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Western 500kV Development

Delivering the largest power infrastructure project in Australia

Project Duration
Commenced: 2007
Estimated Completion
Bayswater | Mount Piper | Bannaby | Wollar
Project Overview

TransGrid is a state-owned corporation responsible for high voltage electricity transmission between power stations and electricity suppliers such as Integral Energy, Country Energy, EnergyAustralia and ACTEWAGL in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

The NSW transmission system is the heart of the National Electricity Market and serves the largest state in the market, with 12,656 kilometres of high voltage transmission lines and underground cables, and 91 substations. The electricity is finally delivered to homes, factories and businesses by electricity distributors such as AusGrid, Essential Energy and Endeavour Energy.

The transmission network is operated using the latest control and monitoring equipment to guarantee the highest level of availability and reliability of the high voltage system, while being committed to safety, reliability and environmental sustainability.

TransGrid selected UGL to complete the design and construction of the largest power infrastructure project ever undertaken in Australia. This large scale project included the construction of four new 500/330kV Substations at Bayswater, Mount Piper, Bannaby and Wollar in New South Wales.

The Challenge

To meet the rising energy demands of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, TransGrid initiated the Western 500kV Development Project, their largest ever project undertaken.

The project focused on operating the western backbone of the core NSW transmission network at 500kV rather than 330kV to take advantage of the useful capacity of all the transmission lines that supply the Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong load centres. The Western 500kV project was the result of planning and development by TransGrid over the previous 30 years.

The project included the following works:

• Construction of 500kV switch-yards at Bayswater and Mt Piper
• Construction of new 500/330kV Substations at Bannaby and Wollar
• Upgrading 330kV equipment at Wallerawang 330kV switching station

The Solution

The Western 500kV Development was an impressive project from a design, environmental and stakeholder perspective. Major upgrades were also offered and delivered to the community during the building of the project.

UGL’s scope of work was diverse requiring multiple skills sets, extensive experience and robust processes in order to deliver earthworks, roads, buildings, drainage, civil works, structural works, footings, transformer bays, electrical equipment supply, earthing, cable installation, protection, substation automation, communications and the commissioning of all items.

The UGL team consisted of a project manager, construction managers, project design managers, primary electrical engineers, secondary systems engineers, civil engineers, structural engineers and construction teams.

An open and transparent working relationship between TransGrid and UGL enabled the successful delivery of all four substations completed on schedule and under budget.

Key Outcomes and Benefits

From efficient power transmission to reliable switchgear, high-performance transformers and advanced power transmission systems, UGL has enabled TransGrid to transport electricity safely and efficiently across a wide geographic area.

The Western 500kV Development Project earned TransGrid and UGL the 2011 Engineering Excellence Award for Infrastructure Projects, showcasing UGL’s expertise through its aligned approach with the client to achieve the desired outcomes required.

Through careful project staging and collaborative project management, the four new 500/330kV substations were delivered months ahead of schedule and under budget, saving the taxpayers of NSW millions of dollars.

The implementation of a market leading demand management program also led TransGrid to defer project construction for one year, delivering NSW consumers a cost saving of an additional $14 million.
The Western 500kV Development Project also achieved Highly Commended recognition in the Project Management category of the Engineering Excellence Awards in 2012.

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