MANY BENEFITS: Country Energy says a $500,000 project to place a high-voltage overhead powerline over the Evans River underground will not only improve the Evans Head power supply, it will also have safety and environmental benefits.
MANY BENEFITS: Country Energy says a $500,000 project to place a high-voltage overhead powerline over the Evans River underground will not only improve the Evans Head power supply, it will also have safety and environmental benefits.

Project rids Evans Head of eyesore

EVANS HEAD residents may be able to put away the candles for a while, thanks to the completion of a major power project by Country Energy.

The works involved removing a high-voltage powerline from across Evans River and placing it underground.

The energy authority hopes this will help improve the flow of power into the coastal township's electrical grid.

It took a 30-tonne crane and a 28-metre-long elevated work platform to remove the 28 and 23-metre-high poles that supported the line on either side of the river.

“The electricity supply will definitely improve, especially in South Evans Head,” Country Energy's Far North Coast manager of community relations, Mike Hely, said. “There will also be less impact on wildlife.”

According to Country Energy, the powerline will no longer be snagged by the masts of large yachts or damaged by birds flying up and down the Evans River.

“We decided to find a better way to safeguard the supply, and that was to effectively place the cable underground.” Country Energy's Far North Coast regional general manager, Richard Wake, said.

Placing the cable underground involved putting it in a conduit that was then fed through a duct under the Evans River Bridge. On either side of the river it is placed underground for more than 100 metres.

Mr Wake said the other big benefit of placing the cable underground, aside from the safety and environmental aspects, was the improved appearance of the river entrance.

There are now no cables stretching across the river, he said.

Leading up to the project, Country Energy replaced and upgraded about 600 metres of powerlines in the town centre of Evans Head.

This included replacing old conductors to help strengthen the electricity network and enhance supply reliability.

Several older poles were also replaced using specialised sand-drilling equipment to embed two 14-metre poles to a depth of 2.4 metres in South Evans Head.

“Because of storms and other environmental factors it's not possible to guarantee the electricity will stay on 100 per cent,” Mr Wake said. “But the work we've done certainly reduces the risk of unplanned supply interruptions.”

According to Country Energy, the total project represents an investment of nearly $500,000 in the Evans Head electricity network. It is part of a $4 billion investment by Country Energy in upgrades and new infrastructure over the next five years.



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