Upgrades ahead for power supply

ELECTRICITY: Scott Haynes speaks at the 2019 EPLGA Conference last week in Kimba.
ELECTRICITY: Scott Haynes speaks at the 2019 EPLGA Conference last week in Kimba.

Power supply to the entire Eyre Peninsula could receive a $220 million upgrade within the next three years.

Electranet planner Scott Haynes was on hand at the Eyre Peninsula Local Government Association Conference last week to discuss a proposed upgrade of the Eyre Peninsula transmission line in 2020.

The current power supply to the entire Eyre Peninsula comes through a single 132kv line from Cultana to Yadnarie, with lines then running to Port Lincoln and Wudinna.

Mr Haynes said the single line resulted in major blackouts across the region, and the infrastructure was due for an upgrade.

After years of discussion, he said the preferred solution to improve power reliability across the Eyre Peninsula was replacing the single Cultana to Yadnarie line with a double circuit line with the capacity to upgrade to 275kv.

A 132kv double circuit line would then run to Port Lincoln.

Mr Haynes said the upgrade would improve reliability and capacity, allowing more wind and solar development and the possibility of future upgrades for mining projects.

The double circuit system would also prevent routine maintenance disrupting power supply.

He said the upgrade would have a "negligible" affect on power prices.

Mr Haynes said Electranet was "getting very near the end of the regulatory process" and could have the project approved in March.

Construction for the upgrades would start in mid 2020 and take about 18 months.

Mr Haynes said the project would create more than 200 construction jobs, and council areas along the power lines could see the benefit through accommodation and other forms of assistance with the project.

The power lines would run along current tracks as much as possible, which would see construction through the district council areas of Cleve and Franklin Harbour.