Energex will recommence work on the $86.7 million SunCoast power project on the Sunshine Coast.
The project will see a 132kV power line constructed from the Powerlink Substation at Palmwoods to the West Maroochydore Substation on Jones Rd.
The project was initially announced in 2006, with Community Infrastructure Designation approval granted in April 2011.
It was deferred as a result of plateauing energy consumption, but has been recommenced due to increasing peak load and large domestic and commercial project announcements on the Sunshine Coast.
Minister for Energy Mark Bailey said the project was crucial for future safety and reliability of electricity supply in the region.
“The launch of SunCentral coupled with planned domestic housing developments, the new University Hospital and increasing demand in the region, has heightened the need for the SunCoast project to proceed,” he said.
“The Caloundra South (Aura) development, which I visited this morning, will house an additional 50,000 people and create thousands of jobs and obviously place significant additional demand on the power network.
“The development of a new CBD in Maroochydore will be one of the most significant infrastructure projects the Sunshine Coast has ever seen and will no doubt attract significantly more investment and jobs to the region.
“With this sort of investment will come increased demand on the electricity network from both a commercial and residential perspective and we have to be ready for that.
“This project will directly benefit more than 100,000 homes and businesses and indirectly boost supply to a further 175,000 electricity customers on the Sunshine Coast.”
Energy Queensland executive general manager for asset safety and performance Peter Price said the increase in transmission capacity was required to meet projected increases in population and increased demand, particularly during peak usage times.
“This will create additional demand on the network, and the construction of this project will allow us to manage that load without risking supply to the region,” he said.
The SunCoast project will be rolled out in stages with the first nine months comprising preparatory and design work including survey, environmental and vegetation assessments and in some cases, cultural heritage assessments.
The main civil works are due to begin in early 2018, with the project expected to be completed in late 2020.