EnergySafe Magazine Winter 2018, issue 51 - Page 9

09 For all the latest energy safety news visit www.esv.vic.gov.au ESV prosecutes Powercor By Brett Fox, Head of Regulatory Assurance Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) will prosecute electricity distribution business Powercor for numerous powerline clearance breaches, three of which resulted in fires. The three grass fires occurred near the townships of Rochester (6th January), Port Campbell (28th January) and Strathmerton (20th January). Powercor has been charged with: » » Breaching key provisions of the Code of Practice for Electric Line Clearance in contravention of section 90 of the Electricity Safety Act 1998). If proven this could attract a fine of up to $39,642 per charge » » Failing to minimise the risks to property from a supply network (section 98(b) of the Electricity Safety Act 1998). If proven this could attract a fine of up to $237,855 per charge » » Failing to comply with a bushfire mitigation plan (section 113B(2) of the Electricity Safety Act 1998). If proven this could attract a fine of up to $237,855 per charge. All three grass fires were caused by tree branches coming into contact with powerlines. ESV has further charged Powercor with an additional 189 breaches of Electric Line Clearance regulations in a corridor that stretches from Mildura to Shepparton. In each case, powerlines were either touching or very close to vegetation. The regulations prescribe minimum distances between powerlines and vegetation to mitigate electricity safety risks, including fire starts. Distribution businesses are obliged to comply with the Act and regulations.  Take five with ESV’s latest addition − Sandy By Mirna Bukic, Digital Communications Advisor We sat down with ESV’s new Compliance Officer for Renewable Energy, Sandy Atkins, and chat all things renewable and brewing. How did you get interested in renewable energy? Through brewing beer. When I was younger there wasn’t the large amount of micro-breweries around like there are today. I wanted more variety than just Carlton Draught or VB so I started making my own beer. This opened my eyes to the fact that you don’t have to just settle for the main stream, same old, same old. The same thing happened with electricity. Solar panels became more accessible and I wanted to have the ability to make my own energy instead of just buying it all from the mainstream energy provider. That was over 10 years ago when there was only around 22,000 solar panel systems installed on Australian roofs. Today there is over 1.8 million. What’s important for us to know about renewables? Renewables, and more specifically small scale renewables that are connected behind the customer’s meter are going to change the energy system. These type of renewable systems are doing to the energy industr