Queensland-NSW Interconnector Upgrade

Why do we need an upgrade?

Upgrading the Queensland-NSW Interconnector (QNI) will boost interstate transmission capacity and increase power flow on existing lines. This will make it easier and more efficient to share power generation across the National Energy Market, which will help put downward pressure on customer bills. 

It will also enhance network reliability ahead of the forecast closure of Liddell power station in 2023. 

The project has been identified as a priority by both the Australian Energy Market Operator in the 2020 Integrated System Plan and by the State Government in the NSW Transmission Infrastructure Strategy

What does the project involve?

Work to upgrade transmission lines will take place along existing lines between Liddell power station, Muswellbrook and Tamworth substations. Activities include: 
  • Replacement of pole structures
  • Removal of existing pole structures
  • Installation of new mid-span structures
  • Strengthening pole structures
  • Replacement or rearrangement of transmission line insulators.
As part of the QNI Upgrade, TransGrid will also upgrade substations at Tamworth, Dumaresq, Armidale and Muswellbrook. Activities include replacing conductors and other equipment to ensure the quality and reliability of electricity supply.
  • Key dates

    ​Please see below for an indicative list of key dates for the project:

    ​Preliminary investigations and project scoping
    ​Early 2019
    ​Detailed design and site investigations
    ​Late 2019
    ​Approval by the Australian Energy Regulator
    ​April 2020
    ​Construction starts
    ​May 2020
    ​Project completion
    ​December 2021

  • Community updates
  • Project approval

    ​The project approval timeline is outlined below:

    ​Q4 2018

    ​RIT-T Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR) published - The PSCR detailed the need to increase the existing Queensland to New South Wales interconnector capacity and described the credible options to meet the need, including technical characteristics.

    ​Q2 2019

    ​Preliminary investigations and project scoping.

    ​Q3 2019

    ​RIT-T Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) published - The PADR outlined how we addressed the issues raised in submissions to the PSCR and explained the basis on which the preferred option at the draft stage was selected. 

    Q4 2019​

    ​RIT-T Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) published - The PACR addresses PADR consultation responses and determines the final preferred option.

    Announcement of  joint-underwriting of up to $102 million to support the construction upgrade of the NSW–Queensland Interconnector (QNI) by TransGrid.

    Detailed design and site investigations.

    ​Q1 2020

    ​Australian Energy Regulator (AER) RIT-T determination (March 2020).

    Regulator approval of Contingent Project Application (CPA) (April 2020).