Project EnergyConnect

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Project EnergyConnect
Location
CountryAustralia
StateSouth Australia and New South Wales
Coordinates33°57′22″S 139°07′37″E / 33.956°S 139.127°E / -33.956; 139.127
General directionWest–East
FromRobertstown, South Australia
Passes throughBuronga, New South Wales
ToWagga Wagga, New South Wales
Ownership information
PartnersElectraNet and TransGrid
Construction information
Expected2022–2024
Technical information
Typeoverhead transmission line
Type of currentAC
Total length900 km (560 mi)
AC voltage330 kV
Websitewww.projectenergyconnect.com.au

Project EnergyConnect is a proposed electricity transmission line connecting the South Australia and New South Wales districts of the National Electricity Market in Australia. Riverlink was a previous working title for the project, drawn from a proposal first raised in 1999.[1] The Australian Energy Market Operator used RiverLink in its proposal for this interconnector, but the transmission companies in South Australia (ElectraNet) and New South Wales (TransGrid) now call it EnergyConnect.

South Australia and New South Wales already each have connections to Victoria, which also has a connection across Bass Strait to Tasmania, and New South Wales also has connections to Queensland. The proposed connection between New South Wales and South Australia would provide resilience and redundancy to the network. It is aimed to provide increased security of supply to South Australia and better access to renewable energy generation to New South Wales.[2]

Construction of the new interconnector is expected to cost A$1.52 billion. It will be 900 kilometres (560 mi) long, from Robertstown to Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. It is proposed to have a spur from Buronga to Red Cliffs in Victoria.[3] Assessment of the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) began in June 2019.[4]

The link endpoints are at Robertstown in South Australia where major transmission lines connect to the north and south of the state, and Wagga Wagga, the furthest west in New South Wales that the high voltage lines reach. The new high-voltage line is expected to improve the feasibility of more solar and wind farms in the areas traversed by the line.[5]

The Australian Energy Market Commission changed its rules in April 2019 to streamline the regulatory process for several network upgrades including Project EnergyConnect. The change allows the Australian Energy Regulator to consider the proposals concurrently.[6] ElectraNet established information hubs near the South Australian part of the route to consult the public about the detailed route.[7] One of the concerns is that the proposed route crosses Calperum Station which is home to a critically endangered species, the black-eared miner.[8] New South Wales put the project on a fast-track development process by assigning it "critical infrastructure" status.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacKinnon, Duncan (26 July 2018). "RiverLink: Don't spend the savings all at once!". Australian Energy Council. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  2. ^ "SA to NSW High Capacity Interconnector". Australia & New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline. Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  3. ^ Scopelianos, Sarah (13 February 2019). "Interconnector proposal between SA and NSW to 'reduce bills'". ABC News. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  4. ^ Murphy, India (26 June 2019). "AER to review interconnector proposed by ElectraNet". Energy Magazine. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  5. ^ Potter, Ben (29 July 2016). "Transgrid backs $500m NSW-SA interconnector to ease power crisis". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Final rule to streamline the regulatory process for priority transmission projects". Australian Energy Market Commission. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Project EnergyConnect information hubs established across Riverland and Murraylands". ElectraNet. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  8. ^ Peddie, Clare (20 June 2019). "BirdLife Australia says interconnector threatens a critically endangered bird, the black-eared miner". The Advertiser. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  9. ^ Vorrath, Sophie (29 August 2019). "NSW puts interstate transmission link project on the fast-track". RenewEconomy. Retrieved 31 August 2019.