Powering Sydney's Future

A reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity supply is essential for our way of life. If you live, work or operate a business in the Inner Sydney area, you are connected to one of the most critical parts of the electricity network.

Serving more than 500,000 large industrial, commercial and residential consumers, this part of the network includes the CBD, which is a hub for economic activity, major transport infrastructure, industry and tourism. These energy users require a high level of electricity reliability and security to maintain services required for Sydney to operate as a major international city. Many of these organisations also have large development or expansion plans and are in the process of submitting applications for significant load increases.

The current electricity network supplying the Inner Sydney area is ageing and the current network will not be able to meet projected electricity demand.

TransGrid, together with Ausgrid, are planning for the future electricity network in order to secure a reliable, safe and economical supply that will support Sydney’s future.

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback recently on the preferred cable route between our Rookwood Road and Beaconsfield substations. All feedback and comments received have been considered by TransGrid and used to inform the development of our proposed network solution. The Community and Stakeholder Consultation Report details this process.

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  • Key dates

    ​See below for a summary of key project dates.

    ​Milestone​Date
    ​Early planning and stakeholder engagement
    Stage 1
    Invite stakeholder feedback on non-network plans
    ​2014
    ​Early planning and stakeholder engagement
    Stage 2
    Introduce network project to community living/working along the proposed route and start engagement to receive feedback on our plans
    ​2016
    ​Invite community feedback on network plans​Mid 2017
    ​Start to prepare Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)​Late 2017
    ​Invite community feedback on concept design and EIS​Mid 2018
    ​Project approval decision​Mid 2019
    ​Complete detailed design​Mid 2020
    ​Start construction​Mid 2020
    ​Complete construction​Late 2022
     
    For details on the need for the project, project stages, what to expect during construction and how community feedback is considered see below. For more information including details on the route selection process and the environmental assessment, visit the Community and Stakeholder Resources page.
  • Project need

    There are three key drivers for this project:

    1. Ageing assets

    The electricity network that supplies Inner Sydney is a complex network of assets, many of which were built in the 1960s and 1970s. These assets, which are primarily Ausgrid’s, need to be retired.

    2. Deteriorating condition of existing TransGrid major cables

    The current electricity network comprises underground cables which are deteriorating in condition due to their age. As these important cables continue to deteriorate in condition; their capacity to support the network decreases.

    3. Meeting future demand

    Sydney’s population is growing and a number of large-scale infrastructure projects in the Inner Sydney area are underway. A 2016 assessment of future electricity demand determined that the current electricity network does not have sufficient capacity to support projected growth. This includes meeting peak times on the network when energy is in high demand.
    The Powering Sydney’s Future Project would enable TransGrid to continue to provide a reliable electricity supply to Sydney’s CBD and surrounding areas as well as meet future demand.

  • Project planning so far

    TransGrid has been investigating a number of non-network and network options to find a solution that will support Sydney’s future electricity needs.

    Based on early planning, this solution needs to be delivered by the early 2020s.

    Determining the best solution means balancing a number of factors such as environment, community, cost and delivery time; while continuing to deliver a safe and reliable electricity supply to the Inner Sydney area. TransGrid is planning to utilise a non-network and a network solution to best achieve this.

    TransGrid has been planning and seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders as part of this process. While we are continuing to investigate non network options as part of the project, we now have a preferred network solution which is to install underground cables between TransGrid’s Rookwood Road and Beaconsfield substations. TransGrid has completed two stages of the   Regulatory Investment Test – Transmission (RIT-T):

     The final stage which is the publishing the Project Assessment Conclusion Report (PACR) is anticipated to be completed in late 2017.

    These documents are also available on the community and stakeholder resource page as well as in the Community Consultation Report. The Report outlines how stakeholder feedback has been considered in the planning process for the network solution.

  • Investigating non-network solutions

    In addition to the proposed network solution as outlined above, TransGrid has been investigating non-network solutions.

    Demand forecasts help us plan the network. TransGrid takes into account forecasts from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), local forecasts provided by distribution network service providers (in this case, Ausgrid), as well as information provided by our directly connected customers and our own analysis and modelling to understand the needs of our energy users across NSW and the ACT. Forecasts are updated regularly.

    TransGrid and Ausgrid are currently projecting higher growth rates over the next 10 years, as published in TransGrid's Transmission Annual Planning Report 2017. Demand Management (non-build options) has the potential to relieve network constraints in the area until 2019 or possibly beyond.

    TransGrid has been looking into three emerging technologies for use across the network as well as for project specific solutions. These are energy storage devices, automated demand response (ADR) and geo-spatial mapping. All network and non-network solutions need to meet the level of reliability set by the NSW Government.

    In late 2017, TransGrid plans to publish a Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR). The PACR will make a recommendation based on analysis of all submissions to the PADR. 
    If a non-network solution remains the preferred option, TransGrid will tender for non-network solutions. This is likely to be in late 2017, or early 2018.

    For more detail on potential non-network solutions that TransGrid has been investigating, see below.

    Energy storage devices

    In 2014, TransGrid commissioned a 400 kWh lithium polymer battery coupled with 100kW of solar PV at our Western Sydney site to facilitate demand management research and development in NSW. Operational information from this installation is publicly available to support research and development into energy storage across the industry. We have committed to two other battery sites within the Inner Sydney area to better understand how energy storage can improve network capability when they are installed with different organisations in the area.

    Automated Demand Response (ADR)

    TransGrid is procuring an ADR system that will allow the dispatch of demand response in commercial and industrial buildings and trigger potential energy storage backup devices located behind the meter. Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) provides an open demand response interface that allows utilities to communicate demand response signals directly to customers using a common language and the Internet.

    Geo-spatial mapping of constraints

    We are a partner in the Network Opportunity Maps project with the Institute for Sustainable Futures, funded by ARENA. The purpose of the project is to develop online maps of network constraints that are freely available and updated annually. The maps include planned investment, the potential for renewable energy, and demand management.

  • Network solution route selection

    TransGrid’s preferred network option is to install two new underground electricity cables between our Rookwood Road and Beaconsfield West substations.

    TransGrid has assessed approximately 31 potential routes as part of the process to identify a preferred cable route.

    In considering the route options, TransGrid sought to minimise impacts on the surrounding community.

    Documents relating to the route selection process and community consultation on the preferred route can be found on the Community and Stakeholder Resources page.

  • Community and stakeholder engagement

    ​TransGrid started engagement on Powering Sydney’s Future at a workshop in 2014. Early engagement has enabled community and stakeholder feedback to be considered as part of the project planning process. This includes the expression of interest (EOI) from the non-network service providers as part of the RIT-T process and feedback from the community and all stakeholders on the network options.

    TransGrid has used a range of tools to engage with diverse stakeholders at different stages of the project. This includes workshops, meetings, newsletters, blogs, community sessions and online engagement. The community and stakeholder resource page has links to project updates, workshop materials, summary reports, Route Selection Report and technical documents.

    Following early consultation on the proposed cable route and consideration of community feedback, the Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) has now been published by the Department of Planning.

    In late 2017, TransGrid will start the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) phase of the project, which details the environmental effects as well as alternative options considered for the network component of the proposal. Based on the current program, we anticipate the EIS phase to conclude by late 2019. Community engagement and opportunities to provide feedback will be ongoing during this stage.

    As well as seeking regulatory approvals, in late 2017 TransGrid will commence preliminary design work.

    TransGrid is committed to ongoing consultation and will continue to consult with the community throughout the life cycle of the project. We also appreciate your feedback at any time.

  • Environmental assessment of the network solution

    Environment is an important consideration in the assessment of solutions that will secure Inner Sydney's future energy needs. The environment assessment considers the potential impacts as a result of the proposal and includes a range of considerations such as community, vegetation, noise, site conditions and heritage. TransGrid is now preparing for the environmental assessment of the network solution for this proposal.

    In June 2017, the project application and preliminary assessment was submitted to the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) The Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) to support the project application, and includes an initial review of the environmental and community impacts that are considered relevant to the project. The DP&E will use the PEA as a basis for consultation with relevant government agencies to identify the specific assessment requirements for the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

    The PEA on TransGrid's preferred network option is available on the resources page and via the NSW Department of Planning & Environment website.

    At this stage, TransGrid is planning to place the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the network component on public exhibition in mid-2018. Community engagement and opportunities to provide feedback will be ongoing during this stage.

  • Contact us

    Toll-free phone number: 1800 222 537

    Email:  psf@transgrid.com.au

    Post: PO Box A1000, Sydney South, NSW, 1235.