Recent upgrades, totalling $45 million, have increased capacity by 170MW at Transgrid’s Victoria-New South Wales Interconnector (VNI).
Transgrid CEO, Brett Redman, said the project was delivered on budget and features world-leading SmartValve technology from US-based grid enhancing technology company, Smart Wires.
“The speed at which the energy transition is accelerating means we must embrace new technology and innovate and SmartValve is a perfect example of how Transgrid is doing just that,” Mr Redman said.
“This clever technology benefits both customers and the environment and will allow renewable energy from Victoria to flow into New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory when demand is greatest.”
Transgrid is the first large-scale user of SmartValve technology in Australia. The technology detects congestion on the transmission network and redirects power off overloaded lines onto transmission lines with spare capacity and enables substations to be upgraded using existing infrastructure.
Caption: Six SmartVale units were installed at the Yass substation during the $45 million VNI upgrade project. Photo: Transgrid.
Nine SmartValve units were installed at Transgrid’s Stockdill substation in the Australian Capital Territory to unlock 120MW of additional energy, while six units at Yass substation will provide another 50MW.
“By using power flow controller technology we can unlock additional energy without needing to build new lines or upgrade existing transmission lines, which minimises environmental and community impact,” Mr Redman said.
Smart Wires CEO, Peter Wells, applauded Transgrid’s adoption of grid enhancing technology, which he believes will be critical to Australia’s long-term energy future.
“Transgrid is one of the world’s leading utilities in this space, and through VNI and other projects, is proving its commitment to the energy transition, the environment and its customers,” Mr Wells said.
“The VNI project has been an incredibly successful collaboration which has increased transfer capacity and enabled the connection of significantly more renewables.
“We are very proud to partner with Transgrid and support the evolution of Australia’s grid into a digital, secure and accessible platform capable of delivering net zero, economic growth, innovation, jobs and prosperity.”
The project was the preferred option identified to increase transfer capacity between New South Wales and Victoria in the 2020 Project Assessment Conclusion Report (PACR) by the Australian Market Energy Operator (AMEO) and Transgrid.
The PACR found the VNI upgrade is expected to deliver net benefits of up to $268 million to electricity customers.
Feature Image: Transgrid CEO, Brett Redman, visiting the recently upgraded Yass substation. Photo: Transgrid.