NSW-Victoria Interconnector receiving increased electricity flow

VNI West transmission works (aemo)
Image: Transgrid

Cross border interconnection capability has been increased, and extra capacity unlocked, due to the installation of innovative power flow control on a key interconnector between New South Wales and Victoria.

In what is one of the first installations of its kind in Australia, Victorian transmission system operator AusNet Services deployed SmartValve technology on the Jindera-Wodonga interconnector line, where it is routing power flow onto the underutilised western 330kV transmission corridor.

SmartValve technology works by intelligently controlling the flows of power across the network, in real-time. It pushes power off overloaded lines and pulls power on to underutilised lines; balancing power flows across multiple lines and relieving constraints that limit cross-border flows. 

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By deploying SmartValve on the Jindera-Wodonga 330kV line, the interregional export capability from New South Wales to Victoria will be increased by around 15MW, reducing the risk of supply shortfalls in Victoria following the recent retirement of fossil fuel-based generation.

Installation of the technology was a joint project between AusNet Services and global power technology company, Smart Wires.

Announcing the project’s successful implementation, AusNet Services executive general manager of network management and digital Steven Neave said the use of innovative solutions will be key for utilities as they address challenges around increasing and changing demand, while simultaneously working towards the energy transition.

“AusNet’s focus is delivering safe and reliable power to the communities we serve. This means using innovative solutions to foster reliability, affordability, and a sustainable energy future for Victoria.

“Advanced technological solutions like SmartValve enable us to unlock extra capacity on our existing network—ensuring stable, reliable supply, more renewable energy, and less requirement for new infrastructure. 

“Essentially this technology is improving utilisation of our current network; the result being lower prices for our customers, less impact on the environment and our communities, and an increase in the amount of renewables we can safely integrate.

Smart Wires general manager APAC Aidan Lawlor commended AusNet Services for their innovative approach and commitment to Australia’s energy transition.

“The success of this project shows the impact innovative power technology is having, and companies like AusNet are at the forefront of this important change,” he said.

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“They’re taking an alternative, intelligent approach to reducing congestion and increasing the amount of renewables that can be accommodated, and in doing so are providing important benefits for their customers and the Australian energy landscape.

“The energy transition is here—it’s no longer about when, but how. These visionary companies are showing us how, and Smart Wires is proud to partner with them,” he said.

In addition to AusNet Services, a further two Australian utilities are in the process of installing Smart Wires’ technology on their networks. 

“The use of this technology is well established across Europe, the U.S. and Latin America, where it is providing enormous benefits. It’s great to see it now creating significant benefits here in Australia,” Lawlor said.

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