Transmission lines

Transgrid has called for increased investment in major transmission projects to accommodate lower-cost renewable energy sources.

In its recently released Transmission Annual Planning Report 2022 (TAPR), Transgrid supported ‘urgent action’ in delivering transmission projects, citing the earlier than anticipated transition to renewable energy sources.

Transgrid CEO, Brett Redman, said early investment in transmission infrastructure would prevent disruptions to the energy grid, and reduce costs for consumers.

“We believe urgent action is needed to accelerate the timeline for when renewables can deliver affordable, low-cost reliable energy to homes and businesses,” Mr Redman said.

“We are leaning into the acceleration of the energy transition to ensure we keep the lights on, drive down wholesale electricity prices and reduce emissions.”

The TAPR is the culmination of an annual planning review to identify transmission network developments, key demand growth areas and an assessment of system security.

For the first time, Transgrid’s TAPR is projecting a shortfall of system strength and inertia to meet system requirements to happen in this decade, as coal-fired generation is retired or moves to more flexible operation.

“Australia’s energy transition is happening right now. The electricity system is transitioning away from coal and towards renewables at a rapid rate, even faster than expected and we are responding to that reality,” Mr Redman said.

“We must invest in new technologies and services to diversify the provision of system security and decouple these services from the operation of ageing thermal generation units, which are becoming less reliable and available.

 “This is the critical decade and the expansion of our grid is essential to underwrite energy security, especially as coal-fired generators become unreliable and retire.

 “The recent energy market crisis demonstrated the current system’s lack of resilience and the high consumer cost of disruption.

“These risks will continue until we have a strong, flexible electricity network capable of safely delivering high volumes of renewable energy.

“As the operator of Australia’s most important transmission network, we are responding to and supporting the NSW Roadmap and the Australian Government’s Rewiring the Nation policy.

“Transgrid is committed to work with AEMO, the NSW Government and EnergyCo to accelerate the grid’s successful transition. Together, we must bring forward delivery schedules and drive innovation at pace.”

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