Bendigo-based company wins grant for project to cut bushfire risk

A BENDIGO-based engineering company has won a grant to research and develop new technology to replace bare-wire powerlines with the aim of reducing the risk of bushfire.

Groundline Australia, in partnership with United Energy, Swinburne University and Amokabel, has been granted $291,000 under the state government’s Powerline Bushfire Safety Program for the project.

The project will see engineers develop, test and install experimental spans of covered conductors as alternatives for existing bare overhead conductors on single wire earth return and high voltage lines.

“As a Victorian company with a strong focus on research and innovation, we searched the world for the latest innovation and technology in bushfire prevention for the electricity industry,” Groundline Australia director Ian Flatley said. 

“When we found Amokabel and their advanced covered conductor technology we knew we had found what we were looking for.”

Groundline Australia said the grant had the potential to create new jobs in Victoria and were the project successful in finding a safer viable technology, would ultimately lead to the creation of more new jobs.

There is about 90,000 kilometres of mostly bare-wire, high voltage electrical lines across Victoria to which this innovation could potentially be applied.