Ausgrid, through its contractors Taihan and Subakette and UEA, has replaced 132,000 Volt underground cables between substations at Homebush and Rozelle via substations in Croydon and Leichhardt to maintain the supply of power to our electricity network across the inner west area.
This project involves replacing existing fluid filled cables which currently supply electricity to Sydney’s inner west area so we can maintain a reliable electricity supply in the future. The existing cables are over 45 years old and need to be retired before they become unreliable. The route also allows the cables to supply power to the new Croydon substation and the recently redeveloped Leichhardt substation.
Planning a cable route can take a number of years. There are a number of factors to consider when we plan the cable route. These include:
- public health and safety
- availability of space around existing underground utility services
- environmental impact
- cost (minimising the impact on electricity bills)
- technical feasibility
- traffic considerations.
The cable route was finalised following consultation which began in March 2012. Difficulties in crossing the Lilyfield Valley, near the CityWest Link, and changes to the technical requirements for the project resulted in further planning to finalise the cable route in the Leichhardt and Lilyfield areas.
A range of factors including; health, community, environment, safety requirements and project cost effectiveness were considered in the finalising the cable route.
Construction is now complete and the cables have been tested. Commissioning of the new cables is expected to be completed by end of August 2016.
Ausgrid is working with council and contractors to plan and complete permanent reinstatement of roads. See the 'reinstatement of roads' section below.
Ausgrid is the approving authority for these works under the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act. As part of the approval process, Ausgrid conducted environmental assessments for this project, which included preparing specialist studies and considering relevant input from the community, councils and other authorities.
Engagement with the community started in March 2012. Difficulties in crossing the Lilyfield Valley, near the CityWest Link, and changes to the technical requirements for the project resulted in further planning to finalise the cable route in the Leichhardt and Lilyfield areas.
Consultation has included: newsletters to residents and businesses along the proposed route, door knocks, information displays and meetings with residents, businesses, community groups, councils and other stakeholders.
Ausgrid has continued to consult with the community during construction of the project. If you have any questions or comments about the project, please contact us any time (see project contacts top right).
Common project questions to date have related to electric and magnetic fields (EMF) and whether it is safe to operate these cables in the community. Ausgrid takes the health and safety of the community and our staff seriously and has planned this project in accordance with relevant health guidelines. An independent review of the predicted fields along the complete route has been completed for the environmental assessment.
Independent modelling of the predicted magnetic fields (electric fields are shielded under the ground) for the proposed cables predicts that there will be little or no change to the field levels found now at any property. Please see top right for the link to the document, Aurecon electric and magnetic field assessment or click here.
Ausgrid is working with the councils along the route to plan the permanent reinstatement of roads and in and in some areas Ausgrid will be paying council to do the work on its behalf.
People along the cable route will be notified when this work is due to begin as work is scheduled progressively by councils or Ausgrid's contractors.
An information graphic outlining the construction process is available by clicking on the link. As with any construction work, there will be some noise and dust, and temporary traffic and parking disruptions, which we will make every effort to keep to a minimum.
Construction generally will involve:
- excavation of a 1.5 metre trench in the road and conduits (plastic pipes) laid in the trench to hold the new cables
- steel road plates placed over the trench outside of working hours to maintain normal traffic flow
- a temporary asphalt surface laid once trenching is finished to enable normal road use to resume
- construction will be completed progressively along the road. Depending on ground conditions, around 30 metres of work will be completed each day, which means the work zone will be in front of most properties for several days
- excavation of underground joint bays every 700 to 1000 metres in the road to feed in and join the cables together – occurs in three distinct stages and takes around three months to complete
- at some locations bores may be used to cross major roads, rail and water ways e.g. Iron Cove Canal
- permanent resurfacing to occur at the end of the project in consultation with the relevant local council.