- $1,000 grants available for customers disconnected from the grid since April 12
- Funding available for around 280 customers to help pay for generator fuel
- 35 additional Standalone Power Systems for customers in Mid-West and Wheatbelt
The McGowan Government has announced an additional $280,000 in funding for customers throughout the Mid-West and Wheatbelt impacted by the damage to Western Power’s network following Cyclone Seroja.
Cyclone Seroja has presented an unprecedented challenge for Western Power, with the affected area larger than Tasmania.
Despite Western Power’s rapid response, residents and small business owners in the Mid-West and Wheatbelt have purchased their own generator fuel and others have had to travel large distances for hot showers. These costs have not been covered by insurers or disaster relief funds - as the outage is not due to damage to their own property.
Cyclone Seroja recovery payments of $1,000 will be made from July to around 280 properties and businesses in the Mid West and Wheatbelt who were without power for six weeks or longer and awaiting network repairs as at 24 May.
In addition, Western Power will install 35 Standalone Power Systems (SPS), which will supply power to residents and businesses impacted by Cyclone Seroja.
SPS units combine solar and battery technology, and sometimes a backup generator, and are an economic alternative to replacing poles and wires.
Western Power has contacted customers whose properties are eligible for SPS; generators and fuel have been provided to these customers until their SPS units are installed.
The SPS rollout supports WA manufacturing, with Hybrid Systems Australia delivering 25 of the additional units and BayWA r.e. Solar Systems delivering 10 of the units.
Hybrid Systems recently launched a 16,000 square metre renewable energy manufacturing facility in Perth - understood to be the largest in the world dedicated to the design and construction of SPS.
This announcement follows the McGowan Government’s additional Cyclone Seroja relief packages including: waiving reconnection fees, doubling Western Power’s Extended Outage Payment to $160, and providing $4,000 in funding for individuals whose homes have been severely damaged or destroyed and businesses who have suffered financial hardship.
Since 2016, 58 SPS have been installed with increasingly positive feedback from customers in the Great Southern and Mid-West regions.
In addition, and separate to post-cyclone approved SPS, 98 units will be installed across regional WA over the next 12 to 18 months
Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:
“The McGowan Government has acted quickly to ensure no one is left out when it comes to assistance in the Cyclone Seroja recovery.
“The extra 35 Standalone Power Systems will be located in Latham, Yuna and Nangetty and will be a welcome solution for regional customers who are often impacted by weather events.
“A great example of the technology’s resilience is that six SPS customers in the Mullewa region retained power during the destructive cyclone on April 11.
“The McGowan Government fully supports Western Power’s clean, green energy initiatives to ensure secure and reliable energy supply in the regions.”
Comments attributed to Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton:
“I want to thank Minister Johnston for listening to the concerns I have raised about the extra living costs some members of our Mid-West community have to meet, as they cope with the aftermath of Cyclone Seroja.
“Their patience and fortitude is to be commended, as they wait to be reconnected to the network. I’m sure this $1,000 payment by the McGowan Government in recognition of their circumstances will be appreciated.”
Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Sandra Carr:
“These payments will provide relief to some of the agricultural communities who have been impacted by Tropical Cyclone Seroja from a distance.
“I would like to thank the Western Power crews who have been doing an excellent job rebuilding the network, and including Standalone Power Systems as part of this work.”
Media contact: Vetti Kakulas 0429 836 586 or 6552 6700