The Victorian Government is actively implementing a range of powerline safety measures as part of its commitment to fully implement recommendations 27 and 32 made by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission (VBRC).

The Stand Alone Power System (SAPS) grant is in line with the Powerline Replacement Fund's purpose to replace bare-wire powerlines in areas of highest bushfire risk with insulated overhead powerlines, undergrounded powerlines or other technologies.

The SAPS grant will provide eligible residencies at the end of bare-wire high voltages powerlines with a SAPS. This will enable the landowner to be completely independent of the electricity grid, as well as allow for the permanent removal of high voltage powerline spans.

The investment will significantly reduce the risk of bushfire starts from electricity lines whilst maintaining a reliable and affordable electricity supply for those selected land owners.

While the primary objective of the initiative is to reduce bushfire risk from powerlines, which in turn will protect the local community, it also aims to demonstrate and promote the following:

  • That energy efficiency is an essential part of Victoria’s approach to supporting cost-effective ways to lower costs of living and reduce environmental impacts from our energy use.
  • The viability of going off-grid to increase the uptake of renewable energy generation.

Project

The SAPS grant is initially targeting seven high risk areas in Victoria as identified by the Electricity Safety (Bushfire Mitigation) Regulations 2016, and specifically to those residences located at the end of a Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) network feeder high voltage powerline.

Potentially eligible properties have been pre-selected and issued with an expression of interest pack in May 2017. If successful, the SAPS grant will provide those residencies with funding to install a SAPS using the most appropriate technology available.

The SAPS grant will support the choice of technology options to match the resident’s individual circumstances, enabling households to capture the maximum value of the energy they produce. The design of the SAPS will include consideration and/ or combination of the following renewable system/s and components:

  • Solar panels
  • Wind turbines
  • Natural gas
  • Invertor
  • Battery
  • Monitoring equipment
  • Back-up generator
  • Appropriate warranty and maintenance of the system for five years

SAPS Grant Fact Sheet (PDF, 511.1 KB)

Timelines

May 2017

Stage 1 Expression of Interest

December 2017

Completion Stage 1 SAPS installations - the first stage of the initiative aims to have the SAPS installed and operational, along with the retirement of the relevant powerlines by December 2017, ahead of the fire season.