REFCL Project - Powercor

Reducing the risk of powerline-related bushfires in Victoria’s highest bushfire risk areas.
{cf_related_case_studies2 Powercor employees in their uniforms, wearing harnesses and hardhats in preparation for climbing a power pole.

CitiPower and Powercor are Victoria’s largest electricity suppliers, delivering electricity to over 1.1 million residential households and commercial customers across Victoria. 

In 2016 the Victorian Government mandated the introduction of REFCLs at 22 of Powercor’s zone substations as part of its Bushfire Safety Program. The program is aimed at reducing the risk of powerline-related bushfires in Victoria’s highest bushfire risk areas and forms one of the Government’s responses to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.   A Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) is technology that rapidly reduces the power in 22kV, multi-wire powerlines when it detects phase-to-earth faults on the electricity network. The technology works like a large safety switch and reduces the likelihood of a fire starting if a powerline comes in contact with the ground or a tree limb. 

The REFCL technology monitors powerlines up to 40km away from a zone substation. The entire network in this area must be compatible with the REFCL technology, meaning we need to make improvements to the network in town, on the outskirts of town and beyond. Construction of the REFCL project is underway and has been since 2016 and will continue until April 2023.  Gaining access to the networks and installing new equipment’s to support the REFCL technology triggers numerous requirements for offsets all around regional Victoria.

Paul Adkin of the REFCL Procurement Team says about his experience with the credit trading process: 

“The process has always been very easy with Veg Link and the team always take the time to run through the process steps that are required, which often change dependent upon the vegetation in scope, the local councils being dealt with or the local landowners. 

I would highly recommend Veg Link and the REFCL project will continue to use Veg Link for the remainder of the project.”

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