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ElectraNet to undertake transmission development on the Lower Eyre Peninsula

South Australia’s high-voltage electricity transmission network service provider ElectraNet has identified Whyalla as the key to increasing the demand for electricity on the Lower Eyre Peninsula.

Although the Eyre Peninsula has significant renewable energy and mineral resources, currently there is limited electricity transmission infrastructure to support its development.

Projects such as further minerals exploration and the solar oasis project may not be able to go ahead without these electrical connections.

ElectraNet acting chief executive officer Rainer Korte said ElectraNet was currently looking to progress the connection enquiries for proponents with potential iron ore mining developments.

However this would see significant increases to the electricity demand on the Lower Eyre Peninsula to support the developments’ infrastructure and services.

“The potential demand increase is at locations geographically dispersed over a wide area and is well beyond the capacity limits of the existing transmission infrastructure,” Mr Korte said.

The company released a draft report on options on how to reinforce the Lower Eyre Peninsula electricity transmission network on January 8.

The Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) represents the second stage of the National Electricity Market consultation process for application of the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) for potential reinforcement of the Lower Eyre Peninsula.

“The draft report shows that a new 275 kV transmission line from Cultana near Whyalla is the most economical solution to supplying increased demand for electricity on the Lower Eyre Peninsula if a new load of sufficient magnitude connects,” Mr Korte said.

“Undertaking the RIT-T assessment is part of ElectraNet’s commitment to ensuring timely and efficient electricity transmission infrastructure investment.

‘However, the actual timing of transmission reinforcement on the Lower Eyre Peninsula will depend on when a proponent is ready to make a financial commitment to connect a new load of sufficient magnitude.”

Until adequate financing can be sought, Mr Korte said its commitment would be restricted.

“While we will continue to actively work with the proponents of new mining loads, ElectraNet cannot progress the RIT-T to conclusion or proceed with the transmission reinforcement until a financial commitment is achieved,” Mr Korte said.

ElectraNet welcome submissions from interested parties on the PADR, which is available at www.electranet.com.au.

Submissions close March 1, 2013 and can be emailed to network development senior manager Hugo Klingenberg at consultation@electranet.com.au.

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