TransGrid has welcomed the New South Wales Government declaration of Project EnergyConnect (PEC) as Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI).
The proposed interconnector will run approximately 900km from Robertson in South Australia to Wagga Wagga in NSW. PEC will provide energy security to South Australia (SA) and unlock new renewables generation in south-west NSW.
TransGrid’s chief executive Paul Italiano says the CSSI classification means the planning approval process in NSW can be expedited to meet delivery deadlines.
“PEC is a very important part of Australia’s energy future,” says Mr Italiano. “Granting CSSI status to this project is a really positive development and a clear indication of how important PEC is to the evolution of the National Energy Market (NEM),” he says.
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The interconnector will create a diversified supply path between SA and NSW, which will reduce the impact of outages in extreme weather.
“Any section of the network could break down and you could still have energy flowing around the system. It’s a very significant contribution to the system’s security,” Mr Italiano says.
Project at a glance:
- The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be displayed in the second half of 2020
- Major construction to start by mid 2021
- Robertstown in SA to Buronga in NSW delivered by the end of 2022
- Remaining section from Buronga to Wagga Wagga to be delivered by mid 2023.
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TransGrid has engaged with the market to identify potential contracting partners to deliver the project. The company is launching a formal process in the coming weeks and will receive tenders by early December 2019.
TransGrid has begun engaging communities along the corridor to begin preparing an EIS. All impacted landholders will be contacted directly. The company says it looks forward to engaging with many more communities and stakeholders on the design and impacts.
TransGrid’s transmission network transports electricity from various sources, including wind, solar, hydro and coal power plants.