Powering Sydney's Future

Cityscape - Website Image 01.jpgWhy do we need Powering Sydney's Future?

The inner Sydney network supplies electricity to more than 500,000 customers in Australia's biggest city. Parts of the network are over 50 years old and are approaching the end of their serviceable life. Powering Sydney's Future is TransGrid's response to this ageing network and increasing electricity demand in a growing Sydney. A reliable electricity network is essential to support growth, and we are working towards a solution to ensure inner Sydney's needs are met now and into the future. The Potts Hill to Alexandria transmission cable project is a crucial part of this solution.

What is the Potts Hill to Alexandria transmission cable project?

We are proposing to construct a new 330 kV underground cable circuit between our substations at Potts Hill and Alexandria. To avoid future disruption we are proposing to install additional infrastructure to allow for a second cable circuit at a later stage.

The preferred route for this project primarily follows local and main roads and is around 20km long (see route overview inside). The new cable circuit would mainly be installed underground with some cable bridges to cross rail lines and waterways. You can view a more detailed map online at https://transgrid.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/psf#/

How will Powering Sydney's Future project be built?

For most of the alignment we would dig a trench about three metres wide, install conduits before burying them and temporarily restoring the area. To cross waterways and rail lines, we are proposing to build special cable bridges. We anticipate that each cable drum section will take up to eight weeks to install (most properties would be exposed to around two weeks of trenching activity).

Joint bay construction:

Joint bays are built by digging an underground bay, allowing the cables to be installed in sections. Joint bays are usually installed every 600 to 800 metres along the trench. Once the joint bays have been built, they would be accessed later to install the cables (cable pulling and cable jointing).

Cable Illustration.jpg

Cable pulling:

Once the joint bays are connected by conduit, sections of the transmission cable can be installed. This typically takes about two weeks, weather permitting.

Conduit Illustration.jpgCable jointing:

Once the cables have been installed in the conduits, they are joined together inside the joint bays.  This would typically be done soon after the cable pulling towards the end of construction. Cable jointing is completed inside a covered enclosure.

What are the next steps?

As we prepare the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), we want to ensure you know about the project and have the opportunity to input into the process. TransGrid will be in touch with stakeholders as well as community members living or working along the preferred cable route during the development of the EIS. We will be seeking feedback and ensuring key issues are captured, considered and addressed.

We need your input

As we prepare the EIS, it’s important for us to work with businesses, residents and the community to identify the potential impacts and identify solutions that can work. We welcome your input so we can best understand how this project might affect the communities along the cable route. You can also visit our online feedback portal at https://transgrid.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/psf#/ to find out more and share your thoughts about the project.

Community Drop-in Sessions

In addition to regular updates, we will also be holding a number of community drop-in sessions, to discuss the project and how it could affect your local area. Our project team will be available to answer questions and receive feedback on the proposed cable route. Please access the 180529_TGR130_PSF_Postcard_REV5_web.pdf for upcoming dates and venue options. (Please also check your letterbox, local newspaper or online for additional upcoming dates).


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  • Key dates

    ​Stakeholder engagement on route options

    ​Milestone​Date
    Preferred route announcement and community information sessions​Mid 2017
    Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) planning and development ​Late 2017
    Stakeholder and community engagement to assist EIS development​Early 2018
    Community drop-in sessions
    Mid 2018
    ​EIS placed on public exhibition for stakeholder and community feedbackEarly 2019
    ​Community Information sessionsEarly 2019

    ​Project approval decision

    ​Mid 2019

    ​Construction​2020 - 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, the environmental assessment and community engagement completed to date, visit the  Community and Stakeholder Resources page.
  • Project need
    Inner Sydney is one of the most critical parts of the NSW electricity network. However, parts of the electricity network that currently supply Inner Sydney are ageing, with many of the assets built decades ago. 
    The key drivers for this project are: 
    • The planned retirement of a number of Ausgrid’s cables  that are in poor condition
    • The deteriorating condition and reduced capacity of ageing cables in the existing network
    • An upturn in peak electricity demand since 2014, driven by renewed economic activity and forecast to continue
    A solution needs to be in place by the early 2020s to address these issues and TransGrid, together with Ausgrid, has been planning a solution.

  • 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.

    Regulatory Investment Test – Transmission (RIT-T)

    TransGrid has completed three stages of a Regulatory Investment Test – Transmission (RIT-T) as required by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). The purpose of the RIT-T is to identify the transmission investment option which maximises net economic benefits and, where applicable, meets the relevant jurisdictional or Electricity Rule based reliability standards. TransGrid obtained funding approval for Powering Sydney's Future in May 2018.
    The documents below relate to the RIT-T process.

    TransGrid has been guided by input from a wide range of stakeholders as part of the project planning process and has developed a preferred solution which comprises four years of non network options followed by staged installation of  underground transmission cables between Potts Hill and Alexandria.

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

  • Investigating non-network solutions

    TransGrid has been investigating non-network options as part of the proposed solution to meet future demand.

    TransGrid takes into account forecasts from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and distribution network service providers (in this case, Ausgrid) to understand the needs of our energy users across NSW and the ACT. TransGrid also considers information provided by our directly connected customers and our own analysis, and modelling. These 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 have the potential to relieve network constraints in the area until 2019 and possibly beyond.

    TransGrid is investigating three emerging technologies for use across the network as well as solutions for specific projects, such as for Powering Sydney’s Future. These technologies are energy storage devices, automated demand response (ADR) and geo-spatial mapping.  

    TransGrid recently published a Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR). The PACR makes a recommendation based on analysis of all submissions to the Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR). The recommendation includes a non-network component and a network solution.

    TransGrid currently plans to tender for non-network solutions in mid 2018.

  • Network solution route selection

    TransGrid’s preferred network option is the installation of a new underground cable circuit, with the infrastructure to enable installation of a second circuit in the future if required.

    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.

  • Environmental assessment of the network solution
    Environmental impact is an important consideration in the assessment of solutions that will secure Inner Sydney's future energy needs. The environmental assessment considers the potential impacts resulting from the proposal and includes a range of considerations such as noise and vibration, traffic and transport, visual amenity, biodiversity, and community. 

    TransGrid has commenced the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) phase of the project, which will detail 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.

    At this stage, TransGrid is planning to place the EIS for the network component on public exhibition in early 2019. Community engagement and opportunities to provide feedback will be ongoing during this stage.


  • Community and stakeholder engagement
    TransGrid started engagement on Powering Sydney's Future in 2014. Community and stakeholder feedback has been considered at each stage 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 stakeholders on network options.
    We are using a variety of tools to engage with stakeholders throughout the project. This includes workshops, meetings, newsletters, blogs, community sessions and online engagement.

    In June 2017, we undertook a series of community engagement events to inform the community about the preferred route selection. A summary of community engagement activities can be found in the Community and Stakeholder Consultation Report.

    The Community and Stakeholder Resources page has links to project updates, workshop materials, summary reports, the Route Selection Report and technical documents.

    Next steps

    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.

    TransGrid has commenced the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) phase of the project, which will detail 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. As well as seeking regulatory approvals,  TransGrid will continue preliminary design work. Community engagement and opportunities to provide feedback will be ongoing during these stages.

  • Contact us

    Toll-free phone number: 1800 222 537

    Email:  psf@transgrid.com.au

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

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    ​Please see the attached Frequently Asked Questions addressing key aspects of the project.