Transgrid CEO Brett Redman says bringing renewables online as quickly as possible is
“the only way to bring energy prices down”.
“With over 80 per cent of coal-fired capacity in NSW expected to retire and 28GW of new renewable and storage capacity coming online in the next 10 years, we must urgently accelerate the investment in all areas of the energy transition.”
Transgrid is walking the talk with its $16.5 billion grid stability program.
Announcing the program, the transmission provider said it needs to:
“ensure the secure operation of the grid at up to 100 per cent instantaneous renewables over the next decade.”
There are three strands to the program.
$14 Billion On New Transmissions Lines
The bulk of the spend, $14 billion, will be devoted to building 2500km of transmission lines and infrastructure,
“to connect new large-scale renewable energy and storage to the grid, integrate five renewable energy zones, and expand transmission interconnection between regions and states”.
This will include $7 billion for the 1600km “Southern Superhighway”.
Projects in the Southern Superhighway include:
EnergyConnect (from Wagga Wagga to the South Australian border):
VNI-West (Bulgana in Victoria to Dinawan (near Bundure) in NSW, where it intersects with EnergyConnect):
And HumeLink (connecting Wagga Wagga, Bannaby and Maragle in NSW):
$2.2 Billion On Grid Support & Firming
There’s to be $2.2 billion for “new system strength technologies and services” so the grid can keep operating without coal generation. This will provide the equivalent of up to 21 synchronous condensers at 200MVA each, which can include grid-forming batteries and even gas and pumped hydro for firming.
$300 Million On Boffins & Tech
Finally, Transgrid will spend $300 million on technology tools, workforce, and training to improve its analytical and operational capabilities to support “an increasingly complex power system”.
If you are interested in the engineering of the towers, this video from Transgrid is worth a watch: