The Australian Energy Regulator has approved TransGrid’s Contingent Project Application (CPA) to upgrade the Queensland- New South Wales (NSW) Interconnector (QNI).

The upgraded interconnector is expected to increase the power transfer capacity between the Queensland and New South Wales while providing reliable, lowest cost energy to customers.

New South Wales Energy Minister Matt Kean said: “The approval marks an important step in implementing the state’s Electricity Strategy and the landmark $2 billion NSW-Commonwealth MoU, and demonstrated the Government’s commitment to securing future energy supplies for NSW.

“Completing the QNI upgrade early is critical to ensure NSW can access affordable and reliable power following the closure of the Liddell power station in April 2023.”

The QNI upgrade project, which enables more efficient sharing in the National Energy Market, involves the installation of static volt amp reactive compensators (SVCs) to provide greater voltage stability and regulation.

QNI upgrade project to create 150 construction jobs

Expected to create 150 jobs during construction, the project also includes modernising the substations, transmission towers and lines.

TransGrid CEO Paul Italiano said: “The QNI project has been fast tracked with the support of the Federal and NSW Governments which provided a joint agreement to facilitate the upgrade.

“While early works have been underway since October last year, we are looking forward to breaking ground on the civil construction work in coming weeks and delivering this project on time.”

The scope of work also includes replacing transmission towers with poles, installing new poles along existing spans, strengthening existing towers, and transmission line insulator works.