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Powerlink has recently published a ‘Project Assessment Conclusions Report’ (PACR) to maintain power transfer capability and reliability of supply at Redbank Plains.

Redbank Plains Substation, located approximately 27km southwest of the Brisbane, was established in 1985 as a bulk-supply injection point to the Energex (part of the Energy Queensland group) distribution network. It also provides additional switching capability for alternative power transfer between Blackstone and Goodna.

Planning studies have confirmed there is a long-term requirement to continue to supply the existing electricity services provided by Redbank Plains Substation. Both power transformers, along with a number of primary plant items are nearing the end of their respective service lives and are displaying a range of condition-based issues.

Powerlink must therefore take action to avoid the increasing likelihood of unserved energy and the emerging risks arising from the condition of the transformers and primary plant at Redbank Plains Substation.

In April 2022, Powerlink published a ‘Project Specification Consultation Report’ (PSCR) identifying the proposed preferred option to address the risks and claiming exemption from producing a ‘Project Assessment Draft Report’ as allowed for under NER Clause 5.16.4(z1). 

There were no submissions received in response to the PSCR, which closed in July 2022. As a result, no additional credible options that could deliver a material market benefit have been identified and the outcomes of the economic analysis contained in the PACR remain unchanged from those published in the PSCR.

The PACR recommends implementation of Option 2, which involves the refit of the transformers by 2024 to extend their service life and complete replacement of the primary plant by 2025. The indicative capital cost of this option is $8.45 million in 2020/21 prices excluding future model project costs. Under Option 2, procurement of new plant would commence in 2023, with refurbishment of the existing transformers and replacement of selected primary plant completed by 2025. Powerlink is the proponent of this network project.

In the context of engagement activities with consumers and the general community, Powerlink has assessed this project as ‘minor’ on the RIT-T Stakeholder Engagement Matrix.

A copy of the Project Assessment Conclusions Report is available below.