Future Energy

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Work needs to start immediately on a plan to guarantee future electricity supplies for Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong according to a major report released by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

AEMO has published a supply roadmap for the next 30 years.

The future closure of the Hunter’s coal-fired power stations will mean the so-called Sydney ring will need to have an additional 5000 megawatts of power available, and be completed by 2027 or sooner.

A northern network option could be built between the Eraring and Bayswater sub-stations and the Waratah super battery included in Hunter improvements.

AEMO CEO Daniel Westerman said Australia was experiencing a complex, rapid and irreversible energy transformation.

“The 2022 integrated system plan informs Australia’s energy transformation, based on an ‘optimal development path’ of essential transmission investments that will efficiently enable low-cost, firmed renewable energy to replace exiting coal generation.”

The Sydney Ring project increases transfer capacity into the Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong area by approximately 5000 MW.

It’s recommended the project should commence immediately, to support REZ development in the state government’s electricity infrastructure roadmap and maintain reliability of supply for NSW consumers.

Sydney Ring is an actionable NSW project for delivery in 2027-28.

The northern part of this project is named the Hunter Transmission Project and may include the Waratah Super Battery and related upgrades.

AEMO recommends that combinations of the following options be considered for the Sydney Ring project:

  • A northern network option – 500 kV link between the Eraring and Bayswater substations, also known as the Hunter Transmission Project.
  • A southern network option – 500 kV link between Bannaby and a new substation in the locality of South.
  • Virtual transmission – a System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) as part of a staged delivery (for
  • example, the Waratah Super Battery).
  • Other minor network upgrades – including, but not limited to, the uprating of relevant existing 330 kV lines (such as Bannaby – Sydney West 330 kV line).

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