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Burying powerlines in Australia for an airstrip.

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Burying powerlines in Australia for an airstrip.

Old 12th Mar 2021, 12:41
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Burying powerlines in Australia for an airstrip.

Hi,

I am wondering if anyone on here has had experience with getting a quote for burying powerlines in Australia. I have approval to put an airstrip on my property in Queensland however to get the optimal direction and length I would like to place approx 150m of 3 strand power lines underground that run through part of my property. These arenít property power lines, they are general power for the area so Iím guessing theyíre reasonably high voltage. I donít need to remove or relocate any poles, just the power lines between 2 poles. Any advice would be appreciated. I know itís going to be expensive but am after some rough guidance before I go to energex so I can work out whether I am getting a genuine quote for the actual cost of the job, or a bugger off we donít want to do it quote. PM me if youíd prefer to not put the information on this thread.

Thanks in advance.

Rosso.
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 20:56
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As long as they're in the middle, you're fine - surely.

I mean, regardless of which direction you're landing - the 'planes on the ground at that point.
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 22:47
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You are joking aren't you? Never heard of go around, late touchdown etc? Now on to the subject matter........If there is just 3 conductors it is likely it is the HV supply to the area feeding a step down transformer along the route somewhere. Probably 11,000 volt but may be higher.
A good guide as to the voltage is have a look at the insulators on the poles. That's those grey things (usually) but can be black or clear. How many rings are they along the insulator? If only 3 then around the 11,000 volt is my guess. More is higher 110,000 volt will have 8 or 10 rings etc.
The higher the voltage the more it will cost to put them underground because a higher grade insulated cable will be required along with the ducting etc. I don't know what the rules are in your state but usually only the power network will carry out this work so your at their mercy as to the cost. My rough guess is at least $20,000 depending on what type of soil your dealing with . Rock, clay etc. The obvious thing to do is go and see them and ask for an estimate before you do anything.
Hope that helps. Good luck.
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 22:55
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Originally Posted by Checkboard View Post
As long as they're in the middle, you're fine - surely.

I mean, regardless of which direction you're landing - the 'planes on the ground at that point.
Hi Checkboard,

This has been suggested to me before and I know others have done it. If I was to only fly my aircraft off the property I wouldnít need that much runway and I have options for smaller strips which donít require the lines to be buried. However, I figure if Iím going to put a strip in, it would be nice to have it as an asset that I can advertise if ever I decide to sell; and it would be great to have a longer strip with bigger margins for my own operation. Additionally it would also be nice for friends with lower performance aircraft to be able to safely fly in. The chance of someone dropping in (invited or otherwise) to a strip with lines across it is outside of my risk profile. I know the onus is on the PIC to ensure the ALA is satisfactory, but Iíve still got to live with myself if someone hurts (or worse) themselves on an airstrip I put in.

Cheers, Rosso.
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 23:00
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Originally Posted by mostlytossas View Post
You are joking aren't you? Never heard of go around, late touchdown etc? Now on to the subject matter........If there is just 3 conductors it is likely it is the HV supply to the area feeding a step down transformer along the route somewhere. Probably 11,000 volt but may be higher.
A good guide as to the voltage is have a look at the insulators on the poles. That's those grey things (usually) but can be black or clear. How many rings are they along the insulator? If only 3 then around the 11,000 volt is my guess. More is higher 110,000 volt will have 8 or 10 rings etc.
The higher the voltage the more it will cost to put them underground because a higher grade insulated cable will be required along with the ducting etc. I don't know what the rules are in your state but usually only the power network will carry out this work so your at their mercy as to the cost. My rough guess is at least $20,000 depending on what type of soil your dealing with . Rock, clay etc. The obvious thing to do is go and see them and ask for an estimate before you do anything.
Hope that helps. Good luck.
Thanks mostlytossas. I appreciate the helpful reply. Iíll go down to the paddock and check out the insulators. I know nothing about this sort of thing so I really appreciate the information before I contact the power company. I just didnít want to walk into the conversation with them without having some idea of the process/cost. Cheers, Rosso.
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Old 12th Mar 2021, 23:16
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My rough guess is at least $20,000
I think there is a zero missing there!
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 00:08
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A single line around 700 metres to a house underground is around $100,000 and thatís not for high voltage lines. Plus you have to stabilise the poles where it terminates and goes underground, so it may need to be a lot wider ďgapĒ than anticipated.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 00:36
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Rosso
When all quote in, can you let us know what sort of money they want?
It is something I have contemplated but not gone into as I assumed not in my priority list yet.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 00:51
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Dropping power requires a level 1 electrician. You should have a local one, he will sub out to the local authority. We got a quote for $96k to drop 150m.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 00:54
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Originally Posted by rjtjrt View Post
Rosso
When all quote in, can you let us know what sort of money they want?
It is something I have contemplated but not gone into as I assumed not in my priority list yet.
Shall do. Iíve got a go/no go figure in my head of what costs would make it worthwhile. I suspect it is going to be a lot higher than I originally anticipated. I have a couple of options Iíll be asking for quotes on. Happy to share the rough price on the forum, and provide more detailed info via PM once I have it.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 00:56
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Originally Posted by Fieldmouse View Post
Dropping power requires a level 1 electrician. You should have a local one, he will sub out to the local authority. We got a quote for $96k to drop 150m.
Thanks fieldmouse. Very helpful info. Thatís roughly where I thought weíd be at. Any more than that and itís starts to get hard to justify the return on investment. Just curious, what state was that in?
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 00:59
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post
Plus you have to stabilise the poles where it terminates and goes underground, so it may need to be a lot wider ďgapĒ than anticipated.
Thanks Squawk. This has been a concern of mine and Iíll be interested to see what they propose as the options and costs for this. I figured it would involve some sort of wire bracing although there are poles around here that terminate without anything.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 02:36
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You have approval for an airstrip? This is a gray area in some ways. I'd be keen to know why approval was required?
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 09:09
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Originally Posted by machtuk View Post
You have approval for an airstrip? This is a gray area in some ways. I'd be keen to know why approval was required?
Hi machtuk.

I should have chosen my words more carefully. My LGA doesnít require approval for an airstrip as such. I have been in touch with council and provided it is not used for commercial purposes or require earthworks greater than 400mm then no official approval is required and council have no objection to its use. I also specifically enquired about requirements such as noise and again provided it is for private use it is no different to operating a car to/from, or machinery on, my property.

Cheers, Rosso.
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 11:21
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A friend of mine had the same problem in the UK.

He was told by a mate who worked for the power company to tell them the wayleave for the power cables crossing his property had expired and could they kindly remove them.

The cables were buried for free pretty promptly.

I don't know if you have the same system of wayleaves in Oz, but it might be worth trying.

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Old 13th Mar 2021, 15:29
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Does the line need to go underground, or does it just need to get from one side of your proposed runway to the other without passing over it?
After all, "under" is not the only way which is not "over", a longer above ground route on poles "around" might be much cheaper?
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Old 13th Mar 2021, 17:46
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Originally Posted by Glevum View Post
A friend of mine had the same problem in the UK.

He was told by a mate who worked for the power company to tell them the wayleave for the power cables crossing his property had expired and could they kindly remove them.

The cables were buried for free pretty promptly.

I don't know if you have the same system of wayleaves in Oz, but it might be worth trying.

Itís surprising what you can get done with a little leverage, the real cost of putting cable U/G in open ground even HV is quite low, but they charge what they can get and make a nice profit along the way
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 11:21
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Originally Posted by nonsense View Post
Does the line need to go underground, or does it just need to get from one side of your proposed runway to the other without passing over it?
After all, "under" is not the only way which is not "over", a longer above ground route on poles "around" might be much cheaper?
Unfortunately the only option here is to go underground. Due to the location of the powerlines and some natural features re-routing it will cause a large diversion which I doubt would be cheaper or even possible given the layout.
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 11:22
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Originally Posted by Deltasierra010 View Post
Itís surprising what you can get done with a little leverage, the real cost of putting cable U/G in open ground even HV is quite low, but they charge what they can get and make a nice profit along the way
Thanks Delta. Yeah the section I want buried is open even ground. Iím concerned I will get price gouged simply because Iím a captive audience and the job wonít be a high priority for them.
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Old 26th Mar 2021, 11:54
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https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/safety...ing-swer-lines

The exec summary puts the cost of HV power underground at $168K / km. So start at about 40K I’d reckon and work up from there.

Also. The electricity poles will 99% likely be on an easement (look at your title) in which case this stuff about wayleaves in the UK is meaningless. And good luck fighting it in court even if it isn’t listed. https://elringtons.com.au/2011/08/ea...s-for-dummies/
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