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Ausgrid’s program of works to replace aged assets on its network is progressing, with a number of replacement substations recently reaching major milestones.

Ausgrid spends about $1 billion a year on maintaining its distribution network in Sydney, the Central Coast and Hunter Valley. This includes large capital works projects.

Securing power for local residents

Transformers and substations aerial view of the Toronto West substation

Ausgrid’s new Toronto West zone substation has been powered up to help secure the power supply to more than 5,000 local homes and businesses.

Ausgrid Chief Operating Officer Trevor Armstrong said an innovative approach to design and construction had delivered the substation at 20 per cent under budget.

“This project is a milestone for the network and the way we deliver new infrastructure to maintain the community’s safe and reliable power supply while keeping their bills down,” Mr Armstrong said.

“It also stands out for its unique building construction, our dedicated electrical equipping team and some sensible recycling of equipment.

“It’s a great example of the way forward when it comes to replacing aging equipment on the network.”

The $19.4 million substation replaces the nearby Toronto zone substation, built in 1961, and allows for the retirement of the Awaba sub-transmission substation, which was built in 1960.

The site is subject to future underground coal mining. Ausgrid has designed the new substation with a unique steel skeleton frame that allows for ground movement without damaging the building or electrical equipment.

“The team involved questioned everything and were able to overcome challenges specific to this site. They used our resources as efficiently as possible to replace equipment that has served the area well but is now due for replacement,” Mr Armstrong said.

The Toronto West zone substation has almost double the capacity of the old equipment at Toronto, securing the power supply to the local area now and for decades to come.

“We used local manufacturers to fabricate and install all the yard steelwork structures before site handover, so our crews were able to come in and focus on our strengths – the electrical equipping and commissioning.”

The delivery method also included reuse of equipment already owned by Ausgrid. 132,000 volt circuit breakers have been refurbished and spare transformers were relocated and installed.

The industry standard electrical design included a rationalisation of the amount of electrical earthing needed on site, without compromising the safety or reliability of the network.

Construction waste fees were also reduced by ensuring the maximum reuse of displaced soil on site.

New power source for sydney’s south west

The preferred design and layout of Ausgrid’s new $30 million substation to be constructed in Greenacre in Sydney’s south west has now been established, following consultation with the local community.

It will replace an existing zone substation which was commissioned back in 1970.

“The current substation has been in service for 47 years, nearing the end of its working life, and needs to be replaced,” Mr Armstrong said.

“This development will help secure the power supply for 16,000 local homes and businesses into the future.”

The new Greenacre substation will be built on Ausgrid-owned land next to the existing substation, with construction set to begin in November.

The substation will be initially equipped with two 132/11kV 50MVA transformers. The layout of the substation also allows for construction of a third transformer bay, if the electrical demand in the area increases in the future.

Following the construction of the new substation the 11kV load will be transferred to the new substation and the existing substation will be decommissioned.

Equipment snapshot:

  • Eight panels of 132kV SF6 GIS
  • Three 132kV feeders will be connected to the new substation
  • 132kV switchgear will be gas insulated
  • 34 panels of 11kV switchgear

A Review of Environmental Factors for the project has been prepared and Ausgrid is seeking further feedback from the community.

Upgrading the hunter

More than 8000 Throsby Creek area residents and businesses will have their power supply secured with a new $23 million substation at Tighes Hill.

Crews have begun installing the electrical equipment, following the recent completion of civil construction.

Ausgrid’s Hunter Regional Manager Steven Andrews said it will replace an existing substation in Carrington, which was originally commissioned in 1967.

“This project is important for the local community and the broader economy. It supplies important infrastructure at the Newcastle port as well as residential and commercial customers in parts of Islington, Tighes Hill and Maryville,” Mr Andrews said.

“The equipment at Carrington zone substation has reached the end of its serviceable life and needs to be replaced. This project ensures we can continue to provide a safe and reliable power supply.

“We have planned for the future and there is room to incorporate more capacity into the substation if needed down the track.”

Ausgrid has been working with the local community and neighbours to the site for several years, ensuring its impact during construction was minimised as much as possible.

The project also includes improved public access to the Throsby Creek foreshore.

Equipping is expected to be completed by late 2017 and the substation will be powering local homes and businesses early next year.

Managing growth in the inner west

Ausgrid’s new Croydon zone substation has been powered up, replacing aged equipment and helping to secure the power supply to 16,000 local homes and businesses.

Mr Armstrong said the substation replaces the nearby Five Dock substation built in the 1950s.

“The equipment at Five Dock has been serving our community well for about 60 years,” Mr Armstrong said.

“It has had a number of upgrades over the years, but it is now time for it to be replaced to make sure we can continue to provide a safe and reliable electricity supply to our customers in Sydney’s inner west.”

The new Croydon substation will play an important role in supplying electricity to the area, connected at 132,000 volts.

This upgrade means the substation is well placed to meet any growth in the area for years to come.

The electrical transfer of 11,000 volt power circuits is due to be complete at the end of this year, which means the zone substation at Five Dock can be safely decommissioned.

Equipment includes two 50MVA transformers, six panels of 132kV switchgear and 21 11,000 volt power circuit panels, which distribute the electricity throughout surrounding suburbs. 

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