THE $217 million TransGrid Queensland-NSW Interconnector (QNI) is now 80 per cent complete, with hopes the final stage could be completed by the end of the year.
More than 280 jobs have been created throughout Tamworth, Armidale and Dumaresq as part of its construction, and the next group to step up will be in charge of completing the electrical phase of the project.
Local crane operators, fencers, accommodation providers and hygiene, safety, electrical and concrete companies have all been involved in the massive infrastructure build so far, but the civil works step has now ended.
Once complete, the interconnector should make life easier for businesses and households across NSW, with the project designed to significantly lower energy costs.
The replacement and upgrade of all towers along the route has now been finished, but construction on the Tamworth, Dumaresq and Armidale substations continues.
TransGrid executive manager of works delivery Craig Stallan said the latest achievement is a major step towards completing the QNI.
"We are very pleased to have achieved 99 per cent of the transmission line upgrade to 120 degrees celsius, which allows higher power transfers while maintaining statutory ground clearances for the higher temperatures," he said.
"This technology will optimise the real power flows on the transmission lines and enables us to control the power flows between NSW and Queensland - as well as providing grid stability."
He said completing the work has been difficult given the uncertainty of COVID-19 restrictions has affected the workforce, as well as the fact new technology has been incorporated throughout the construction.
A series of 90 tonne transformers were brought in earlier this year, and now capacitor banks, static VAR compensators (SVCs), SVC transformers and associated switch bays have also been delivered.
The major upgrade only got the tick of approval last year, but was fast-tracked after gaining approval from the Australian Energy Regulator, following heavy support from the NSW and Commonwealth governments
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