EnergyConnect - Design - ISCouncil

EnergyConnect – Design

Project Details

  • Project Owner: Transgrid
  • Rating Type: Design
  • Location: NSW
  • Rating Level: Leading
  • Rating Score: 77.96 (78)
  • IS Project manager: Ben Wade
  • Stakeholders: AECOM ,SecureEnergy Joint Venture (Clough and Elecnor),GHD, Mott MacDonald


EnergyConnect is a joint project between the Transmission Network Service Providers for New South Wales (Transgrid) and South Australia (ElectraNet) to join their state power grids via a new 330kV above ground transmission line interconnector between Robertstown SA and Wagga Wagga NSW substations, a total distance of approximately 900km and 800MW transfer capacity. The NSW section of the EnergyConnect is registered for IS v1.2 Design and As-built ratings and consists of approximately 700km of new transmission line extending from Wagga Wagga NSW to the South Australian Border.  

EnergyConnect NSW includes: 

  • The construction of two new 330kV transmission lines and one new 500kV transmission line. 
  • A rebuild of an existing 220kV transmission line. 
  • An expansion and upgrade of the existing Buronga substation  
  • A new substation known as Dinawan, located between Jerilderie and Coleambally. 
  • An expansion of the existing Wagga Wagga substation. 

EnergyConnect, once completed, will be Australia’s largest interconnector in the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM). 

Rating Highlights 

Category  Credits  Achievements/Risks 
Water   Wat-1  The Project achieved a verified level of 3 with a score of 6.26. 

The Project achieved a 31% reduction in construction water compared to the base case (1,702ML to 1,172ML). The two main water reduction strategies implemented include use of a non-water-based dust suppression alternative and use of grey water for worker accommodation camps.  

Ecology  Eco-1  The Project achieved a verified level of 3 with a score of 19.47. 

The Project recorded a total of 7 threatened ecological communities, 14 threatened flora species and 7 threatened fauna species present across the project area. To avoid impacts to the high biodiversity and culturally sensitive sites, the following initiatives were implemented: 

  • Relocation of transmission line structures to avoid sensitive areas  
  • Installing at least 1,500 nestboxes to provide fauna habitat for local species  
  • Installing bird diverters on powerlines  
Legacy   Leg-1  The Project achieved a verified level of 3 with a score of 4.63.  

The Project address two priority issues and initiatives for the local communities along the project alignment: local employment, training and education and ecological habitat. In response to the first priority issue, the Project implemented a multi-million-dollar Legacy 100 program to train Australia’s own transmission line construction workforce and a $2 million scholarship fund for engineering students at Charles Strut University.  


Verified Innovations 

Name   Verification Date  Project Publication sign off  Innovation Type   Description & Sustainability Benefits 
Guyed Towers  30/01/2024    Innovative Technology or Process  

State First 

The Project received 1 point for this innovation.  

The Project has claimed a NSW first for constructing a transmission line that utilises 330 kV guyed steel lattice structures (or guyed towers). The guyed towers are structures with a central steel column supported by four high-tensile steel cables (guy wires), each 35 mm thick. The guy wires are anchored to the ground providing the structure strength and stability. The sustainability benefits from this innovation include: 

  • A smaller physical construction footprint on the land  
  • A 15% reduction in steel and 25% reducing in concrete used compared to self-supporting conventional towers  
  • Less visually intrusive design  
  • More efficient and safer construction and maintenance requirements  
V2.1 Lan-4  30/01/2024    Innovation Challenge (IC-9)  The Project received 0.5 points for piloting the v2.1 Lan-4 credit and providing feedback to ISC.  
V2.1 Eco-1  30/01/2024    Innovation Challenge (IC-1)  The Project received 1 point for undertaking and addressing Levels 1,2, and 3 of v2.1 Eco-1.  
V2.1 Leg-1  30/01/2024    Innovation Challenge (IC-1)  The Project received 0.25 points for undertaking and addressing Levels 1,2, and 3 of v2.1 Leg-1.  


Certification Risk Assessment 

Risk Description  Rating (M/H/Ex)   Controls  Residual Risk 
A Penalty Notice was issued by DPE for a grassfire incident that occurred on L4 back in February 2023. The Penalty Notice was issued for failing to comply with Condition D47 of the Project Approval.  Low  NA  Low 
The project is subject to allegations pertaining to site safety and safe work conditions. 

Low  Project has not disclosed any fines or penalties associated with these allegations in response to ISC’s request (refer to Design Round 2 Verification Feedback email). None of the allegations have been substantiated.   Low 

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