23 October 2023

EnergyConnect continues to track well after arrival of key components

| Jarryd Rowley
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Vital equipment arrives in buronga

Key equipment for the EnergyConnect project has arrived at Buronga, bringing Transgrid a step closer to completing the network. Photo: Supplied.

Australia’s largest electricity project EnergyConnect has taken another step towards completion with the arrival of two important synchronous condensers.

The widely debated EnergyConnect project will enable a new and sustainable energy connection between New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Energy giant Transgrid and construction partner Elecnor have the task of building the 700 km network across NSW stretching from Wagga Wagga to the South Australian border.

The 120 MVAr synchronous condensers will sit at the heart of the project to help maintain the voltage on the transmission network and provide system resilience services.

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Transgrid Executive General Manager of Major Projects Gordon Taylor said the condensers would “play a key role in keeping the grid stable as we build the energy superhighway to make Australia’s transition to renewable energy possible”.

“Construction is powering ahead on EnergyConnect, and we are getting on with the job of delivering this national critical project which will unlock greater renewable energy sharing between three states,” he said.

“This project is a key enabler for Australia’s decarbonised future.”

Elecnor Australia Project Director Samuel Basanta Lopez said, “The world is watching as we transform Buronga into one of the biggest and most sophisticated substations in the Southern Hemisphere. It will act as the main hub for the connection between NSW, South Australia and Victoria.

“There has been impressive progress despite the huge engineering challenges,” he said.

“I’m immensely proud of what our team has achieved from the pouring of the foundations to the steel in the synchronous condenser building, the installation of the gantry crane, and now the arrival of the synchronous condensers.”

Transgrid’s Electrical Site Manager Jason Scott said the arrival of the condensers was significant.

“The condensers will form the backbone for stability throughout the new substation,” he said.

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“A massive logistical effort was required with four prime movers needed to transport the two lower halves of the condensers which weigh 110 tonnes each and the rotor units which weigh 85 tonnes.”

The machines will now undergo five months of commissioning and testing.

Elecnor Australia Electrical and Installation Manager Darren Parkinson said the condensers were “very important to Australia’s renewable targets as we start bringing new solar and wind farms onto the transmission network”.

“It’s great to be involved in something so big and complex which makes the project extremely interesting to all the engineers and everybody on the project,” he said.

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