More than 14,000 homes and businesses between the southern Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, hinterland and Kilcoy, are set to benefit from a new multimillion dollar ENERGEX upgrade to the local electricity network. More than $16 million will be spent upgrading ENERGEX's electricity substation in Peachester Road, Beerwah and nstalling three new transformers and associated equipment. Also as part of the upgrade, ENERGEX will be laying 600 m of underground power cable on the southern side of Peachester Road to the northern end of Walton Road.

Set to commence in March and finish late 2011, the upgrades will provide the region with increased power capacity allowing for future growth and increased local electricity use.

According to ENERGEX’s Asset Manager for the North Coast area Steve Lynch, figures show the average South East Queensland home now uses between 50 and 70 per cent more power than they did just 10 years ago and the areas serviced by the Beerwah substation are rapidly developing both domestically and commercially. “When you combine demand increases with regional growth it always equates to more infrastructure requirements and that’s exactly what these power upgrades are about,” he said.

From a local perspective, Lynch said the Beerwah and surrounding areas are forecast to increase their power usage by at least 20 per cent over the next seven years which is above the national average.

Once finished, this project will work in unison with a recently completed $6.7 million local power upgrade that included the installation of a new 33-kV powerline between Beerwah and Woodford as well as associated improvements to the Beerwah’s 11-kV electricity network.