Powerlink has recently published a 'Project Assessment Conclusions Report' (PACR) to maintain reliability of supply in the Blackwater area.
Blackwater Substation, established in 1969 and located approximately 68km east of Emerald, plays a critical role in the provision of electricity to customers in Queensland's Central West area, providing supply to residential, mining and rail traction loads.
The two 80MVA transformers were installed in 1978, and at over 40 years of age have significant condition and performance issues indicating that they are reaching the end of their technical service lives.
In May 2019 Powerlink published a 'Project Specification Consultation Report' (PSCR) identifying the proposed preferred option to address the risks to supply and claiming exemption from producing a 'Project Assessment Draft Report' (PADR) as allowed for under NER Clause 5.16.4(z1).
There were no submissions received in response to the PSCR, which closed in August 2019. 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; replacement of the two 132/66/11kV 80 MVA transformers with one 132/66/11 kV 160MVA transformer by June 2022. The indicative capital cost of the RIT-T project for the preferred option is $6.16 million in 2018/2019 prices. Powerlink is the proponent of this option.
Under Option 2, design work will commence in late 2019, with installation of the new transformer completed by June 2022.
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.