Regulator approval clears the path for QNI

transmission, QNI

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has today approved the upgrade of the Queensland NSW Interconnector (QNI), which will increase the transfer of electricity between the states and provide customers with access to reliable, lowest cost energy.

TransGrid Chief Executive Officer Paul Italiano welcomed the Australian Energy Regulator’s approval of the Contingent Project Application (CPA) for QNI which will commence on-site construction next month.

“The QNI project has been fast tracked with the support of the Federal and NSW Governments which provided a joint agreement to facilitate the upgrade,” said Mr Italiano.

“While early works have been underway since October last year, we are looking forward to breaking ground on the civil construction work in coming weeks and delivering this project on time,” he said.

The upgraded interconnector will increase the transfer capacity of electricity between Queensland and NSW, enable more efficient sharing in the National Energy Market. The installation of innovative technology called static volt amp reactive compensators (SVCs) will strengthen the system by providing greater voltage stability and regulation.

The QNI project, which involves upgrades to substations, transmission towers and lines, is expected to provide net benefits of $170 million to electricity customers and producers and create 150 jobs during construction.

Preparatory works, including upgrades to access tracks, are due to begin next month. Once completed, teams will begin working on upgrades to transmission towers and lines, including:

  • replacing transmission towers with poles
  • installing new poles along existing spans
  • strengthening existing towers
  • transmission line insulator works.

The CPA approval follows the decision by the AER last month to approve the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T), which supported the options assessment, costs and net benefits of the project.