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Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) reports

REFCL Functional Performance Review

Due to two mild summers resulting from the current La Nina weather pattern, the planned functional performance review of Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCLs) has been deferred until 2024.

As part of the initial 2020 functional performance review, ESV undertook to carry out a further review this year. However, the unusually mild summers over the last two years have resulted in a substantial reduction in the number of times the REFCLs have been called upon to operate. This in turn means the data available for meaningful analysis is limited. The review will now be carried out in 2024.

Overview

In 2020, ESV engaged Power Systems Consultants (PSC) to undertake an independent functional performance review of REFCL technology (following the implementation of the first tranche of the delivery program) that is designed to reduce the risk of electrical assets igniting catastrophic bushfires. The scope of the engagement was broken up into three components and the key issues/outcomes are summarised in the review below.

Major electrical company (MEC) responses

Below are the redacted MECs responses to ESV’s REFCL Functional Performance review.

REFCL Cost-Benefit Analysis Report

ESV engaged Nous Group to undertake an independent cost-benefit analysis of the deployment of REFCL technology to review whether the investment in REFCLs is justified to reduce the risk of electrical assets igniting catastrophic bushfires. The key issues, analysis and outcomes are summarised in the below report and Addendum.

Applicable legislation and regulations

Visit our legislation and regulations page, to access the relevant legislation including:

  • Electricity Safety Act 1998
  • Electricity (Bushfire Mitigation) Regulations 2013
  • Electricity Safety (Bushfire Duties) Regulations 2017