The South Australian Government has granted the proposed $1.5 billion SA-NSW interconnector Major Project Status.

Major Project Status recognises the economic significance of the interconnector to South Australia and delivers a rigorous, whole of government assessment process.

The SA-NSW interconnector will deliver cheaper electricity to consumers in both states whilst improving reliability across the network.

Modelling of the interconnector shows that small and medium businesses with significant electricity consumption will save many thousands of dollars each year when the interconnector is energised.

SA Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said “Significantly reduced electricity bills for small businesses will be good for jobs, investment and the local economy.

“The SA-NSW interconnector will also deliver an average $66 in savings for households and will deliver a raft of renewable energy projects and hundreds of local jobs along its proposed route.”

ElectraNet chief executive, Steve Masters, also welcomed the awarding of Major Project Status to the SA-NSW interconnector.

“Receiving major development status highlights the significance of the proposed electricity interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales, which will reduce power prices, improve energy security and support the transition to a lower carbon economy.

“This announcement is an important milestone for this project, which will be the first interconnector built between any Australian states in 15 years.

“ElectraNet welcomes the State Government’s decision as this will ensure a single, integrated and streamlined assessment of the development by all relevant authorities, agencies and stakeholders.

“We will continue with our comprehensive stakeholder engagement and preparing for regulatory approvals with the support of the South Australian Government, in conjunction with our New South Wales project partner, TransGrid.”

“South Australia currently only has interconnection with Victoria which puts us at the end of the line and vulnerable to the type system risks that saw the entire state blacked out in 2016,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.

“This new additional interconnector will bring South Australia into the loop with the rest of the national energy market, bringing cheaper power, greater reliability and increased export opportunities for our renewable energy.”

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