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EnergyConnect, the country’s largest transmission project to date, has taken a step towards completion with the submission of its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its eastern section.

The section encompasses an area from Buronga to Wagga Wagga.

Executive Manager of Delivery, Craig Stallan, said Transgrid and its construction partner SecureEnergy have already undertaken early works, and are mobilised in anticipation of a busy year in the state’s west.

“Construction is due to start by June this year on the New South Wales section of the 900km electricity transmission interconnector, linking Robertstown in South Australia to Wagga Wagga and Red Cliffs in Victoria,” Mr Stallan said.

“We are excited to get shovels in the ground and build this critical infrastructure which will prove a game changer for electricity customers and the National Electricity Market.”

Transgrid will deliver the bulk of the interconnector, approximately 700km of transmission assets from the New South Wales/South Australian border to Wagga Wagga. 

The State Government provided approval for the western section of the route, from Buronga to the New South Wales/South Australian border, in September 2021. 

The western section of the project includes works between the border near Renmark Rd, TransGrid’s existing substation at Buronga, and the New South Wales/Victorian border near Monak.

In May, 2021, TransGrid confirmed the company would invest $1.834 billion in the project, which is projected to save New South Wales customers $180 million per year, create up to 1,500 jobs and contribute a further $4 billion in economic activity for the state.

“The New South Wales Government declared the New South Wales section as Critical State Significant Infrastructure in 2019,” Mr Stallan said.

“We believe this project will change the energy landscape for the eastern seaboard states and enable the energy transition, bringing a reduction in carbon emissions and helping the nation meet its climate change targets.”

The EIS for the eastern section includes a key link between Dinawan (south of Coleambally) and Wagga, which will now be upgraded to facilitate additional capacity for the Victoria New South Wales Interconnector West and the South West Renewable Energy Zone without the need to build duplicate infrastructure.

The New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces will decide on the EIS for the eastern section, following a review by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

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