Australia’s largest electricity grid project underway

Officials in hard hats gather for sod turning at site of Project EnergyConnect (electricity grid project)
Malcolm King (BMEET), Cr Tim Elstone (Mayor, Wentworth Shire Council), Joseph de Pedro (Managing Director - Australia, Elecnor) Paul Farris (Vice President - NSW, Clough) and Brett Redman (CEO Transgrid) break the first ground for project EnergyConnect in NSW

More than 9,000km of conductor cabling—enough to span from Sydney to Perth three times—will be used to deliver Australia’s largest electricity grid project, EnergyConnect.

Transgrid CEO Brett Redman joined local community representatives to mark the start of construction on Transgrid’s $1.8 billion infrastructure investment in New South Wales’ far west.

“EnergyConnect is a once in a generation transmission project that will help to revolutionise the National Electricity Market and we are really pleased to be getting underway with this critical infrastructure,” Redman said.

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“The project will be a key component of the future grid, which will enable the integration of renewable generation and support the decarbonisation of the nation’s economy.

“By increasing wholesale electricity competition, EnergyConnect will help drive down electricity bills and once completed, the project is expected to save NSW energy customers $180 million a year.”

EnergyConnect is a 900km interconnector which will enable the sharing of energy between New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria for the first time. Transgrid is building the 700km NSW section from the South Australian border to Wagga Wagga and South Australia’s ElectraNet has started building the remaining 200km from the border to Robertstown, SA.

Early works have already commenced in western NSW to provide construction access points ahead of major works scheduled for July, 2022. Over the course of the project, Transgrid’s construction partner SecureEnergy will erect 1500 new transmission towers, using more than 30,000 tonnes of steel.

EnergyConnect project director Stephen Troughton said “We are excited to progress the project which is of enormous significance to the nation’s energy consumers. SecureEnergy will soon start building the first stage in NSW, which includes construction of 135km of new transmission line between Buronga and the SA border, a 33ha expansion of the existing Buronga substation and further 22km of transmission line to the Victorian border near Red Cliffs.”

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EnergyConnect will also involve:

  • More than one million cubic metres of earthworks to excavate tower footings and to create substation foundations and site access points
  • 60,000 cubic metres of concrete for tower footings and substation works
  • More than 70ha of substation construction, including upgrades to two existing sites and development of a third site.

The construction of the eastern alignment (Buronga to Wagga Wagga) is due to commence in 2023, with project delivery expected by 2024.

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