EnergyConnect is an energy infrastructure project that will lower power bills for homes and businesses and create 1500 jobs, primarily across regional NSW.

The project includes a new 900km electricity transmission line, known as an interconnector, that will connect power grids across three Australian states, driving competition in the wholesale electricity market.

The interconnector is being built between Wagga Wagga in New South Wales and Robertstown in South Australia, with a connection to Red Cliffs in Victoria.

TransGrid is partnering with ElectraNet to deliver EnergyConnect, with TransGrid building the NSW section. 

Why is the project needed? 

The Australian energy landscape is transitioning to a greater mix of low-emission renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. At the same time, consumers are demanding lower power bills and more secure and reliable service. 

EnergyConnect will deliver the infrastructure required to support this transition by connecting the energy grids of NSW, SA and Victoria. These connections will expand the wholesale electricity market across the three states, meaning increased reliability and security of electricity supply and lower power bills.

Operating at total capacity, EnergyConnect will be capable of supplying 8.5% of NSW's total average maximum daily demand.

What is happening now? 

Early works are due to start soon in the Buronga and Wentworth area (NSW-Western section).

The team will be completing site assessments, environmental surveys and geotechnical investigations to better understand site conditions and inform detailed design.

There will be very little disruption to nearby residents and businesses, with most works taking place on private properties.

TransGrid is following all NSW Health COVID-19 guidelines.

The EIS for the NSW-Western Section is complete and available on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Major Projects Planning Portal. TransGrid is working with the Department to provide any further information required.

To support community engagement, TransGrid has developed a Community Guide to the EIS.

TransGrid has lodged a Planning Application with Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning  (DELWP) regarding proposed works in EnergyConnect’s Victorian Section. The application will be on public display until 30 August. For more information view the Planning Application.

Please see the 'Landholder and community engagement' section below to find out more about our ongoing community engagement activities.

To see the latest project timeline, please see the 'Key dates' section below.

  • Landowner support services

    We recognise the EnergyConnect project may have increased the level of stress and anxiety experienced by landowners, and have engaged an external service provider – Assure Programs – to provide landowners with short-term support and counselling.

    About Assure Programs

    Assure Programs' psychologists are professionally qualified with a minimum of five years’ post-registration experience. Like doctors, Assure Programs counsellors are bound by a professional Code of Ethics preventing the disclosure of personal information without written consent. 

    The service is confidential and anonymous. TransGrid does not receive any information about who uses these services.

    Sessions generally last one hour and most issues can be resolved within a few sessions. When long-term advice or counselling is required, the counsellor will consider the most appropriate referral option and make a recommendation.

    There is no cost to landowners in accessing this service. 

    How to make an appointment

    If you are a landowner, and would like confidential support and counselling, we encourage you to access the services Assure Programs provides. 

    You can book an appointment by calling Assure on 1800 808 374, or you can request an appointment online:

    When you call Assure, please let the team know that you are from TransGrid and the business unit is “landowners”. This will ensure you are able to get the support you need. You are not expected to provide the reason – this is a conversation saved for your session with the psychologist.

    In addition, the NSW Centre for Property Acquisition has free support and counselling services available to any landowners affected by an acquisition. For more information, call 1300 029 146 or visit their website.

  • Australia's changing energy market

    Several factors are driving the evolution of the energy market to low-emission renewable energy, including:

    • access to new generation sources as coal-fired plants close

    • government commitments to reduce carbon emissions

    • the potential for renewable generation to lower energy prices

    • demand for a more reliable energy supply.

    EnergyConnect is one of Australia's largest energy infrastructure projects and a key element of the Australian Energy Market Operator's Integrated System Plan. As a result, the NSW Government has declared it Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI).

    The interconnector will be built near identified Renewable Energy Zones to connect future renewable energy projects to the grid.

  • Landholder and community engagement

    We have been actively engaging with landholders and communities since November 2018 to capture the needs and views of stakeholders directly and indirectly affected by the proposal, and help develop the proposed transmission route. 

    Your feedback is important and can be made at any time through our interactive map of the project

    To speak to a project representative, phone 1800 49 06 66 (free call), or email 

    Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 

    The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) accepted submissions on the EIS for the NSW-Western Section until 10 December 2020. TransGrid is now preparing a response to submissions received. The EIS is available on DPIE's Major Projects Planning Portal.

    TransGrid has developed a Community Guide to the EIS and a digital overview of the NSW-Western Section to support community engagement.

    Office of the Landowner and Community Advocate
    TransGrid has established the Office of the Landowner and Community Advocate to help us implement the best possible landowner and community engagement practices across all major transmission projects.

    The Office is led by the former Commissioner for NSW Fair Trading, Rod Stowe, who - as Landowner and Community Advocate - has agreed to advise TransGrid on our engagement practices and processes.

    Mr Stowe's advice will ensure we uphold best practice engagement and always treat everyone fairly and with respect.

    Find out more

  • Regulatory approvals

    As part of the regulatory approval process, TransGrid was required to demonstrate EnergyConnect’s benefits to consumers using a three-part market benefits test. This Regulatory Investment Test – Transmission (RIT-T) is the public economic cost benefit test administered by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) on all projects of more than $6 million. 

    Through the EnergyConnect RIT-T process, all network and non-network solution options from a technical and economic perspective were assessed by: 

    • informing stakeholders of investment needs and proposed options

    • testing the market for alternative and more efficient solutions

    • explaining to stakeholders the basis on which the preferred option was selected.

    The AER approved the RIT-T in January 2020 and the rigorous assessment of the forecast project costs has helped to ensure consumers pay no more than is needed to build the new interconnector.

    Subsequent to the RIT-T, a Contingent Project Application (CPA), or funding application, was submitted to the AER. The CPA is a thorough assessment of the proposed project costs to ensure they are prudent and efficient. The AER invited submissions from energy consumers and other interested parties.

    The AER approved TransGrid’s final CPA in May 2021. 

  • Environmental and planning approvals

    The NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces declared the NSW section of EnergyConnect as Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) in August 2019. 

    Under the NSW Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act), all CSSI applications are required to go through a comprehensive assessment process with extensive community involvement. This assessment process is detailed on the NSW Planning Portal

    The NSW section of EnergyConnect will be assessed in two sections, with the current status and relevant documentation including Scoping Reports and Secretary's Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) available online: 

    NSW-Western Section from the SA/NSW border to Buronga through to the NSW/VIC border

    NSW-Eastern Section from Buronga to Wagga Wagga

    This project has been determined as a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) and will be assessed under the bilateral agreement between the NSW and Commonwealth Governments. 

    Find details of the referral determination by searching ‘EnergyConnect’ on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Referrals List Portal.

    TransGrid has lodged a Planning Application with Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning  (DELWP) regarding proposed works in EnergyConnect’s Victorian Section. The application will be on public display until 30 August. For more information view the Planning Application.

  • Key dates
    ​Preliminary investigations and project scoping
    ​From 2018
    ​Community and landowner consultation
    ​From 2019
    ​Project approvals
    ​From early 2020 - mid 2022
    ​From late 2021 (NSW Western section)
    ​Project commissioning
    By 2023

  • Online resources
  • Contact us
    Toll-free phone number: 1800 49 06 66

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