The South Australian component of Project EnergyConnect, the new high-voltage electricity interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales, has reached another significant milestone today following the South Australian Government’s approval of the major project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Project EnergyConnect is a landmark project that will drive competition in the wholesale electricity market by connecting more, low-cost renewable generation to the national electricity grid and support the ongoing transition to a lower carbon emissions future.

ElectraNet Chief Executive, Steve Masters, said approval by the State Government of the project’s EIS was a significant milestone to enable construction work on Project EnergyConnect to begin early next year.

“We started the assessment process in 2018, undertaking extensive consultation with the many stakeholders interested in our project and today marks another important milestone for the project, which is expected to deliver electricity bill savings for residential and business customers,” Mr Masters said.

“Through the EIS process, detailed environmental, cultural, social and engineering studies were undertaken to select a proposed route, collect baseline data and understand stakeholder perspectives.

“This included engaging with Traditional Owners, landholders, communities, interest groups, and local, state and federal governments, through one-on-one conversations, site visits, meetings, community drop-in sessions, and an information booth at the Riverland Field Days.

“We also used an online engagement room and interactive mapping platform to keep people up to date about the project and provide a simple way to collect feedback, from as many people as possible, especially during COVID-19 restrictions.

“More than 1200 people have visited the online engagement room since its launch in January 2021, accessing fact sheets, presentations, animations about the interconnector and its benefits, as well as interactive tools.”

Feedback from the consultation and findings from the various studies, informed the EIS and the final approved route for the interconnector.

“Our final, approved route takes into account environmentally sensitive areas and we’ve engaged with all affected communities to minimise project impacts,” Mr Masters said.

To complete the assessment process, final approval of the EIS is required from the Federal Government.

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