Protecting Bruny Island power supply

Protecting Bruny Island power supply

Bruny Island residents have been assured by TasNetworks that it will safeguard their electricity supply while it replaces the island’s back-up supply cable.

“We’re confident we can safeguard Bruny Island’s power supply,” said TasNetworks’ Leader of Engineering, Eddie Jager.

“There’s no cause for concern.”

The back-up cable between Tinderbox and Dennes Point failed on Sunday, November 3 with investigations revealing extensive damage.

The damaged section has been located by divers, who found a boat anchor hooked onto it.
“We’re confident the cable damage was caused by the anchor hooked onto it,” Mr Jager added.

“It’s a timely reminder for mariners to avoid anchoring near the two Bruny subsea cables.”

The cable is considered irreparable and TasNetworks will now replace the infrastructure.

Works to replace the cable will take at least 12 to 18 months, at a cost of at least $2.5 million to TasNetworks infrastructure budget.
The island’s main subsea connector from Simmonds Point (near Oyster Cove) is not affected and is currently meeting all demand.
Mr Jager reassured Bruny Island residents that TasNetworks are pro-actively managing the situation.

“We’ll replace the cable and put enough back-up generation on the island to cover total demand while that happens,” Mr Jager said.

TasNetworks has added two extra diesel generators to the one currently at Alonnah and will install a fourth generator before the summer visitation peak period.
Mr Jager said the extra generators will provide enough backup to power all Bruny Island customers, in case of any problem with the main supply cable.
As an extra precaution, TasNetworks has commissioned divers to inspect the island’s primary supply cable, to check its ongoing condition and reliability.
There are usually about 600 permanent electricity customers on Bruny Island, but that number swells significantly with summer occupancy and tourism, increasing electricity demand over the holiday period.

Pictured above: A still from diver footage showing how a boat anchor had become snagged one of the Bruny Island power supply cables, causing irreperable damage. (PS)