scale and it is triggered when it senses something is wrong, like a lightning strike or contact from an animal.

“If there is no network damage and it’s safe to re-energise, we can restore supply promptly by reclosing circuit breakers. 

“If there is damage to the network, it takes longer because crews have to find and fix it before we can safely restore supply.”

While the outages last month were caused by wildlife interference, similar outages can be caused by any network interference such as tree branches, lightning strikes, vandalism or vehicle damage.

“Ergon understands the community’s frustration at the frequency of these bat-related outages,” the spokesperson said.

“Customers can rest assured Ergon’s Operations Control Centre team monitors the electricity network around the clock and crews are ready to respond to any emergency outages.” 


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