Plans to build a vital new transmission link between New South Wales and South Australia have made welcome progress, with a joint venture led by Eleconor and Clough, SecureEnergy, named as the contractor for the NSW part of the job.
The now $2.5 billion Project EnergyConnect is a joint effort between ElectraNet and TransGrid to install a new interconnector between Robertstown in South Australia and Wagga Wagga in NSW, with an added connection to Victoria via Red Cliffs.
Clough and Elecnor said in a statement on Tuesday that their joint venture had been selected to deliver the engineering, procurement and construction of the TransGrid portion of the project, including four substations and roughly 700km of 330kV transmission line.
Elecnor, which has delivered some of the largest transmission lines in the world, and also some of Australia’s biggest renewable projects, said the appointment of SecureEnergy to Project EnergyConnect represented a big milestone for Australia’s future grid.
“[This project] will help in bringing more innovation and know-how to the market as well as up-skilling the Australian workforce to support the upcoming electricity network transformation,” said Elecnor Australia’s managing director, Joseph de Pedro.
“Elecnor has an enviable track record globally in delivering high voltage transmission projects such as this, and combined with Clough’s Australian Project delivery expertise, we form a formidable joint venture,” added Clough CEO Peter Bennett.
“The Australian energy sector is undergoing development of the infrastructure that will sustain it through the future growth of our nation. Clough is extremely proud to be selected for this project.”
Indeed, the appointment of EPC contractors for Project EnergyConnect will be welcome news to many; as RenewEconomy has reported, progress on the vital piece of the future NEM puzzle has been frustratingly slow, taking seven months to move from RIT-T approval to getting into the relevant revenue allowances for Transgrid and Electranet.
Both transmission companies have recently filed their final regulatory proposals in the hope of getting approval by the end of the year. The new link is considered key by the South Australia Liberal government to reach its target of “net 100 per cent renewables” within the next 10 years.