$2.28bn Project EnergyConnect to create thousands of SA and NSW jobs

Monica Gameng   |   June 3, 2021

The joint transmission line project between South Australia's ElectraNet and New South Wales’ TransGrid has marked new major milestones, taking it a step closer to begin delivering cheaper, cleaner and more reliable electricity across the two states. 

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has approved the expenditure of $2.28 billion to deliver Project EnergyConnect, including $457.4 million for ElectraNet for the delivery of the South Australia section of the transmission line. 

TransGrid  has also announced that it has reached final investment decision and will be investing approximately $1.834 billion to build the New South Wales section. 

On the other hand, ElectraNet is in the process of closing a final investment decision in the coming days. 

“The AER and TransGrid decisions are a significant milestone for Project EnergyConnect, which is a project of national significance and a priority project for the national electricity grid,” ElectraNet Chief Executive Steve Masters said. 

The SA-NSW interconnector project will deliver a 900-kilometre transmission line that will run between Robertstown in South Australia and Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. The project will also include an additional connection to Red Cliffs in northwest Victoria. 

“EnergyConnect will be Australia's biggest electricity interconnector built to date in the National Electricity Market and it will help to accelerate Australia's energy transition by connecting customers with more renewable generation. 

“EnergyConnect will also help to abate an estimated one million tonnes of carbon emissions each year contributing significantly to meeting Australia's climate change targets,” TransGrid CEO Paul Italiano said. 

project-energy-connect-mapProject map (source: Project EnergyConnect)

Project EnergyConnect is anticipated to create up to 200 jobs in South Australia and 1,500 jobs in New South Wales during its construction as well as approximately 250 ongoing jobs in South Australia and 700 ongoing jobs in New South Wales once the interconnector is up and running. 

The new transmission line will also open opportunities for more new renewable projects to be developed at connection points and help facilitate the growth of associated industries. 

Other benefits of Project EnergyConnect include: 

  • Annual reduction of residential electricity bills by about $100 in South Australia and around $58 - $64 in New South Wales 
  • Expected higher savings that are proportional to a business’ energy use 
  • Enabling a greater mix of renewable energy generators to connect to the network 
  • Increased reliability and confidence in electricity supply 
  • Increase in real incomes in regions hosting the interconnector infrastructure by $163 million in South Australia and $209 million in New South Wales 

Construction on Project EnergyConnect is anticipated to commence by the end of 2021. 

In addition, Clough has announced that its joint venture with Elecnor, SecureEnergy, has been officially awarded the engineering, construction and procurement (EPC) contract to build the New South Wales section of Project EnergyConnect for TransGrid.

“We are excited to be part of TransGrid'sProject EnergyConnect as their EPC contractor to deliver a project that supports the continued transition of the grid to new sources of energy generation and a reduction of emissions by approximately one million tonnes of CO2 per annum. Our team brings a new perspective to high voltage transmission and substation projects in Australia that is reflected through our commitment to innovation, sustainability, and zero harm,” SecureEnergy Project Director David Whatmough said.

Source: Premier of South Australia – Media Releases; Project EnergyConnectElectraNetTransGrid ; Clough

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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