Electricity transmission company, ElectraNet will conduct a feasibility study into a new high-voltage electricity interconnector between South Australia and the eastern states.
The South Australian Government will contribute $500,000 towards the $1 million study, which will determine the interconnector’s economic viability.
ElectraNet Chief Executive Steve Masters thanked the Government for their contribution.
“The South Australian Government’s funding contribution recognises the potential value a new high-capacity interconnector could deliver to multiple segments of South Australia’s economy,” Mr Masters said.
“Our pre-feasibility work shows the potential for a new interconnector to be economically feasible and we will now progress this in more detail over the next 12 months.
“Stronger interconnection to the eastern states will improve wholesale electricity market competition and power system security for South Australia, as well as facilitating renewable energy for Australia.”
Pre-feasibility work has determined a new interconnection with either New South Wales or Victoria is estimated to cost in the order of $500 million.
This work will now be explored further with TransGrid, the transmission network service provider for NSW, and AEMO, the transmission network planning body for Victoria, and will also be subject to extensive consultation with electricity consumers and industry stakeholders.
Any final investment decision will be subject to a rigorous regulatory process with oversight of the Australian Energy Regulator.
A potential new interconnector would further build upon the benefits provided by ElectraNet’s upgrade of the existing South Australia to Victoria (Heywood) Interconnector, which is currently underway and due for completion by August 2016, with increased capacity released to the market after subsequent testing.