Smart valves boost Transgrid renewable energy

  • September 21, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Australian transmission operator Transgrid is using smart energy technology to improve the flow of renewable energy between Victoria in New South Wales and the ACT (Australian Capital Territory).

Transgrid is using technology at its substations at Yass and Stockdill in the ACT to unlock additional energy to power more than 30,000 homes. The substations are being upgraded as part of the Victoria to NSW Interconnector (VNI) project.

Executive general manager of delivery Craig Stallan said the VNI project was now more than eighty per cent complete.

“As part of the VNI project we’re upgrading the Yass and Stockdill substations to unlock an additional 170MW of energy, enough power for an additional 30,000 customer homes,” Stallan said. “Six smart-valve units have been delivered to Yass which will provide 50MW of that additional energy.”

Nine smart-valve units from North Carolina-based Smart Wires have already been commissioned at Transgrid’s Stockdill substation and the six at Yass will be installed by the end of September with testing to get underway in October. Transgrid says it is the first large scale user of smart-valve technology in Australia.

By using the technology, Transgrid can upgrade substations using existing transmission infrastructure. The smart-valve units redirect power off overloaded transmission lines onto lines with spare capacity.

“This is clever technology which benefits both customers and the environment and will allow renewable energy from Victoria to flow into NSW and the ACT when demand is greatest,” Stallan said. “Using smart valves means no new lines are needed, so extra energy is unlocked with minimal environmental and community impact associated with building new lines or upgrading existing ones.”

Commissioning of the units at Yass substation is expected by the end of 2022. The VNI upgrade is scheduled for completion in December.