Transgrid has recently published a Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) for managing risk on Line 966 (Armidale-Koolkhan). Publication of this PACR represents the final step in the Regulatory Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process.
Line 966 is a single-circuit 132 kV line with a route length of 176.5 km that was commissioned in 1961. Line 966 is comprised of 600 structures, 482 of which are wood pole structures.
The line is a key link in the Northern NSW transmission network and its route traverses through grazing land outside Armidale before crossing the Great Dividing Range and passing through the Nymboi-Binderay National Park and finally again through more grazing land south of Grafton. The sections on the outskirts of Armidale are in the highest bushfire consequence category.
Transgrid manages and mitigates bushfire and safety risks to ensure they are below tolerance levels or ‘As Low As Reasonably Practicable’ (‘ALARP’), in accordance with Transgrid’s obligations under the New South Wales Electricity Supply (Safety and Network Management) Regulation 2014 and Transgrid’s Electricity Network Safety Management System (ENSMS). The proposed investment will enable Transgrid to continue to manage and operate this part of the network to a safety and risk mitigation level of ALARP.
The proposed investment will enable TransGrid to continue to manage and operate this part of the network to a safety and risk mitigation level of ALARP. Consequently, it is considered a reliability corrective action under the RIT-T.
Transgrid published a Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR) for managing risk on Line 966 in June 2023.
In the PSCR Transgrid presented three credible network options that would meet the identified need from a technical, commercial, and project delivery perspective. The optimal commercially and technically feasible option presented in this PACR – Option 1 (replace only wood pole structures that are known to be degraded or bushfire impacted)– is the preferred option to meet the identified need.
Three submissions were received in response to the PSCR during the consultation period which closed in June 2023. No additional credible options were identified throughout the consultation process and Transgrid has responded to the submissions. Option 1 (replace only wood pole structures that are known to be degraded or bushfire impacted) remains the preferred option at this stage of the RIT-T process. This option is estimated to have a capital cost of $14.2 million +/- 25% and is expected to be completed by 2024/25. Transgrid is the proponent of the proposed network project.
In accordance with the requirements of the National Electricity Rules, a summary of the PACR is made available on the AEMO website. A copy of the PACR can be obtained from Transgrid’s website or by emailing email@example.com