Powerlink has recently published a Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) to manage voltages in South East Queensland (SEQ).
Declining minimum flows and an increasing capacitive contribution from more energy efficient appliances and rooftop solar systems in the SEQ area are increasing the likelihood of over-voltage events. Continued reliance on the existing network switching strategy, to ensure ongoing compliance with the National Electricity Rules (the Rules), will result in increasingly onerous reconfigurations of the network that in turn will result in higher market costs, reduced system resilience and compromised system security.
Powerlink commenced the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT T) in August 2021 with the publication of the Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR).
A number of developments since publication of the PSCR impacted both the extent and timing of the voltage management issues, as well as the scale of the potential solutions to address the identified need.
This included the Australian Energy Market Operator’s declaration of a Network Support and Control Ancillary Services gap in southern Queensland in December 2021, after the commencement of this RIT T. Powerlink issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) in May 2022 to request additional system security services to address this gap in the short-term and identifying the longer term solution would be assessed as part of this RIT-T.
As a result the Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR), published in October 2022, included revised and additional options and new scenarios that consider the reactive capability of future market-led developments in SEQ
The preferred option recommended in the PACR that satisfies the RIT T requirements is the installation and commissioning of a 120MVAr bus reactor at Belmont Substation, and network support services from CleanCo Queensland to operate during times of reactive power shortfall. Site works for the reactor will commence in 2023, with the reactor available for service by late 2024.
The estimated capital cost of the proposed RIT-T project is $13.3 million in 2022/23 prices. Powerlink is the proponent of the proposed network project and CleanCo is the proponent of the network support services.
In accordance with clause 5.16.4(x) of the Rules, a summary of the PACR has been made available on AEMO’s website. A copy of the PACR can be obtained from the Powerlink website on the RIT-T Consultations page or by emailing email@example.com.
Any enquiries in the first instance should be directed to:
Manager Network and Alternate Solutions
PO Box 1193
VIRGINIA, QLD 4014
Tel: (+617) 3860 2328