ElectraNet has today confirmed Project EnergyConnect, the high-voltage electricity transmission interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales, will be built.
ElectraNet Chief Executive Steve Masters confirmed the company will invest $457.4 million to deliver the South Australian section of the interconnector from Robertstown to the New South Wales border.
South Australian households can expect to receive an average saving of around $100 a year on their electricity bills after the interconnector is energised with even higher savings for small businesses.
There will also be substantial economic benefits from the project’s $2.28 billion investment in critical infrastructure to the National Electricity Market (NEM). This includes 200 new jobs in South Australia during the construction phase of the project.
“Over the past five years ElectraNet has demonstrated through a rigorous assessment process that Project EnergyConnect is good for South Australian and New South Wales customers, and we now look forward to getting on and building it, so those benefits can be realised,” Mr Masters said.
“Project EnergyConnect is landmark project that will drive competition in the wholesale electricity market by connecting more, low-cost generation to the national electricity grid and support the ongoing transition to a lower carbon emissions future.
“As the proponent of this project, ElectraNet has left no stone unturned to ensure that this project is a good investment for electricity customers in South Australia and New South Wales.
“We undertook a rigorous cost benefit analysis that has been repeatedly updated to demonstrate this remains the best option for customers as well as supporting the rapid pace of change across the NEM.
“At all times, ElectraNet has remained focused on ensuring we deliver this project at the lowest possible cost to all energy customers, while also providing the greatest benefits.”
ElectraNet has undertaken comprehensive stakeholder engagement over the past five years and incorporated that feedback into the development of the project.
“Project EnergyConnect is a transformational infrastructure project of national significance that will deliver the longest transmission line between Australian states,” Mr Masters said.
“This is a fantastic outcome for South Australia and New South Wales, for the whole NEM and for the transition towards greater reliance on renewable energy generation.
“Australia’s national energy network is moving rapidly toward a greater mix of cleaner energy sources. There will be no energy transition without transmission.”
Mr Masters thanked TransGrid, project delivery partner for the New South Wales section, and the South Australian Government for its ongoing support and continued championing of Project EnergyConnect: “The South Australian Government provided support to allow early progress to occur on project planning, working towards environmental approvals and to start procurement processes.
In South Australia, Project EnergyConnect’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is currently open for public comment and undergoing assessment by the South Australian Government’s Planning and Land Use Services. Subject to receiving all necessary environmental approvals, construction is anticipated to start later this year with commissioning under way in 2023.
PROJECT ENERGYCONNECT KEY FACTS
- A new, 900km high-voltage transmission interconnector between Robertstown, in South Australia’s mid-north, and Wagga Wagga, in New South Wales, via Buronga with an additional line between Buronga and Red Cliffs, in Victoria.
- Total line capacity of 800 MW – the equivalent of delivering energy to 240,000 extra households.
- Voltage of 330 kV.
- Upgrade to the Robertstown sub-station and a new sub-station at Bundey.
- Total project cost of $2.28 billion (South Australian section is $457.4 million).
- TransGrid will be responsible for constructing the New South Wales section of the interconnector.
- Subject to receiving all necessary approvals, project construction is expected to start on the South Australian section in late 2021 with commissioning of the new line under way in 2023.