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The first of four transmission lines have been completed as part of EnergyConnect, which will see renewable energy flow between Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.  

Transgrid and its construction partner Elecnor Australia have finished construction of EnergyConnect’s Line 1 – a new double-circuit 330kV transmission line stretching 135km from Buronga, in south-western New South Wales, to the South Australian border. 

Transgrid Executive General Manager of Major Projects, Gordon Taylor, said that completion of construction of the line from Buronga to the South Australian border is a major milestone for EnergyConnect, with some final minor works and testing to be carried out before energisation.  

“We are getting on with the job of delivering this nation-critical transmission infrastructure to enable energy sharing between New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria for the first time,” Mr Taylor said.  

“The interconnector will deliver cleaner, cheaper renewable energy to millions of customers and help achieve Australia’s emissions reduction targets.” 

The construction effort by more than 450 workers has included: 

  • Construction of worker accommodation camps at Buronga and Renmark Road, equipment laydowns and access tracks 
  • The drilling and pouring of 1,366 concrete tower foundations 
  • The erection of 291 towers using 6,000t of steel 
  • The stringing of 1,900km of conductor cabling – the equivalent distance of driving from Sydney to Brisbane and back again 

“The works have provided a significant economic boost to the Sunraysia region, with $71 million invested in businesses in the Wentworth and Mildura local government areas including Garraway Group and Mawsons Concrete,” Mr Taylor said. 

“We have also achieved some significant sustainability goals, reducing vegetation clearing by 35 per cent and installing 202 guyed towers which require 21 per cent less steel and 15 per cent less concrete to construct compared to conventional self-supporting structures. 

“Construction of one of the largest and most sophisticated substations in the Southern Hemisphere is also nearing completion at Buronga.” 

Elecnor Australia Project Director, Felipe Delgado Davara, said that he is immensely proud of the progress and achievements Elecnor and Transgrid have accomplished and the way their teams have worked together to achieve this significant milestone of completing the first stage of the project. 

“The collaboration with our exceptional civil works and electrical contractors, as well as the construction delivery partners, has been instrumental in advancing activities within the substation and overhead transmission line disciplines,” Mr Davara said.  

Construction of the three remaining lines continues with the installation of 80 monopoles on the line from Buronga (New South Wales) to Red Cliffs (Victoria) while crews are drilling and pouring tower foundations on the two lines between Buronga and Wagga Wagga. 

Featured image: An EnergyConnect Line 1 construction site. Image: Transgrid. 

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