Substation of the future at home in Brisbane

Kelvin-Grove-substation
Kelvin Grove Substation blends into its Brisbane urban environment

A substation is under construction in the Brisbane suburb of Kelvin Grove, part of a larger $50 million program by Energex to overhaul the electricity network and bolster supply in the inner city area.

The development is being built in response to growing demand in the Kelvin Grove Urban Village precinct, also home to a Queensland University of Technology campus and increasing residential and commercial development in the area.

Primary contractor Zinfra installed the electrical equipment including the 11kV switchgear and associated underground feeder cabling, conduits and pits, as well as the integration and testing of two 110/11kV transformers.

In the latter part of 2013, Zinfra commenced excavation, trenching, saw cutting and the building of pits (joint bays) to connect the underground power cable as well as provide network access for future testing and maintenance of equipment. This civil component required considerable traffic control and local community engagement and management.

The Zinfra team collaborated with Siemens to install the GIS units and have recently conducted pre-commissioning steps up to Phase Five. The project is scheduled to be finished on time in November 2014, in budget.

Located approximately 3km north of Brisbane CBD, the Energex substation uses gas insulated switchgear (GIS) rather than the old oil insulated circuit breakers, allowing the substation to be housed in a largely enclosed building with aesthetic appeal.

For those involved with the project, the Kelvin Grove development is a shining example of what future substations will look like.

“Blended into the urban environment, the general public would be hard pressed to recognise the building as a traditional substation,” Zinfra Group representative Helen Roberts-Ferguson said.