Construction work on the new $15 million Western Power depot in Pinjarra has started.
Energy Minister Bill Johnston attended a sod-turning ceremony at the new depot on Monday afternoon, which will consolidate the Mandurah and Waroona depots and improve service efficiency in the region.
The facility will be built on a three-hectare lot at Pinjarra Industrial Estate, which was purchased through LandCorp's Industrial Lands Authority for its strategic location fronting Munday Avenue and access to major road networks.
Local South-West construction firm Perkins has been awarded the construction contract.
Perkins recently constructed the Vasse Depot, which was recognised as the best new South- West industrial building in the $10 million to $20 million category by Master Builders Western Australia this year.
The Pinjarra Depot will replicate the successful layout of the Vasse Depot and provide dedicated areas for high voltage testing, fleet maintenance, operational workshops and environmental management areas.
Construction is expected to take 10 months and crews will transfer to the new facility in mid- 2020. The amalgamation will not impact staff numbers.
"Consolidating Waroona and Mandurah into one facility will give Western Power employees greater efficiency to deliver their ongoing work program in the growing Peel region," Mr Johnston said.
"This is a fit-for-purpose facility, built from scratch, using insights from the crews with the sole purpose of continuing the delivery of high-quality services to Western Power customers.
"Emergency response crews in the Peel region answered around 5000 calls following storms and other unplanned events last financial year.
"This new facility will allow crews to continue that response in all weather and be able to load and prepare equipment in protected areas before heading to the field."
Lands Minister Ben Wyatt said the Pinjarra Industrial Estate provided the perfect launching point for Western Power crews who needed to mobilise quickly for emergencies and also deliver network upgrades and carry out maintenance.
"The estate sits at a mid-point between Perth and Bunbury and also allows rapid access into the growing Peel region," he said.
"The relocation of Western Power services to the Pinjarra Industrial Estate is just another example of the efficiencies of the newly formed Industrial Lands Authority, an election commitment of the McGowan government."