TransGrid (electricity transmission operator in New South Wales (NSW) and ElectraNet (electricity distributor in South Australia (SA)) are currently investigating the proposed construction and operation of a new electrical interconnector and network support options between NSW and SA.
The interconnector is aimed at reducing the cost of providing secure and reliable electricity transmission between NSW and SA in the near term, while facilitating the longer-term transition of the energy sector across the National Electricity Market (NEM) to low emission energy sources.
The current preferred option involves constructing a high voltage electricity interconnector of approximately 900 kilometres between the power grids of SA (starting at Robertstown) and NSW (finishing in Wagga Wagga), known collectively as Project EnergyConnect.
Project EnergyConnect has been identified as a priority transmission project in the NSW Transmission Infrastructure Strategy (DP&E 2018), linking the SA and NSW energy markets and assisting in transporting energy from the South-West Energy Zone to major demand centres.
TransGrid is the proponent and is responsible for obtaining environmental planning approvals for those components located in NSW.
This Environmental Scoping Report refers to Project EnergyConnect – SA/NSW border to Buronga (the proposal). TransGrid will seek subsequent and separate environmental planning approvals for the remainder of Project EnergyConnect in NSW. Furthermore, environmental planning approvals under the relevant jurisdictions would be sought (by ElectraNet) for the sections of Project EnergyConnect that are located in SA.
As part of the early works for Project EnergyConnect, TransGrid and ElectraNet have proceeded with preliminary investigations into transmission line corridor options, combining various corridor selection criteria together with a broad range of environmental, heritage, land use and social constraints and opportunities. This process initially identified a 10 kilometre-wide preliminary alignment corridor within which more detailed environmental and social studies and community and landholder engagement has been undertaken leading to development of an approximate one kilometre wide proposal study area.