Powerlink has recently published a ‘Project Assessment Conclusions Report’ (PACR) to address the secondary systems condition risks in the Gladstone South area.
Gladstone South Substation, located approximately 5km southeast of the Gladstone CBD, was established in the early 1960s as a 132kV injection point for the 66kV regional distribution network owned by Ergon Energy (part of the Energy Queensland Group). A second interconnected 132kV substation was established on an adjacent site in 2002 to meet a growing demand for electricity in the local area. The QAL West Substation, also established in 2002, is one of three injection points for the Queensland Aluminium (QAL) refinery in Gladstone. Planning studies have confirmed there is a long-term requirement to continue to supply the existing electricity services provided by Gladstone South and QAL West Substations to support a diverse range of customer needs in the area.
The secondary systems at Gladstone South and QAL West Substations broadly perform the functions of transmission element protection, data collection, remote (and local) control and monitoring. Commissioned almost 20 years ago, most of these systems are reaching the end of their technical service lives and are no longer supported by the manufacturer, with limited spares available. Increasing failure rates, along with the increased time to rectify the faults due to the obsolescence of the equipment significantly affects the availability and reliability of these systems and their ability to continue to meet the requirements of the National Electricity Rules (the Rules).
In February 2020 Powerlink published a ‘Project Specification Consultation Report’ (PSCR) identifying the proposed preferred option to address the risks and claiming exemption from producing a ‘Project Assessment Draft Report’ as allowed for under NER Clause 5.16.4(z1).
The PACR recommends full replacement of all secondary systems at Gladstone South and QAL West Substations in new buildings by April 2024. The indicative capital cost of this option is $23.8 million in 2018/19 prices. Powerlink is the proponent of this network project.
In accordance with the requirements of the Rules, a summary of the PACR has been made available on AEMO’s website. A copy of the PACR can be obtained from the Powerlink Website on the RIT-T Consultations page or by emailing email@example.com.
Any enquiries in the first instance should be directed to:
Manager Network and Alternate Solutions
PO Box 1193
VIRGINIA, QLD 4014
Tel: (+617) 3860 2328