Work begins on SA-NSW Interconnector

15 Feb 2022

The installation of the first transmission poles for the $2.4 billion SA-NSW Interconnector marks the beginning of major construction work for Project EnergyConnect and the transformation of South Australia into a renewable energy export superpower.

Project EnergyConnect will drive billions of dollars of investment in renewable energy in South Australia, create thousands of new jobs and further lower the of price of electricity for households and businesses across the state,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“Project EnergyConnect is exactly the type of major economic investment that South Australia needs if we are to continue to lead the nation for economic growth and continue to grow job opportunities now and into the future.

“Project EnergyConnect will be a freeway for renewable energy produced in South Australia and exported to New South Wales, reducing electricity prices and fuelling economic growth in both states. Importantly, it will strengthen the power grid, so we can securely add more renewable energy whilst addressing Labor’s legacy of blackouts and price increases.”

It will take 600,000 working hours to raise around 380 towers weighing 10,000 tonnes along the 206km route to the NSW border. These will be set in 15,000 cubic meters of concrete reinforced with 1,500 tonnes of steel. The towers will carry 2,500 kilometers of wire conductor – which is nearly the distance from Adelaide to Darwin.

Deputy Premier Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the beginning of Project EnergyConnect marks the beginning of a renewable energy jobs boom in the mid-north that will deliver our target of net-100% renewables by 2030.

“At 900 kilometres in length the $2.4 billion Project EnergyConnect will be the longest high voltage transmission line built in Australia and deliver a renewable energy jobs boom along its route,” said Deputy Premier Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“We’ve already seen this with Neoen last month commencing the Goyder South project, near Burra.

“The Marshall Government has already delivered $421 in annual savings for South Australian households and independent modelling shows EnergyConnect delivering another $100 of savings for the average family.

“Energy intensive small businesses in South Australia are modelled to make even greater savings on their power bills driving investment, economic growth and job creation.

“The Liberal Party promised this massive project in the lead up to the 2018 state election to drive down electricity prices and strengthen South Australia’s fragile grid whilst simultaneous increasing the use of renewable energy.

“The Labor Party promised a SA-NSW interconnector 20 years ago, but instead delivered the highest electricity prices in the world and a statewide blackout.

“After the Liberal Party unveiled our energy policy in the lead up to the 2018 election the Labor Party did a spectacular backflip and began opposing this vital infrastructure project, calling it a “terrible idea”.

“The full costings and detailed modelling of the Marshall Government’s energy policies were released five months before the last state election and included a $200 million interconnector fund to ensure the SA-NSW interconnector was delivered.

“In contrast, five weeks out from our next election, the Labor Party continues to hide the full costing and detailed modelling of its experimental $1 billion hydrogen power plant, just as they hid the true cost of the over $600 million dirty diesel generators before the last election.

“If ever built by Labor, Peter Malinauskas’ $1 billion taxpayer funded white elephant will actually drive up the price of electricity for South Australian households.

“The Labor Party’s record on energy is disgraceful and this close to the election its policies are still half baked – Labor remains a dangerous risk to energy security and power prices in South Australia.

“Peter Malinauskas must no longer be allowed to hide the modelling and full costing of his appalling waste of taxpayer money. Expert costings and advice show it is the wrong power plant for South Australia and he’s still just guessing on energy.

“Peter Malinauskas has been hiding his full modelling and costings for his experimental hydrogen plant for 329 days.

“Every day Peter Malinauskas appears before the media he should be asked to release the full modelling and costings for his $1 billion white elephant.

“Every day he refuses the media should report Peter Malinauskas continues to hide the modelling and full costings of his $1 billion white elephant.”