TransGrid’s board of directors approved the $ 1.83 billion NSW section last week. The interconnector is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.
“It’s definitely a lot of money for ElectraNet and TransGrid,” Masters said.
The interconnection will also reduce the risk of South Australia being ‘island’ when its only existing connection to the national grid – via Victoria – is lost.
We will be exporting much, much more renewable energy to New South Wales than we ever bring.
– Dan van Holst Pellekaan, Minister of Energy SA
ElectraNet’s largest shareholder is the international arm of State Grid Corporation of China, which has a 47 percent stake. YTL Power International, based in Malaysia, owns 33.5 percent.
South Australia’s Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said on Monday that there were between $ 5 billion and $ 10 billion in renewable energy projects in South Australia, either under consideration, either in planning, likely to go ahead due to the link with major east coasts from 2023.
“We will be exporting a lot, a lot more renewable energy to New South Wales than we ever import,” he said.
South African Prime Minister Steven Marshall said on Monday it would also help stabilize South Africa’s power grid and bring billions of dollars in investment.
“It’s about strengthening our network,” he said.
Paul Italiano, managing director of NSW grid owner TransGrid, which is building the NSW portion of the EnergyConnect project, pointed out over 3 gigawatts of new renewable power generation capacity last week that requested to connect to the NSW section.
But the interconnection project nearly collapsed, and a deal with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation was the last resort for TransGrid to fund its share. A call for a change in funding rules was rejected and other avenues were exhausted.
The 330 kilovolt cable from Robertstown in South Australia to Wagga Wagga in New South Wales will include a branch line to northwest Victoria.
The green light for construction comes after a lengthy approval process that included an unsuccessful call by TransGrid and ElectraNet for an urgent change in market rules to help them attract debt financing. The cost of the project has increased several times, raising concerns about the impact on prices.