Project

Project EnergyConnect

PROJECT STATUS
Under Procurement
Project EnergyConnect

Project EnergyConnect is a proposed high voltage transmission line connection between the New South Wales and South Australian power grids.

The NSW-SA interconnector involves the construction of a new 330 kilovolt, above-ground transmission line between Robertstown in South Australia and Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. It also includes a 220 kilovolt spur from Buronger in NSW to Red Cliffs in north-west Victoria. The transmission line will be approximately 900 kilometres in length.

Key Dates

Jan 2020 Shortlist announced for the NSW section of the project
Feb 2020 RFT opened for the NSW Section of Project
Oct 2020 Contract Awarded for NSW Section
Jul 2021 Expected Construction Commencement
Jul 2022 Expected construction completion of Stage One
Jul 2023 Expected construction completion of Stage Two
Dec 2024 Expected project completion

Funding contributions

Federal Government
SA Government

$100 million in joint underwriting support from the Federal and SA Governments will be provided for early works on a 50/50 basis.

Financing

; ; ;
Equity Finance: TransGrid
Debt Finance: SA Government
Debt Finance: Clean Energy Finance Corporation

The SA Government has announced a combined $275 million in underwriting to ElectraNet for the South Australian section of the project. The CEFC's contribution will finance the NSW and Victorian sections of the project.

Procurement

Procuring Agency: Procurement will be undertaken by ElectraNet in South Australia and TransGrid in New South Wales.
Tenderers (EOI/ROI): TransGrid opened tenders for shortlisted bidders for design and construction of the NSW section of the project. ElectraNet issued EOIs to nine shortlisted participants from an open market engagement.
Shortlist: NSW Section: TransGrid shortlisted three bidders to design and construct the NSW section, including CPB and UGL Engineering, an Elecnor Australia and Seymour White Constructions Joint Venture, and Quanta Power Australia. SA Section: ElectraNet shortlisted six participants and issued a Request for Proposals.
Successful Tenderer: NSW Section: SecureEnergy, a Clough and Elecnor Joint Venture was awarded the Design and Construction contract.

PROJECT HISTORY

Oct 2017 The SA Government first announced its support for the interconnector project in a pre-election energy policy statement.
Jul 2018 The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) recommended the establishment of new transfer capacity between South Australia and New South Wales in its 2018 Integrated System Plan (ISP). The ISP provides long-term transmission system planning for the NEM and lists the new interconnector as a Group Two priority to be implemented by the mid-2020's.
Jul 2018 South Australia’s transmission network service provider, ElectraNet conducted a project assessment for the proposed interconnector. The preferred route between Robertstown, SA and Wagga Wagga, NSW was identified.
Aug 2018 The SA Government announced further funding support for the project, with a $14 million package to accelerate early works on construction. The NSW and SA Governments signed a MOU establishing a framework for co-operation to deliver the project.
Feb 2019 The Project Assessment Conclusions report (PACR) was published, as part of the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T). The AER commenced the formal process to consider ElectraNet’s request to determine whether the interconnector satisfies the RIT-T cost-benefit analysis.
Jun 2019 The SA Government granted the Interconnector Major Project Status, recognising the economic significance of the interconnector to South Australia.
Aug 2019 The NSW Government declared the project as Critical State Significant Infrastructure, requiring TransGrid to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the project.
Nov 2019 The NSW DPIE received a request to prepare the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for the project from SA Border to Buronga. The SEARs was issued on 5 December 2019.
Jan 2020 The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) approved ElectraNet’s Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) application for the SA-NSW interconnector. TransGrid also announced a shortlist of three bidders for the design and construction of the NSW section to be built from the South Australian border to Wagga Wagga.
Feb 2020 TransGrid opened tenders for shortlisted bidders for the NSW section of the project.
May 2020 The NSW DPIE received revised request to prepare the Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for a revised project scope.
Jul 2020 The Federal Government announced that Federal planning approvals for Project EnergyConnect will be fast-tracked under a bilateral model between the Federal and state governments, with the aim of reducing the approval times by up to 50 per cent, from an average of 3.5 years to 21 months.
Jul 2020 The DPIE issued the revised Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for the Western Section of the project. Also, in its 2020 Integrated System Plan, AEMO identified Project EnergyConnect as a critical project and provided updated costings for the project.
Sep 2020 The NSW DPIE issued the Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for the NSW-Eastern Section of the project. The Federal Government also announced 'up to' $250 million to accelerate the project, alongside the NSW-Victorian Interconnector and Marinus Link.
Oct 2020 ElectraNet announced that they have conducted a new cost-benefit analysis of the project and revised the forecast capital cost from $1.91 billion to $2.4 billion. The AER have confirmed that the project remains the preferred option despite the cost increase.
Oct 2020 TransGrid announced the successful tenderer for the NSW section of the project.
Nov 2020 The Environmental Impact Statement for the project's NSW-Western section was placed on public exhibition until 10 December.
Apr 2021 As part of the $1.08 billion State Energy and Emissions Reduction Deal, the Federal and SA Governments announced up to $100 million in joint underwriting for early works on the South Australian section of the project.
Apr 2021 The Australian Energy Market Commission denied TransGrid and ElectraNet's requested rule changes to bring forward cash flows for certain large-scale ISP transmission projects, including this project. This is the final decision after a draft determination was handed down in February 2021.
May 2021 The Australian Energy Regulator determined the final cost for the project and issued its final regulatory approval for the project, with a revised cost of $2.28 billion. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) also committed up to $295 million in debt finance for the the NSW and Victorian sections of the project in a hybrid-financing structure with TransGrid, who committed to financing the remained of the NSW section and will recover these costs through user charges. The Environmental Impact Statement for the South Australian section of the project was put on public exhibition, closing 25 June.
Jun 2021 ElectraNet confirmed it will invest $457 million to deliver the South Australian section of the $2.3 billion Project EnergyConnect from Robertstown to the New South Wales border.