New Rockdale substation project

Rockdale substation beige option artist impression 

Ausgrid is constructing a new substation on our land at 103-107 Bryant Street, Rockdale to replace the adjacent existing zone substation. 

Project need

The current substation entered service in 1971 and while it has been a reliable part of the local electricity supply for Rockdale and surrounding suburbs, it needs to be replaced before the equipment becomes unreliable. The 132,000 volt cables that will power the new substation were installed through the site as part of an earlier project. There would also be street excavation near the substation for 11,000 volt cables to supply power from the new facility to the community. 

This zone substation, like other zone substations, is needed as part of the power supply chain that delivers power from where it is generated to electricity users. Electricity comes into a substation at high voltage (in this case 132,000 volts) and is converted to 11,000 volts for distribution into the community. Substation equipment includes transformers that convert electricity to lower voltages and switching gear that allows us to safely operate and maintain the electricity network. Smaller substations, such as the ones you may have seen in large green boxes by the side of the street, or mounted on the side of power poles, then convert power to voltages suitable for use in homes and businesses.

Project status

Following consultation with the community, Ausgrid has finalised our plans and the project has been approved for construction. Haslin Constructions Pty Ltd has started construction of the new zone substation at 103-107 Bryant Street, Rockdale.

Construction will take approximately twelve months. Work will then be done in stages over about two years to install equipment within the substation, connect cables in the street near the new substation and decommission the old substation.

Ausgrid will decide whether to sell the site of the existing substation once the new one is in service.

Building design

Ausgrid received feedback from residents and from Rockdale City Council. Ausgrid and architectural firm Kann Finch have worked to address this feedback in the construction plans. A basic building structure has been developed to accommodate the required equipment in the new substation within the available land. Architectural design has then been applied to give the building a character that reflects modern building styles in the local area.

The architect’s sketches of the building can be seen above and in the latest newsletter (see link top right). There is also a building profile that can viewed via the top right links. For more architect sketched views, click here and here.

Of the two colour schemes initially proposed by the architects, the beige or ‘paperbark’ scheme has been selected for construction. There was no colour preference from the community, so this scheme was chosen as the best fit for the local area. The colour scheme can also be viewed via a link (top right).

The exterior materials will be a combination of Colorbond cladding and masonry with a new black ‘diplomat’ style of fence (similar to those around schools) around the old and new site. The substation equipment will be enclosed within the substation structures. This is different to the existing substation where there is a large open equipment yard.

Community involvement

While the basic size and shape of the building is necessary to meet the community’s electricity requirements, Ausgrid sought comments and suggestions on the colour scheme and textures for the building to help us finalise the substation plans. 

Ausgrid continues to welcome questions and feedback at any time as the project progresses. Please get in touch via the contacts at right.

Project approval process and environmental assessment

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Ausgrid is the determining authority for this project. An environmental assessment (known as a Review of Environmental Factors or REF) was prepared for the project in accordance with Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and Clause 228 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

The REF investigates the potential environmental impacts associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of the proposed substation. It also recommends mitigation measures as required to ensure any impacts are at acceptable levels.

Following preparation of the REF, Ausgrid assessed the project for construction approval based on information contained in the REF and any other relevant documents. Construction began in September 2015.

What to expect during construction

Like on any construction site there will be typical building impacts such as noise and dust as a result of work on and around the site. Any potential impacts are being assessed as part of an environmental assessment (known as a Review of Environmental Factors or REF) and measures put in place to minimise impacts on the local environment.

The work with most significant impact would typically be during the first twelve months of the project as the builder carries out earthworks and building construction. Installation of new equipment within the new structure would be of lower impact with Ausgrid staff working predominantly within the building.

Ausgrid does not plan to interrupt local electricity supplies as part of construction of the new substation.