Restoring power and hope after Black Summer for Kosciuszko

22 December 2021

The impacts of the devastating bushfires of summer 2020 are still being felt today. Towns, villages and communities across NSW watched as buildings fell, forests burnt, and wildlife perished.

In NSW’s Snowy Mountains, the once-popular Selwyn Ski Resort was razed, and the Cabramurra village lost two-thirds of its houses.

During the fire, the aggressive Dunns Road bushfire swept through the Kosciusko National Park, damaging 65% of the electricity network on the powerline to Selwyn and Cabramurra.

Since the fires, Essential Energy teams have been working alongside NSW National Parks and Wildlife, Transgrid, Snowy Hydro Limited and the local villages to plan a power supply that should be able to withstand a range of weather and natural disasters.

Construction has already started with civil works underway on the new network to supply power to Cabramurra and Selwyn Ski resort. To minimise disruption to the Kosciusko National Park, 12km of powerlines will be built underground along Goat Ridge Road, and Kings Cross Rd Cabramurra, with an additional 2km of overhead powerlines already built near Selwyn Ski Resort.

As well as greater resilience, local communities should also experience greater power reliability as the burnt network was located through an area that made access challenging due to its terrain. Essential Energy has connected to the nearby Transgrid network which will improve reliability and response times during fault and emergency situations. Importantly, this new route will also minimise the impact on the National Park.

The timetable has been carefully planned in close consultation with Selwyn Ski Resort to support their re-opening in the 2022 ski season, with the project planned for completion by June 2022.