QNI plaque

Transgrid delivers $236 million Queensland-NSW Interconnector upgrade, increasing energy capacity between the states

28 July 2022

More energy will now be able to flow between Queensland and NSW with the successful completion of Transgrid’s upgrade to the Queensland-NSW Interconnector (QNI).

The $236 million QNI upgrade has increased the flow of electricity between the states and reduced constraints on the NSW transmission network.

The project is part of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated Systems Plan (ISP) and allows 460MW more power to be transferred into Queensland and 190MW more into NSW and the ACT when needed.

Transgrid CEO Brett Redman said “QNI is the first ISP project we have delivered and it is a critical piece of infrastructure to support Australia’s energy transition. The interconnector upgrade has come in on time and on budget and will now make a significant difference to the National Electricity Market.

“Transgrid is leaning into the acceleration of the energy transition by building the major projects which will enable the integration of renewables, increase competition among generators, drive down electricity prices and support the decarbonisation of Australia’s economy.

“I’d like to thank the NSW and Commonwealth Governments for their support in delivering this crucial project, which will form part of the backbone of the future energy system,” Mr Redman said.

The Commonwealth and NSW Governments supported the early delivery of QNI through a $102 million joint-underwriting of the project.

Treasurer and Minister for Energy The Hon. Matt Kean MP welcomed the completion of the project.

“We identified the QNI project as a priority in the NSW Transmission Infrastructure Strategy because it supports our vision to provide affordable and reliable energy for NSW households," Mr Kean said.

“QNI will support the development of Renewable Energy Zones which will be vital to ensuring the future of electricity in NSW as coal fired power stations retire.

“NSW is leading Australia’s action on climate change and this project is an important step in shifting to cleaner, greener energy and helping us to secure our economic prosperity for decades to come.”

The QNI upgrade involved a range of works including:

  • Upgrading 300km of transmission lines
  • Replacing 58 towers between Tamworth, Muswellbrook and Liddell power station
  • Upgrading substations at Armidale, Dumaresq, Muswellbrook and Tamworth

As part of construction new taller pole structures were put in place to enable the transmission of more energy as new generation comes online.

Technology was also installed at multiple substations to strengthen the transmission network including new capacitor banks, Static Volt Amp Reactive compensators (SVC), transformers and 330kV switch bays. The capacitor banks provide additional reactive power, while the SVC regulates the reactive power on the grid to keep it stable.

Approximately 150 jobs were created during the project and Transgrid provided community grants to support the work of local not-for-profit groups along the project route.

QNI and another soon to be completed ISP project the Victoria NSW Interconnector (VNI) will support the development of new renewable generation in the state’s energy zones.

These projects are approaching completion as Transgrid builds the 700km NSW section of EnergyConnect, from Wagga Wagga to the South Australian border. Electranet is constructing the SA section of the new interconnector from the border to Robertstown. EnergyConnect will enable the sharing of energy between NSW, SA and Victoria and support the integration of renewable energy in southern renewable energy zones.

Transgrid is also developing two other actionable ISP projects HumeLink and VNI West Kerang, which together with EnergyConnect will reinforce the southern grid and support cheaper, cleaner energy and the decarbonisation of the nation’s economy.