Transformer testing underway for Project EnergyConnect

Engineers in hard hats standing in front of transformer (EnergyConnect)
(L-R): Dharmendra Yoga (Transgrid), PJ Pique (SecureEnergy), Martin Glass (Hyosung AU) and Tae Jin Yoon (Hyosung Korea)

Australia’s largest electricity project, EnergyConnect, has taken another step forward with transformer testing now underway.

The $1.8 billion EnergyConnect project will allow energy to be shared between NSW, South Australia, and Victoria for the first time and enable the connection of new renewable generation to support the transition to clean energy.

Related article: Transformers arrive at Port Kembla for EnergyConnect

Transgrid and its construction partner SecureEnergy is building the 700km NSW section of the project from Wagga Wagga to the South Australian border, and a connection to Red Cliffs in Victoria.

A team from Transgrid and SecureEnergy has just returned from South Korea where subcontractor Hyosung carried out testing on the first of five Phase Shifting Transformers (PSTs) for EnergyConnect.

It is the first time Hyosung have designed this type of PST which is a specialised type of transformer that typically controls the flow of active power on transmission networks.

Transgrid project director Stephen Troughton said, “These transformers are just one example of the equipment being manufactured for EnergyConnect, the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken and one of national significance.

“EnergyConnect is a project of firsts, and this is yet another—the first 330kV PST which will be installed in Australia, and it is great to see the project continuing to reach key milestones as construction continues at full steam.

“We’re building the energy superhighway that will benefit millions of Australians and lower power bills for homes and businesses while supporting the shift to renewable energy,” he said.

Once built the transformers undergo rigorous performance testing at Hyosung’s test lab in South Korea. The first PST passed the tests and will now be disassembled for the sea voyage to Australia and will arrive in the middle of 2023.

The transformer will then be transported by road to Transgrid’s new Buronga Substation in western NSW, which will be the main hub to connect NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Related article: Project EnergyConnect powers on at Buronga

Crews have been working hard building the ‘bench’ for the 16ha substation which will include two synchronous condensers, five phase-shifting transformers, three power transformers and four shunt reactors.

When completed it will be one of the biggest and most sophisticated substations in the Southern Hemisphere.

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