The 132kV network between Collinsville and Townsville was developed in the 1960s and 1970s to supply mining, commercial and residential loads. A parallel 275kV network was developed more than a decade later to reinforce supply into Townsville and far north Queensland.
Due to their deteriorating condition the 132kV Clare South to Townsville South transmission lines are now reaching the end of their technical service life.
To maintain compliance with the reliability and service standards set out in the National Electricity Rules (the Rules), Powerlink’s Transmission Authority and applicable regulatory instruments, Powerlink must address the emerging condition risks on these lines.
The first step of the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) with respect to maintaining reliability of supply between Clare South and Townsville South was the publication of the Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR) in November 2018, which invited submissions particularly on the credible options that could address the identified need.
Two submissions proposing non-network solutions were received in response to the publication of the PSCR. Following discussions with the proponents, and detailed analysis of their proposals, it was concluded that the solutions offered were not technically feasible due to their inability to meet the network’s fault level and voltage control requirements for the area. As a result, they could not be considered as credible options to meet the identified need under this RIT-T.
Of the four credible network options presented in the PSCR, the PADR recommends Option 2, a 10 year life extension of the coastal line with network reconfiguration by December 2021 and decommissioning of the inland line by December 2022. A second 10 year life extension of the coastal line is modelled for completion by December 2031.
The indicative capital cost of the RIT-T project for the preferred option is $28.34 million in 2018/19 prices. Powerlink is the proponent of this network project.
Submissions to the PADR close on Monday 23 September, 2019.
In the context of engagement activities with consumers and the general community, Powerlink has assessed this project as ‘complex’ on the RIT-T Stakeholder Engagement Matrix.