NSW section of $2bn Project EnergyConnect secures planning approval

Monica Gameng   |   October 6, 2021

The $2.3 billion SA-NSW Interconnector – Project EnergyConnect – has reached a major milestone with the New South Wales Government granting planning approval to the western section of the development. 

This approval follows a thorough review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this section of the project in the state’s south west region. 

“The interconnector is one of the largest projects ever proposed in the National Electricity Market and it will facilitate Australia’s energy transition, bringing a reduction in carbon emissions and helping the nation meet its climate change targets. 

“The project will be the critical missing link in the NEM, connecting more renewable generation and reinforcing connectivity between the state grids of NSW, South Australia and Victoria,” Transgrid’s Acting CEO Brian Salter said. 

Earlier this year, Transgrid announced a $1.834 billion investment for the New South Wales section of Project EnergyConnect. 

The western section of Project EnergyConnect will involve works between the New South Wales-South Australia border near Renmark Road, Transgrid’s existing substation at Buronga as well as the New South Wales-Victorian border near Monak. 

This section of the project has been declared a Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) by the State Government in August 2019. 

Transgrid is currently preparing a separate EIS for the Buronga to Wagga Wagga section of the project, which includes works between Dinawa – south of Coleambally – and Wagga Wagga. 

In addition, the Australian Government is providing $181.5 million to future-proof the transmission lines that are set to be delivered from south of Coleambally to Wagga Wagga. This is part of an initiative that will get Project EnergyConnect to be built with a bigger capacity. 

“Our $181 million underwriting support for this line upgrade builds on the $250 million program, announced in the 2020-21 Budget to support key project including VNI West (Victoria-New South Wales West interconnector), Tasmania’s Marinus Linl, and Project EnergyConnect, which has already been able to reach final investment decision thanks to Government support. 

“Investments in projects like this one will help to unlock reliable electricity supply like Snowy 2.0, deliver substantial cost savings, minimise landholder impacts and help keep the lights on and prices low,” Enery and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said. 

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

Project EnergyConnect is a 900-kilometre transmission line that runs 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. 

This multi-billion-dollar project is anticipated to create about 200 jobs in South Australia and 1,500 jobs in New South Wales during its construction phase along with approximately 250 ongoing jobs in South Australia and 700 ongoing jobs in New South Wales from new energy generation projects enabled by the SA-NSW Interconnector. 

“At 900 kilometres in length, the $2.3 billion EnergyConnect will be the longest high voltage transmission line built in Australia and deliver a renewable energy jobs boom along its route. 

“The section, from the SA Border to Buronga, will connect South Australia to NSW directly for the first time, allowing the sharing of energy across the border. 

“The planning approval comes the day after the NSW Government matched the Marshall Liberal Government’s commitment to cut emissions by 50% by 2030,” Minister for Energy and Planning Dan van Holst Pellekaan said. 

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

Source: Transgrid; Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction; Project EnergyConnect; Premier of South Australia – Media Releases; Australia New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline 

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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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