Transend, which operates the electricity transmission system in Tasmania, Australia, has commissioned the first upgraded transmission circuit in its A$20 million augmentation of the electricity transmission system between Burnie, Port Latta and Smithton.

Mike Hunnibell, general manager of Transend’s transmission services, said: The project was a significant investment in the northwest to help ensure that the transmission system had sufficient capacity to meet the anticipated increase in demand for electricity over the next 15 years.

The new Burnie-Smithton 110,000 volt (110 kV) circuit has already increased the carrying capacity of the transmission system in the northwest. It has also improved the reliability and security of the electricity supply to the area. We have now started work to upgrade the Burnie-Port Latta-Smithton 110 kV circuit.

Before Transend started the work, the peak load in the northwest was about 42MW during the summer. The conductors only had a maximum operating design temperature of 49°C.

When Transend completes the project, the conductors will be able to operate up to 65°C, which will allow power flows in the northwest of up to 65MW in summer.