Work begins on Project EnergyConnect transmission line

Project EnergyConnect management team on dusty construction site with cranes in background
Image: ElectraNet

Construction work has begun on the South Australian component of the new 900km electricity interconnector with New South Wales, Project EnergyConnect, with the installation of the first transmission poles at Robertstown.

ElectraNet interim CEO Rainer Korte said, “Project EnergyConnect is a key project of national significance that will help improve the affordability, reliability and security of electricity supply for South Australians and strengthen the National Electricity Market.

“As part of the project, 206km of new transmission line will be constructed in South Australia along with a new substation at Bundey and upgrades to the existing Robertstown and Tungkillo substations.

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“Once completed and energised, Project EnergyConnect will deliver an expected annual bill saving of around $100 for a typical South Australian residential power customer, while larger customers can expect greater savings, depending on their power use.

“The new transmission line will connect South Australia and New South Wales, allowing for the sharing of energy between the states.

“Its route passes through high quality renewable energy zones, facilitating the transition of more renewable energy into the National Electricity Market. In South Australia, the new interconnector will enable more wind, solar and battery projects to connect to the network.

“This further strengthens ElectraNet and South Australia’s position as leaders in enabling renewable energy and supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Construction work on the new interconnector in South Australia is expected to create more than 200 regional jobs and once completed, approximately 250 ongoing jobs across the local economy.

“Job opportunities during construction include civil workers, riggers, lines workers and related support teams. To deliver the South Australian component of the project there will be about 600,000 hours of labour required during the two-year construction period,” Korte said

“Construction in South Australia will use 15,000 cubic metres of concrete and over 11,500 tonnes of steel. There will be about 380 new transmission towers built and 2,500 kilometres of new conductor installed in South Australia.”

Construction work in South Australia is expected to be completed in late 2023.

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Project EnergyConnect at a glance

  • A new, 900km high-voltage transmission interconnector between Robertstown, in South Australia’s mid-north, and Wagga Wagga, in New South Wales, via Buronga with an additional line between Buronga and Red Cliffs, in Victoria.
  • Total line capacity of 800MW—the equivalent of delivering energy to 240,000 extra households.
  • Voltage of 330kV.
  • Upgrades to the Robertstown and Tungkillo sub-stations and a new substation at Bundey.
  • Total project cost of $2.28 billion (South Australian section is $457.4 million).
  • TransGrid is responsible for constructing the New South Wales section of the interconnector.
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