The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has today released ElectraNet’s application to approve the funding for the new transmission line proposed for the Eyre Peninsula, known as Eyre Peninsula Link.

The application to the AER, known as a Contingent Project Application, represents the final regulatory approval step for this project under the National Electricity Rules.

After detailed costings and a competitive market process, the total project cost in this application is $290 million.

Chief Executive, Steve Masters, said the project will improve power security and reliability to households and businesses across the Eyre Peninsula, while avoiding the cost of upgrading the existing line and providing ongoing generation support.

“We have ensured that the project can be delivered as efficiently as possible for all electricity customers, with its cost adding about $1 annually to a ‘typical’ residential power bill,” Mr Masters said.

“This project is expected to create numerous local jobs and boost the regional economy during construction as well as the ongoing benefits that come with a more reliable power supply.”

To support the project’s ongoing development in the lead-up to construction works, ElectraNet has awarded an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contract to Downer Utilities Australia.

“The awarding of the ECI contract is another positive step forward for the project by allowing us to work closely with the contractor to further refine the project scope, finalise detailed costings and begin works on sourcing the required material and equipment,” Mr Masters said.

It is anticipated that the AER will make a decision on the Contingent Project Application by August 2020.

Subject to the relevant approvals, full construction works are scheduled to begin by April 2021, with the new power line to be energised by the end of 2022.

Project background

ElectraNet is proposing to build a new double-circuit 132 kV transmission line from Cultana to Port Lincoln, via Yadnarie, with the ability to upgrade the Cultana to Yadnarie section to 275 kV in the future when needed.

Major construction works include upgrades to transmission substations at Port Lincoln, Cultana, Yadnarie, Wudinna and Middleback, and a new 270km transmission line. About 200 jobs are expected to be created during construction.

The project is the most cost-effective way to provide a reliable, safe and secure power supply to the Eyre Peninsula. It will meet the immediate supply needs of the Eyre Peninsula while future proofing the network to cater for increased capacity for new mining developments and renewable energy projects in the region.

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