Western Power trials solar street lights in Madeley

Zane Christmas (Western Power) with Ashleigh Dover and Andrew Hunt from Hunt Solutions with a solar led speedlight.  Photo: Martin Kennealey
Zane Christmas (Western Power) with Ashleigh Dover and Andrew Hunt from Hunt Solutions with a solar led speedlight. Photo: Martin Kennealey

A MADELEY street is the first to trial solar street light technology that Western Power hopes will improve lighting while it repairs cable faults.

The trial will use improvements in solar-powered lighting technology and performance to provide temporary lighting for residents during complicated repairs and upgrades to underground streetlight cable networks.

Head of network maintenance planning Zane Christmas said the trial was a smarter and cleaner alternative to existing ways of providing temporary lighting for residential customers.

“Until now the only real solutions were to use a diesel generator to power large floodlights, or leave all of the lights out and turn them on one at a time as the faults are repaired,” he said.

“In quiet streets and communities like Jackson Circuit in Madeley, those solutions are just impractical.

“We know from experience no one wants a noisy generator on their front lawn while they try to sleep.

Solar street lights. Photo: Martin Kennealey

“The temporary lighting may have a slightly different look to the grid powered street lights, but importantly it will supply lighting for families and businesses while permanent repair and upgrade work is done.”

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts welcomed the trial to use solar powered head lamps and said it aligned with the City’s environmental focus.

“This is a clean, green initiative that supports the City’s commitment to implementing smarter energy initiatives and will help alleviate some of the frustrations residents have around street light outages,” she said.

The trial is being run in conjunction with street light contract partner Hunts Solutions and involves the top of the street light being swapped out for a solar-powered luminaire, or headlamp, while work is done.

The lights will operate just like a grid-powered light, turning on at dusk and running until just after dawn.

Once the underground cable repairs are completed, the more powerful street light head will be reinstalled.

The trial will be used at selected locations across the network over the next four to six months and Western Power will seek feedback from residents and businesses to evaluate the success.

Customers in areas where the lights are used will receive letters and information packs about the lights.

“An important focus is making sure customers aren’t left in the dark about what we’re doing to address street light faults, and how we’re being smarter about the way we use the network around them,” Mr Christmas said.

“This is a trial of smarter technology to see if it helps address customer concerns over lighting during repairs, so we naturally want their feedback.”

Email communityenquiries@westernpower.com.au.