Australia’s biggest electricity project EnergyConnect now a step closer

EnergyConnect project site (strike)
EnergyConnect project site (Image: Transgrid)

Australia’s largest transmission project EnergyConnect has progressed further with the submission this week of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project’s eastern section, from Buronga to Wagga Wagga.

Executive manager of delivery Craig Stallan said Transgrid and its construction partner SecureEnergy have already undertaken early works and are mobilised in anticipation of a busy year in the state’s west.

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“Construction is due to start by June this year on the NSW section of the 900km electricity transmission interconnector linking Robertstown in South Australia to Wagga Wagga and Red Cliffs in Victoria,” Stallan said.

“We are excited to get shovels in the ground and build this critical infrastructure which will prove a game changer for electricity customers and the National Electricity Market.”

Transgrid will deliver the bulk of the interconnector, approximately 700km of transmission assets from the NSW/SA border to Wagga Wagga. The State Government provided approval for the western section of the route, from Buronga to the NSW/SA border, in September last year. The western section of the project includes works between the border near Renmark Rd, TransGrid’s existing substation at Buronga, and the NSW/Victorian border near Monak.

In May, 2021, TransGrid confirmed the company would invest $1.834 billion in the project, which will save NSW customers $180 million per year, create up to 1500 jobs and contribute a further $4 billion in economic activity for the state.

“The NSW Government declared the NSW section as Critical State Significant Infrastructure in 2019. We believe this project will change the energy landscape for the eastern seaboard states and enable the energy transition, bringing a reduction in carbon emissions and helping the nation meet its climate change targets,” Stallan said.

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The EIS for EnergyConnect’s eastern section includes a key link between Dinawan (south of Coleambally) and Wagga, which will now be upgraded to facilitate additional capacity for the Victoria New South Wales Interconnector West and the South West Renewable Energy Zone without the need to build duplicate infrastructure.

The NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces will decide on the EIS for the Eastern section, following a review by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

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