TransGrid’s Victoria-NSW Interconnector (VNI) upgrade is now at 55 per cent completion, with the majority of civil work done.

When completed,the project will increase transfer capacity into NSW from Victoria by 170MW in peak periods. 

The project will upgrade TransGrid’s Stockdill Substation at Holt in the ACT, using a technology called Smart Wires, which redirects the electricity flows to less congested lines when the system detects areas of congestion in the network.

Executive Manager of Works Delivery,Craig Stallan, said the bulk of civil works is completed and the first stage of electrical works of the VNI upgrade project will commence in August 2021, with the balance of civil works to be finished by the end of August as well. 

Mr Stallan said, “We are very pleased with the progress we are making on this major project that will help lower energy costs across the National Energy Market. 

“The VNI upgrade will help reduce electricity bills through more efficient sharing of generation resources between the states. It will also enable more energy from renewable sources to enter the grid.”

The use of Smart Wires power flow controller technology on a 330kV network enables additional power to be transmitted efficiently, avoiding the need to upgrade more than 100km of transmission lines through the Snowy Mountains region.

“The use of Smart Wires, and existing transmission lines, results in minimal impact on the community or neighbouring landowners,” Mr Stallan said.

More than 100 local people have been employed during the project, with over 60 people from the ACT and 30 from the Goulburn area, including electricians, carpenters, form workers, traffic controllers and maintenance workers.

The VNI Upgrade project was the preferred option identified to increase transfer capacity between NSW and Victoria in the 2020 Project Assessment Conclusion Report (PACR) by the Australian Market Energy Operator (AMEO) and TransGrid. 

The upgrade yields the highest net market benefits of all options assessed through the RIT-T process.

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