Brett Redman on a construction site.

Transgrid has released its $16.5 billion roadmap, which reveals how the company is looking to transform New South Wales’s energy grid to a more sustainable and cost-efficient network. 

The System Security Roadmap outlines the New South Wales Transgrid’s detailed plan to grow the state’s power system and ensure the secure operation of the grid at up to 100 per cent instantaneous renewables over the next decade. 

Transgrid is undertaking a major program of works across three critical pillars to build and operate a safe, reliable and low emissions power system: 

  • Energy Reliability: investing $14 billion to build a 2,500km energy superhighway of essential transmission lines and infrastructure to connect new large-scale renewable energy and storage to the grid, integrate five renewable energy zones, and expand transmission interconnection between regions and states
  • System Security: deploy an estimated $2.2 billion in new system-strength technologies and services to maintain the secure operating envelope of the grid without the operation of coal generation
  • Operability: a step-change in analytical and operational capabilities and capacity, to operate an increasingly complex power system, with a $300 million investment to strengthen Transgrid’s technology tools, workforce and training

Transgrid CEO, Brett Redman, said modernising the energy grid to bring energy prices down requires building enormous amounts of new transmission to connect renewable generation in record time. 

“The only way to bring energy prices down is to deliver cheaper renewable energy as soon as possible. Transgrid must build and operate the backbone of this new grid while ensuring the safety, reliability and security of our existing 13,000km transmission system which powers millions of homes and businesses. 

“With over 80 per cent of coal-fired capacity in New South Wales expected to retire and 28GW of new renewable and storage capacity coming online in the next ten years, we must urgently accelerate the investment in all areas of the energy transition.” 

Mr Redman said Transgrid is accelerating delivery of the new energy superhighway with nation-critical projects including EnergyConnect, HumeLink and VNI West vital to facilitate Australia’s clean energy transformation. 

“There will be no transition without transmission. However, the enormity of the task and the challenges we face must not be understated. We must embrace innovation, invest in technology, develop a larger and more skilled workforce, and strengthen our capabilities, if we are to achieve a rapid transition to a low emissions energy system providing clean, affordable and reliable electricity to Australians,” Mr Redman said. 

System Security Roadmap facts:

  • Transition 
    • Twenty years ago, eight coal generators provided nearly all of NSW’s power, with 12GW of capacity
    • By 2033, over 80 per cent of NSW’s coal-fired capacity will retire, while hundreds of new large-scale wind and solar generators and storage and millions of rooftop solar systems will add 28GW of new capacity to the NSW power system in their stead
  • Transmission 
    • More than 2,500km of new transmission lines are needed to ensure access for renewable generators and interconnection between regions required to drive down wholesale energy costs
    • Over the next decade, Transgrid plans to invest $14 billion to build new transmission infrastructure including the $7 billion, 1,600km Southern Superhighway made up of its three major projects – EnergyConnect, HumeLink and VNI West
    • Transgrid’s Powering Tomorrow Together Program is bundling procurement for its three major projects to secure necessary equipment and materials and put us ahead of global competition for resources. The program will save $500 million in costs and help reduce consumer power bills
  • System security 
    • New system security infrastructure to replace services currently provided by coal generators will require an investment of an estimated $2.2 billion over the next decade to ensure the power system ‘heartbeat’ in New South Wales remains strong. This is equivalent to up to 21 large (200MVA) synchronous condensers
    • Recent global Expression of Interest process to provide system strength resulted in nearly 70 potential technology solutions. These include more than 10GW of existing or conversions of existing synchronous generators, a pipeline of 10GW of innovative grid-forming batteries, and 5GW of other new generation and energy storage projects, such as pumped hydro and gas
  • Operating a more complex system 
    • Over the next decade, Transgrid will need to invest $140 million to build new operational technology tools and $160 million to increase staffing levels and training to facilitate the safe and secure transition of New South Wales’s electricity system
    • This includes advanced digital technologies to provide control room operators with critical information to understand current and evolving system conditions and make decisions at speed to securely operate a more complex and dynamic power system

The System Security Roadmap is available here.

Featured image: Transgrid CEO, Brett Redman, on a construction site. Image courtesy of Transgrid.

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