New milestone for QNI upgrade

Transmission tower and lines (QNI)
Image: Shutterstock

The QLD-NSW Interconnector (QNI) upgrade, which will help ensure reliable lower cost energy sharing between the states, is 80 per cent complete, with works now moving from the civil phase to the electrical phase. 

TransGrid executive manager works delivery Craig Stallan said: “We have already finished key elements of this upgrade, including gantry construction at our Dumaresq and Tamworth substations and the replacement and upgrade of towers. 

“We are very pleased to have achieved 99 per cent of the transmission line upgrade to 120 degrees Celsius, which allows higher power transfers while maintaining statutory ground clearances for the higher temperatures.” 

Mr Stallan said the QNI team has continued to meet the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 as well as the complex requirements of the project which incorporates new technology. 

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New equipment in the QNI upgrade includes new capacitor banks, static VAR compensators (SVCs), SVC transformers and associated 330kV switch bays. The capacitor banks provide additional reactive power, while the SVC regulates the reactive power on the grid. 

Work on QNI has involved upgrades to substations and transmission lines. Upgrade and replacement of transmission towers with twin pole structures has recently been completed along existing transmission lines. 

“This technology will optimise the real power flows on the transmission lines and enables us to control the power flows between NSW and Queensland—as well as providing grid stability,” Mr Stallan said. 

More than 280 people have been employed during the construction on the transmission lines and in substations in Armidale, Tamworth and Dumaresq. 

The project, approved by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and fast tracked with the support of the NSW and Federal Governments, is expected to provide net benefits of $170 million to electricity customers and producers. 

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