Energy infrastructure projects in NSW to generate thousands of jobs

Monica Gameng   |   September 19, 2022

In line with the State’s current energy infrastructure boom, two major projects have been granted planning approval and Critical State Significant Infrastructure status has been given to the Waratah Super Battery project. 

The recent approvals include the final environmental approval for the eastern section of the Project EnergyConnect as well as approval for the new transmission lines that will connect Snowy 2.0 to the grid. 

“The Waratah Super Battery, with a capacity of 700MW, will be the largest standby network battery in the Southern Hemisphere, acting as a giant shock absorber so that transmission capacity currently kept in reserve can be freed up to transfer energy to consumers. 

“These three projects are vital for the state’s energy future, with EnergyConnect helping build the capacity of the grid and get renewable energy from Sout-West NSW and South Australia flowing around the State. 

“By having these strong connections and batteries in place, more energy will be available to everyone and further improve the grid’s reliability, meaning prices will come down and power bills across the state will be lower,” Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said. 

The Waratah Super Battery – which is going to be built on the Central Coast – is projected to be fully operational by 2025. 

According to Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts, approvals for Project EnergyConnect and the new Snowy 2.0 transmission lines will help more affordable renewable energy injected into the power grid. 

“We have approved the NSW section of a new 900-kilometre electric interconnector, to link our grid with South Australia and Victoria, to increase energy security and reliability. 

“We have also approved nine kilometres of transmission lines to connect Snowy 2.0 to the grid, which will enable its electricity to enter the market once it’s up and running, a project that will create a further 140 construction jobs,” Minister Roberts said. 

Transgrid welcomes the announcement of the final approval granted to the eastern section of the New South Wales portion of Project EnergyConnect. The approval comes as works progress on the western section of the project – which was given the approval in late September 2021. 

Transgrid has invested about $1.834 billion towards the delivery of the transmission project. 

“We are pleased the NSW Minister for Planning has cleared the path for us to progress the second half of our $1.8 billion interconnector project. The Government has completed a thorough review of the Environmental Impact Statement for the around 540km eastern section of the project – just as we accelerate the construction efforts in the west of NSW. 

“Works on the western section of Australia’s largest electricity transmission project are progressing well, with the construction of a 30-hectare camp to house hundreds of workers at Buronga, near Mildura, before crews prepare to assemble and erect the first 1,500 steel towers,” Transgrid CEO Brett Redman said. 

The New South Wales portion of Project EnergyConnect is estimated to create up to 1,500 jobs during its construction and up to 700 ongoing jobs once completed. It is also expected to save NSW customers about $180 million annually on electricity bills as well as contribute $4 billion in net benefits. 

The SecureEnergy joint venture was appointed as construction partner for the 135-kilometre western section of the project and works commenced in June of this year. The western section runs from Buronga to the South Australian border. 

Over 200 people have already been employed to work on the project, with completion expected in late 2024. 

As part of the project, the existing Buronga substation is going to be expanded to become one of the largest in the country. Another camp that has a capacity to house an additional 160 personnel will also be built on Renmark Road. 

“Today’s planning approval adds momentum to this once in a generation transmission project that will reshape the National Electricity Market, making it possible for Australians to access cleaner and cheaper energy,” Mr Redman said. 

The project will now progress to assessment by the Commonwealth Department of Climate Chane, Energy, the Environment and Water. 

Source: NSW Government – Media Releases; Transgrid (1, 2); ABC News; PV Magazine Australia; Inside Construction 

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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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