Underground line installation to protect bushland

About 25 km of powerlines connected to a proposed new electricity substation at Empire Bay, NSW, will be installed underground and any tree removed on the substation site will be replaced with five more, EnergyAustralia announced in March.

The new $50 million power supply upgrade is needed to cater for a 36 per cent increase in demand for power across the area over the next five years. The new zone substation will power an estimated 6000 homes and businesses in Empire Bay, Saratoga, Bensville Davistown, Kincumber South, Killcare Heights, Hardys Bay and Daleys Point.

EnergyAustralia major projects general manager, Geoff Lilliss said they would work closely with the local community to make sure any impact from the project was kept to a minimum.

“We are writing to about 700 homes in the area to inform them of this project,” Mr Lilliss said.

“A review of environmental factors for the project is being prepared to help guide ways of reducing any potential impact on the local area. We estimate that we may need to remove about 20 trees out of more than 500 trees across the site. However, any tree removed will be replaced with five more. This means there will be more bushland on the site when we finish our work.

“We will also be holding a community display and have set up a dedicated phone number to make sure the local community can receive any information they need about this project and to provide feedback.”

Mr Lilliss said new residential and commercial development and the conversion of traditional holiday homes to more permanent dwellings was driving the increase in energy use.

“Demand for power in this area is double the average growth across our network,” he said.

“It will meet the high demand for power in the area and make the electricity supply more reliable for the region.”

Work on the project is expected to start this year and is planned to be commissioned by mid 2012.