Why is TransGrid undertaking this work?
TransGrid had previously communicated that Line 944 may no longer be required and could subsequently be decommissioned. However, TransGrid has determined that the retention of Line 944 is the most effective means of addressing existing network requirements, ensuring the current levels of electricity reliability are maintained into the future and the transmission system is effectively able to support the connection and integration of more renewable generation facilities.
A major part maintaining an effective network planning and investment process is achieved through the review of newly received information and data prior to making any financial commitment for projects, inclusive of decommissioning works.
During these reviews, TransGrid identified a requirement for critical voltage support to Orange and other Central West areas during emergency contingency events. Additionally, Essential Energy has informed TransGrid of an anticipated increase in the Central Region load growth. It has subsequently been determined that continued operation of the Line 944 is the most prudent and economically efficient means for addressing these network requirements and sustaining a safe and reliable supply of electricity in the region.
What does the project involve?
A number of wooden structures have presented with wood rot and decay and therefore require replacement. A few poles have also begun to lean and we are raising the height of some sections of the line to ensure safe electrical clearances can be maintained into the future. We are also looking at upgrading the current earthing system along some sections of the line to maintain safety around the line.
There are an estimated seventy (70) wooden pole structures that we plan to replace with concrete poles. The poles will be installed along the same transmission line alignment and within the existing easement.
Where to from here?
Over the coming months, TransGrid’s project teams will be finalising the location of which poles will require replacement, earthing assessments and access to low span remediation sites. After these assessments have been finalised, landowners will be contacted with further information where works are required on properties. This information is planned to be finalised by October 2017.
Orange to Wallerawang Transmission Line 944 - Factsheet
Orange to Wallerawang Transmission Line 944 - Project reintroduction