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Transgrid’s Victoria-NSW Interconnector (VNI) upgrade project has passed a significant milestone, beginning the installation of innovative technology at the Stockdill substation, to enable extra energy to be supplied to 30,000 NSW and ACT homes if required.  

The new SmartValve devices, recently arrived from the United States and will play an important role in the VNI project.

Nine of the units will be used to increase energy flows on existing transmission lines by diverting electricity from lines which are experiencing constraints, to those better able to carry it to customers. 

Transgrid’s Executive Manager of Delivery, Craig Stallan, said “This technology reduces congestion on the transmission lines and unlocks additional energy for consumers without having to build more lines.

“It’s a cost-effective way to deliver energy and it’s better for the environment. The VNI project’s use of SmartValve technology is a clever way to unlock an additional 170MW of power flow.” 

Most of the additional electricity on the NSW grid will flow from renewable sources in Victoria. 

The SmartValve technology will also be installed at Transgrid’s Yass substation and to date, the project has employed approximately 100 people from the ACT and Goulburn region. 

“Transgrid has a commitment to build the future grid that’s reliable, cost effective and appropriate,” Mr Stallan said.  

Unlocking additional energy from the existing infrastructure grid through the use of this technology has a significant advantage, not just to the community and our environment, but also in providing lower cost, reliable power.

“We are maximising the capacity of the existing infrastructure, resulting in a more secure, stable network that will be  able to integrate more renewable energy,” Mr Stallan said. 

SmartValve has been successfully implemented by the United Kingdom’s National Grid, across Europe, the USA and  Latin America. 

The VNI project is the first large-scale use of SmartWires’ SmartValve technology in Australia. 

Smart Wires General Manager APAC, Aidan Lawlor, said, “We have worked alongside Transgrid for three years to create the right solution for the VNI project with the use of  SmartValve technology.”

Energisation of the SmartValvedevices at Stockdill is planned for February 2022. 

Works will then commence at Yass, with the VNI project scheduled for completion by late 2022. 

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