Powerlink has recently published a 'Project Assessment Draft Report' (PADR) to maintain reliability of supply in the Rockhampton area.
The Egans Hill to Rockhampton transmission line is a 132kV double circuit line commissioned in 1963 that forms part of the connection between Powerlink's Bouldercombe and Rockhampton substations. It provides a critical link into the Rockhampton Substation which is a major injection point for the Rockhampton and surrounding area distribution network.
The transmission line is nearing the end of its technical service life, with the majority of structures on the transmission line exhibiting signs of degradation. Specifically, loss of the galvanising on members, the onset of early corrosion to nuts, bolts and hardware, and the decay of grillage foundations, all increase the risk of mechanical failure of components of the transmission line, particularly in storm and cyclonic conditions. This presents a risk to the ongoing safe, reliable and economic supply of electricity into Rockhampton and the surrounding area.
The first step of the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) was the publication of the Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR) in September 2018 which invited submissions particularly on the credible options which could address the identified need.
No submissions were received in response to the PSCR that closed on 24 December 2018. As a result, no additional credible options, that could deliver a material market benefit, have been identified as a part of the PSCR Stage of this RIT-T consultation.
The PADR recommends a staged life extension of the line, with Stage 1 to be completed by December 2020 and Stage 2 by December 2030, with a full rebuild by 2044. The RIT-T project for this option involves the refit and paint of the northern section of the line by December 2020 and refit without paint of the Southern section by the same date.
The estimated capital cost of the RIT-T Project $9.98 million in 2018/19 prices. Powerlink is the proponent of the project.
Submissions to the PADR are due by 15 March 2019.
In the context of engagement activities with consumers and the general community, Powerlink has assessed this project as 'normal' on the RIT-T Stakeholder Engagement Matrix.
A copy of the Project Assessment Draft Report is available below.