Transgrid has recently published a Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) for increasing capacity for generation in the Molong and Parkes area of Central West NSW.
The Molong and Parkes area has seen significant growth in renewable generation connections to the transmission network, as part of the wider energy market transition. New renewable generators have connected or are planning to connect to the network west of our Molong 132/66 kV substation. Nineteen solar and wind generation farms in the area with a combined output of 1,273 MW are already in service, with a further 1,148 MW of generation committed or in advanced stage.
Line 94T (Molong – Orange North) plays a central role in transmitting the electricity from these renewable generators in the Molong and Parkes area to the load in Orange. It connects Molong substation to Orange North switching station, which in turn supplies Orange city, Cadia Mine and surrounding areas.
The current rating of Line 94T is constraining renewable generation in the Molong and Parkes area. The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO’s) Monthly Constraint Reports since September 2021 have consistently identified Line 94T as a top 10 constraint on the National Electricity Market (NEM). AEMO’s latest Annual NEM Constraint Report for 2022 identified the Line 94T constraint as the second highest binding impact network constraint. Network modelling shows thermal overloading of Line 94T is expected under normal system conditions with current levels of in-service and committed generation dispatched to their maximum capacities.
Transgrid have identified the opportunity to relieve this constraint and realise net market benefits by avoiding curtailment of low-cost renewable generation in the Molong and Parkes area. This PADR finds that options involving restring Line 94T with higher rated conductor on existing structures are preferred at this stage of the RIT-T.
Transgrid welcomes written submissions on materials contained in this PADR. Submissions are due on 2 August 2023.
In accordance with the requirements of the National Electricity Rules, a summary of the PSCR is made available on the AEMO website. A copy of the PADR can be obtained from Transgrid’s website or by emailing email@example.com