This week TransGrid welcomed 13 new graduates, marking the start to their two year graduate program. The graduates have been selected from over 600 applications, with qualifications in engineering, construction and business, they will be joining various Business Units across TransGrid.
Our grads spent the week participating in an induction course led by Paul Italiano, CEO TransGrid and the Executive. Along with training and mentorship, the grads enjoyed touring our Ultimo and Sydney West substations, learning about the workings of the network and how we monitor performance, visiting our Control room.
“As an employee who started my career with TransGrid as a graduate, I was delighted to welcome the 2019 intake to the business. Joining the group for their first two days of induction I learnt that what drew them to TransGrid was its long standing history in the business, engineering and project management excellence and the opportunity to be a part of a team building the energy landscape of the future.” Chiara Van Vliet, HR Business Partner and Graduate Program Manager said.
The graduates are now with the teams they will be spending their first six month rotation with, and in late February they will head out on the road to visit our operations in Orange to conclude the induction program.
Back in December, TransGrid welcomed Emma Gifford to TransGrid as part of our partnership with CareerTrackers - a national non-profit with the goal of creating pathways and support systems for Indigenous young adults to attend and graduate from university, with high marks, industry experience and bright professional futures.
Last week, CareerTrackers held their 9th Annual Gala Dinner along with over 2000 people comprising of indigenous students and senior business leaders from large household name companies including Westpac, Bupa, Telstra and Qantas.
Throughout the night, selected students were rewarded for their achievements, in the workplace and the wider community.
Excitingly, Emma was amongst one of four students to achieve the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. Her prize is an around the world ticket for two.
"CareerTrackers has opened the door to opportunities that alone I would have found difficult to get access to. Throughout my time at TransGrid and being a student of the program, I have been pushed to work hard and this award is a culmination of that work and how the program makes a difference," said Emma.
Emma is one of TransGrid's first interns from CareerTrackers. TransGrid is proud to be CareerTrackers sponsors and to be able to provide support, training and jobs to young aspiring Indigenous students. Annually as program sponsors we will welcome two interns to TransGrid. CareerTrackers encourages students and corporates to build lasting relationships by welcoming the same interns back year to year with a view to permanent employment placement or a place on our Graduate Program.
Emma Gifford, a Wiradjuri women who joined Corporate Service's People and Culture team for her internship said: "From my time in Corporate Services, a large portion of my experience has come from working within the People and Culture Group. Although continually being challenged, I have been able to take away many valuable skills and new perspectives, both inside the workplace and out.
"I have been fortunate enough to work with most of the branches within People and Culture, spending a large portion of my time in Employee Relations – assisting in policy reviews. However, I have really enjoyed experiencing work in the Recruitment branch.
"People and Culture are an exceptional and considerate group to work with. They have all contributed a valuable lesson to both my professional career and everyday life.
"I have truly enjoyed my time with TransGrid, and the experience has provided me with the opportunity to further my career in the future."
Julie Moss, Diversity and Inclusion Manager and organizer of the internships, has worked closely with Emma and describes the opportunity.
"Career Trackers is an organization we are pleased to be working closely with. Through their intern program they work with both employers and interns throughout the period of placement to ensure the best possible experience for both employer and the student.
"TransGrid plays an important role in being able to provide exposure to and experience in the workforce in setting students up for future success. We all benefit from that and look forward to hosting more interns this coming year."
Congratulations to the TransGrid Mobile Plant Framework project team who have received a Silver Award in the annual Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards.
Now in their 12th year, these global awards recognise outstanding contributions to the fields of intranets and digital workplaces. The awards uncover remarkable solutions that deliver business value.
TransGrid's Kersha Levi, Manager Field Support, was thrilled to accept the award with the team and said: "The award provides recognition of the process improvements delivered for the business and awareness of the team's fantastic work in bringing field work, safety and systems together to deliver efficiency."
What is the Mobile Plant Framework Project?
The Mobile Plant Framework (MPF) project automated components of the MPF procedure using Mobile Plant through the development of a bespoke app. This provided significant administrative efficiencies and insightful reporting reducing human error, and ensuring safety standards were applied consistently across the business.
The changes reduced the paperwork and administrative time required to meet compliance obligations in the field for operating plant. While an element of paperwork is still involved in each job, the deployment of the MPF app has resulted in a reduction of 80 pages per job to 11.
Our Resource Schedulers now have greater visibility when allocating resources to a job. They can easily see in one view that plant resources are serviced, maintained and suitable for the job and that the human resources allocated are both qualified and experienced to operate that plant.
Employees on site can have the confidence that the plant that is on site is ok to go and the site managers have the right resources. Workers can complete relevant checks and then if they feel there's something wrong with the plant they have the power to act upon that straight away.
A few comments from the judges:
"I like that the result has not just been a reduction in incidents but also an increase in efficiency. This is not seen very often!"
"This is the kind of frontline worker digital employee experience that we've been wanting to see more of for some time. A very clear focus on an essential issue make this well suited to an app. I like that they didn't try to make it an all-encompassing solution, but stuck to doing one thing well."
"Working on power lines in the field is dangerous. This bespoke app helps to improve frontline safety, as well as increasing productivity and reducing costs. Very specific to their needs, but a good example of integration with different systems and empowering field staff."
Well done to everyone involved in the development of this application and the accompanying Procedure!
Kurt BlowesJob Title:
Graduate Electrical Engineer- Technical Support SubstationsUniversity Attended:
University of NewcastleDegree:
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical)Graduated:
Woken up by alarm to a brisk morning in Tamworth. A little far from home but there is a buffet breakfast waiting downstairs with my name on it.
I am in Tamworth after travelling up yesterday for a fault investigation on a failed Capacitor bank can. Bulging on one capacitor can was identified during a visual inspection as a result of the Protection tripping the Capacitor bank. The fault was decided to be investigated further after testing of the Capacitor bank showed no problem, however an issue was identified following an analysis of the Protection fault records. Simulations were ran and the results were found to be similar to the protection fault records supporting the theory that there were repeated spark overs across one row of capacitor elements in one of the capacitor cans
Time for the long 5 minute drive to the Tamworth Depot.
Introduced to some local staff. It is always good to meet staff face to face having talked to them over emails and phone calls many times.
Set up Laptop and check emails, responding to any priority work. This can involve planning or estimating customer work, providing support to maintenance staff, Fault investigations, reporting and documentation reviews. Can't forget to also make myself a coffee.
Meet with team for risk assessment and discussion on hazards, controls and how the day's work will proceed.
Carried out inspection and analysis of the dismantled Capacitor Can. Closer inspection showed evidence of low energy discharges to the tank at the ends of the top 3 or 4 capacitor element. This further supported both the simulation and protection fault record findings.
Each Capacitor element is a long, flat sheet consisting of Dielectric and foil layers. This is then rolled up to form each element. The two foil layers are offset to avoid shorting once the ends of all the elements have been soldered together.
I had previously never seen inside a capacitor can, however I now have a good understanding of the internal construction as well as fault finding of capacitors.
Finished gathering evidence for Investigation. Brief discussion with team on findings.
Time to get on the road back to Newcastle.
Taking care of lunch and fatigue management with a stop in at Wallabadah on the way back to Newcastle. The burgers are worth stopping in for.
On the road again. Travelling back with Senior Support Engineer allowed time to be able to reflect on the findings and discuss any technical questions. Lots of time to pick out as much knowledge as I can from him.
Arrived back at Newcastle Depot. Finalised the car pool booking and returned the keys just in time to call it a day. 7.47 hours done, got to love a working a 9 day fortnight.
Whip up some dinner
Fit in a gym session now that it should be a little less busy.
Finish the day off with a shower and bed, ready to piece together all of the Information gathered from the investigation the following morning.
We were proud to contribute to the Partnerships Conference Magazine as part of the 2018 Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Conference. Our article discusses the rise of electric vehicles in Australia and their impact on the energy network.
"According to the International Energy Agency, in 2017 the estimated global electricity demand from all electric vehicles was 54 terawatt hours (TWh) – or around 80 per cent of the annual electricity demand of NSW.
…For grid operators like TransGrid, there are opportunities to maximise the benefits of electric vehicles in the form of optimising vehicle charging time, and the potential for electric vehicles to provide small-scale energy storage.
While there might be some challenges along the way, we firmly believe that an electric vehicle future is coming. If welcomed and supported, Australia will experience significant economic, environmental and social benefits not only for users but for society at large."
Click here to read the full article.
“In the chopper, we’re communicating the whole time about the electricity lines and the space that surrounds them. We sweep our eyes side to side through the nearby vegetation, then up each tower structure, checking the condition of the earthing and insulation in particular.”
Meet Brenden Secombe, one of a team of specialists selected to patrol our network by helicopter ahead of bushfire season to identify maintenance that will minimise bushfire risk.
The patrols are vital to the safety of communities nearby lines, and for the safe and continual supply of electricity across the State.
The teams in the chopper are in the air for approximately eight hours a day, fly over a transmission tower every two minutes, and travel at up to 40 knots an hour.
View from the top (L to R): Patrolling the lines; recording potential risks; boarding the chopper; vegetation near a transmission line.
On a transmission network that spans 13,000 kilometres, it’s vital to record all potential hazards quickly and accurately.
There’s a pilot and two people to check the transmission line and surrounding area. One checks for vegetation that’s growing too close to the line, and the other checks for maintenance that’s needed on the line.
Also flying the lines is Andrew Brice, who brings over 30 years of industry experience, including emergency repairs by helicopter.
“If we see something than needs urgent repair, we report it immediately. For the most part, we record location, proximity to the transmission line, and exactly what the issue is,” says Andrew.
“From the air, we see the lines end-to-end, and can get up close to things we simply can’t see from the ground,” says Brenden.
This information is passed to teams who carry out the maintenance work. The patrols and resulting maintenance work are vital to minimising risk on the lines and surrounding areas ahead of summer. Hot summer days are typically when bushfire risk is highest, and also when the network is under pressure to supply the most electricity.
“There are a few hard yards involved, but it’s a good feeling to know that we play a part in keeping the network in good working order. At the end of the day, it all comes back to keeping people safe,” says Andrew.
2018 aerial patrol dates and locations
We can all help to keep our transmission network safe. If you see a potential hazard on the TransGrid network, call 1800 027 253 to explain the location and nature of the risk.
If you see a low-flying helicopter moving along the electricity transmission lines, you've likely spotted a chopper on an aerial maintenance check. Each year, helicopters patrol almost 13 000 km of transmission lines and infrastructure that make up TransGrid's network. Teams aboard the choppers look for infrastructure that needs to be repaired, or trees and shrubs in easements that could pose danger in a fire or storm.
2018 aerial patrol dates
In 2018, aerial maintenance patrols are occuring between April and August in the following areas and their surrounds.
30 April – 4 May
Northern: Tamworth, Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Boambee South, Raleigh, Nambucca, Macksville, Kempsey, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Lismore, Koolkhan. |
7 May – 11 May
Northern: Tamworth, Narrabri, Armidale, Glen Innes, Texas, Inverell, Moree, Boggabri, Gunnedah.|
Central: Orange, Molong, Wellington, Wollar, Mudgee, Mt Piper, Mt Lambie, Beryl, Parkes, Forbes, Manildra, Wallerawang, Panorama.
25 June – 29 June
Southern: Wagga Wagga, Uranquinty, Finley, Deniliquin, Coleambally, Darlington Point, Balranald, Buronga, Redcliff’s, Broken Hill, Griffith, Yanco.|
2 – 6 July
Southern: Wagga Wagga, Yanco, Darlington Point, Griffith, Wagga Wagga, Talbingo Blowering Dam, Tumut, Gadara, Jindera, Dederang, Yass, Marulan, Bannaby, Porters Retreat, Uranquinty.|
9 – 12 July
Southern: Yass, Tumut, Burrinjuck, Canberra, Murrumburrah, Wagga Wagga, Gullen Range, Bannaby, Kangaroo Valley, Capital Wind Farm. |
16 – 20 July
Metro: Ingleburn, Wallerawang, Regentville, Kemps Creek, Bannaby, Marulan, Avon, Macarthur, Dapto, Kangaroo Valley.
Northern: Stroud, Newcastle, Tuggerah, Munmorah, Vales Point, Newcastle, Tamworth, Muswellbrook.
30 July - 2 August
Aerial patrols form part of a comprehensive, year-round asset inspection and maintenance program.
(Planned patrol locations may change due to weather conditions or scheduling considerations.)
Patrols reduce risk in the event of a bushfire or storm
Maintenance patrols are vital for the safety of communities nearby easements, and for the safe and continual supply of electricity across the State.
You likely know that scrub can burn quickly and with devastating impact on a hot, dry day. You may be surprised to learn that a 10 metre tall tree can have a flame height of more than 30 metres in a bushfire. It’s vital that clearance zones are observed in transmission easements.
Have questions about patrols in your area?
Call TransGrid toll-free on 1800 222 537.
Seventy-five per cent of jobs in the future will require STEM skills, yet women currently occupy just 16 per cent of STEM jobs, according to a report from Australia’s Chief Scientist.
Australia is faced with not only the challenge of more equal gender representation in STEM, but with skilling young people for the future employment market.It makes financial sense: women represent half of the global population, so their participation in their workplace is vital to national productivity and economic growth.
Rebecca El-Khoury, TransGrid Regulatory Analyst, has qualifications in actuarial studies, applied finance, and economics; and an enthusiasm for inspiring young women to pursue STEM careers.
Rebecca recently spent four days mentoring a group of high-achieving female students at the 2018 University of Wollongong Women in STEM camp. The camp connects 15 and 16 year old students with professionals in STEM industries to help them better understand career pathways.
One of the greatest experiences of the camp was making the girls aware of the range of opportunities that they can pursue, explains Rebecca.
“One student who excels in science and sports was connected with a biometrics specialist. It opened a whole world of possibility, well before that student makes a decision about her university study and ultimate career path,” says Rebecca.
“For me, that is the key to the camp – helping educate young women about the opportunities that they can pursue professionally. There was nothing like this when I was at school. I didn’t consider becoming an engineer, partly because I just wasn’t aware of it as a pathway.”
“It’s fantastic for the girls to see female engineers, scientists and economists say: ‘We do exist and the career prospects are really great’,” says Rebecca.
Here at TransGrid, we support opportunities such as these to educate young women about career opportunities in non-traditional roles, as well as STEM more generally. It’s one way that we ‘press for progress’ on
International Women’s Day
, and all days of the year.
Reflecting on the experience of being a mentor at the camp, Rebecca is positive about the knowledge that the girls took away.
“There was a real thirst for knowledge and learning. A lot of the girls asked for advice about selecting a university degree, and the kinds of career pathways that might open up as a result.”
“Empowering girls to be leaders of change is vital. Any initiative that gives women the knowledge, resources and information to go into STEM roles is really good – particularly when it’s something they haven’t previously considered,” says Rebecca.
Have your say
Connecting women with non-traditional roles
One bolt out of place by even a centimetre, and an entire section of an electricity transmission tower might have to be delivered again.
First, there is a risk that the tower will not fit together at all. In addition, the most minor of misalignments between sections of the tower can compromise its strength and safety, and your energy supply. We have strict design and quality checks in place to ensure that works are delivered on time, and make efficient use of materials.
As you can appreciate, cutting corners in tower design is a false economy. The risk of fabricating tower parts that don’t fit together perfectly is significant in terms of additional time and money. We set ourselves a challenge: how can we deliver towers more efficiently, without compromising design, or risking errors that could delay construction of the tower?
The solution; a specialised modelling software, has reduced tower design time by almost 30%
The software has greatly reduced the risk of delay during factory “trial assembly” as there is more certainty in the design and accuracy of fabrication drawings provided to the manufacturer.
Model making: 3D tower visualisation
The software allows engineers to design the tower in 3D (to ensure all elements align), then export the specs direct to a 2D plan. Below are examples of tower design in action. This significantly fast-tracks the production of the tower, so that the team can assist more clients, and deliver work that is of the highest quality.
Image A: 3D view through beam element of structure
Image B: 2D drawing output from 3D model in software
Did you know that the feet of every transmission tower have to be individually designed for the land they stand on? Hilly areas in particular require precise modelling to fit the tower to the land. Comprehensive mapping of the site is done before a designer begins work on the towers.
Making design a reality
The team visited a manufacturer to quality check the output of the new design process. Following this success, the first of the towers will be delivered to TransGrid for construction later this year.
Renovating or developing your property, or a client’s property? This is how to get through the planning process efficiently and cost-effectively when you have a high-voltage electricity easement on your land.
We work with you to check that the proposed works and the existing electricity lines can co-exist safely on your property. The priority is to ensure that your friends and family, or tenants, will be safe on the property.
1. Find out if there is an electricity easement on your property, and who maintains it
Determine whether you have an electricity easement on your property. Your conveyancer or property lawyer can confirm this with Land Registry Services (LRS). If your property has an easement, the LRS will tell you who owns the infrastructure. In NSW, there are several electricity networks: the high-voltage powerlines are operated by TransGrid. We will work with you to ensure that the planned renovation or development maintains a safe clearance from powerlines and other network infrastructure.
2. Seek TransGrid’s permission to develop near the powerline
Contact us to secure advice about what you need to supply to TransGrid, and what you can expect from TransGrid. Each development is different, so advice will be specific to your plans.
Based on feedback, we’ve streamlined the enquiry process so you have permission for an easement development before lodging a Development Application (DA) to your local council. This ensures that the process is as efficient as possible, and reduces risk of incurring additional costs to modify your DA. We’ve also reduced the permission response time from over 2 months to under 21 days.
Time-saving tip: Provide site plans in 3D DFX or CAD file formats
Our engineers and network designers need files in 3D DFX or CAD formats to model the proposed development alongside our network. This is done to ensure that there will be no safety or clearance issues on the site as a result of the development.
- 3D DFX (preferred)
- PDF only accepted for very basic easement development proposals.
What is an electricity easement?
An electricity easement is the right held by TransGrid to control the use of your land near above-ground and underground power lines and substations. We hold this right for your own safety and to allow staff to work on the power lines at all times. Easements also exist for telephone lines, water and sewage mains and natural gas supply lines.
Why are easements necessary?
Easements ensure the safety of the residents living, working and playing near power lines. Easements are also created to give TransGrid clear, 24 hour access to the power lines. It is important to keep the easement clear at all times so regular maintenance, line upgrades, damage or technical faults can be attended to immediately.