ElectraNet is continuing to work with our construction partner and contractor, Downer, landholders, and councils to deliver the South Australian side of Project EnergyConnect (PEC), the new high voltage interconnector between SA and New South Wales. The SA side of PEC has been a massive undertaking for ElectraNet, comprising 384 towers, 83 stringing pads, 10 laydown yards and various stringing, access tracks, road hurdles and passing bays.
With PEC nearing the construction completion milestone on the SA side, ElectraNet has begun the environmental rehabilitation process around tower sites.
ElectraNet’s HSE Advisor, Charlotte Turner, said, “Our Environmental Management Plan sets the standard for rehab efforts and aims to rehabilitate the temporary areas to the condition before construction was undertaken. This includes respreading the topsoil that was scraped off the site which contains a seed bank that will promote native vegetation growth and further create habitat for native fauna. We work closely with the landholders and implement their special requirements into rehab.”
Click here or below to hear more from Charlotte.
Downer’s Environmental Advisor, Dayna Chapman, said, “I inspect our sites throughout this process to ensure works are proceeding to standard and to assess if any further controls are required, for example, placement and installation of coir logs for erosion control at increased risk areas.”
“The SA side of the PEC project is continuously guided by Downer’s 10 Environmental Principles to minimise and manage the project’s environmental impacts. Downer’s management practices are detailed in our nine Environmental and Cultural heritage sub-plans, such as our Biodiversity and Rehabilitation Management Sub-plan and within our internal Management Standards.”
“For example, the Weed Pest and Disease Management Sub-plan and Downer’s internal Biosecurity Management Standard includes requirements for critical controls such as plant and vehicle inspections, washdown stations, on-site inspections for declared weeds and in the instance of an occurrence, notification to ElectraNet, the SA Landscape Board – facilitating a notification to PIRSA and the management of that declared weed on site,” Dayna said.
Engagement with landholders has been the key to ensuring rehabilitation works are understood and opportunities are given for feedback, which are passed onto ElectraNet.
Dayna said, “Items no longer in use such as star pickets, flagging and signage are required to be removed from sites, as without ongoing maintenance they can degrade into litter. Due to its sensitive nature, all no-go zone flagging is left in place and monitored to ensure environmental and cultural heritage sites are protected. This flagging will be removed before end of project handover to ElectraNet.”
“The site is cleaned of any remaining construction items and is reshaped back to the natural landscape wherever possible, without impacting the towers or ongoing access. If capping material is used for stringing, crane or EWP pads, it is removed and used on permanent areas such as the maintenance of access tracks or if possible, provided to the landholder for reuse. Sites are scarified where required to loosen any compaction and encourage regrowth and topsoil stockpiles taken pre-works are respread across temporary areas. Vegetation is removed in the initial clearing and is respread across temporary areas.”
“Finally, the sites are inspected by myself and Charlotte to review that the works have been completed satisfactorily and sign off the sites,” Dayna said.
In related news, Downer and Meridian Helicopters Australia have successfully completed aerial stringing activities between the 384 towers spanning 205km from Robertstown to Bundey and onto the NSW border. Aerial stringing has helped to ensure impacts to the surrounding environment along the route are minimised. The SA side of PEC still has a few more milestones to reach before completion, but we’d like to take this opportunity to particularly thank Downer and Meridian Helicopters for their organisation and safe operation of this critical part of the project.
To read more about PEC’s latest construction milestones and learn more about the project, please click here.Back to News