Earlwood to Summer Hill cable project

Earlwood to Summer Hill cable project - a similar cable project 
Ausgrid is replacing underground electricity cables that run between our substations at Earlwood and Summer Hill. The existing 33,000 volt cables are nearing the end of their service life and need to be replaced so Ausgrid can maintain a safe and reliable power supply to the area in the future.

Project need

The existing 33,000 volt underground cables are nearing the end of their service life and are to be replaced.  The cables are connected to a substation at Summer Hill (known as Dulwich Hill zone substation) which Ausgrid is also planning to replace with a new facility next door.

The existing substation and cables have been in service since 1966 and are a key part of the electricity network supplying power to Summer Hill and surrounding suburbs. Ausgrid constantly monitors its infrastructure and has identified the need to replace the cables and substation in the coming years before they become unreliable.

Planning cable projects

As Ausgrid plans this project, there area number of factors to consider, including:

  • community impacts
  • availability of space around existing utility services
  • environmental and heritage impacts
  • cost (minimising the impact on electricity bills)
  • technical feasibility
  • traffic impacts
  • crossing Cooks River and the Bankstown railway line.

Project status

Community engagement timeline

Project approval process and environmental assessment

Ausgrid is responsible for assessing and approving works for the Earlwood to Summer Hill cable project. This process includes preparation of an environmental assessment (Review of Environmental Factors or REF). The REF includes a range of specialist studies and input from the community, councils and other authorities.

The REF was on exhibition for comment from Monday 22 May to Monday 19 June 2017 and Ausgrid encouraged feedback electronically, by email, phone or directly at a drop in session during this time. The REF was available at the Emanuel Tsardoulias Community Library in Dulwich Hill, Ausgrid's office at 570 George Street, Sydney and via the link at the top right hand side of this page (where it can still be viewed). A drop in session was also held at the Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club on Tuesday 6 June 2017 for interested community to attend and ask questions.

While Ausgrid received no formal submissions, Ausgrid considered feedback as part of the process of assessing the project for construction approval. The project has been approved for construction and the final REF can be viewed via the link on the right hand side of the page. The project is now in the construction stage.

 

 

Community engagement

Initially Ausgrid's planning focused on potential ways to cross the Cooks River and the Bankstown Line railway as this would have a significant influence on the potential cable routes. Potential options for these crossings included boring underneath the river or attaching the cables to existing bridge structures. A range of initial route options were developed for further investigation and Ausgrid began consultation with the then Canterbury Council (now Canterbury-Bankstown Council).

Ausgrid investigated these routes with consideration of a range of factors (see the 'Planning cable projects' section above) and further consulted with Council. Following this process, Ausgrid refined the potential routes to a number of feasible options for community feedback.

On 21 June and 23 June, 2016, Ausgrid held two information sessions, one at the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club and the other at the Ashfield Civic Centre, to seek local information and community feedback on potential cable routes. Interested community members were invited to the workshop directly through newsletters, social media and advertisements in local newspapers.  At the community information sessions, members of the project team gave two presentations -  on project need and what to expect during construction of a typical underground 33,000 Volt cable project.

A summary of feedback received at the information sessions and via direct feedback to Ausgrid after the sessions was prepared and this feedback was considered by the project team as part of the process to refine the options to a proposed route and to plan the project to minimise impacts during construction. The presentations and a summary of the feedback from the sessions and from direct contact with Ausgrid can be viewed in the community information and presentations section.

Ausgrid sought comments on the project's environmental assessment (REF) which was on exhibition from Monday 22 May to Monday 19 June 2017. The REF was available at the Emanuel Tsardoulias Community Library in Dulwich Hill, Ausgrid's office at 570 George Street, Sydney and online). A drop in session was also held at the Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club on Tuesday 6 June 2017 for interested community to attend and ask questions. While Ausgrid received no formal submissions, all feedback was considered as part of the process to assess the project for approval.

Ausgrid has now prepared an environmental assessment (Review of Environmental Factors or REF) which includes a range of specialist studies and input from the community, councils and other authorities. The final REF can viewed via the link on the right hand side of the page. 

Ausgrid welcomes feedback throughout all stages of the project.

Foord Avenue bridge survey

As a section of the cable route crosses the Cooks River on the Foord Avenue bridge, we want to minimise impacts on the community when we complete this crossing. While the new cables would be installed under the bridge and would not cause any permanent changes to the bridge, it will be necessary to temporarily close the bridge as crews work to install conduits (plastic pipes) that will house the cables underneath the bridge and on the bridge approaches, as well as associated structural repair work. 

Ausgrid conducted a survey between 27 July and 17 August 2017 to find out more about how the Foord Avenue bridge is used in order to plan the work in way which minimises the impact on bridge users. The survey was advertised on Facebook, the project webpage, distributed to local community groups and signs were also placed on the bridge with survey details.

The survey closed on 17 August 2017. Ausgrid has prepared a summary of the survey findings which can be viewed via the link on the right hand side of the page.

As construction planning progresses Ausgrid will consider the survey findings in order to minimise potential impacts on bridge users as much as possible. The community will be updated as construction plans are finalised. 

Work on the bridge is planned to take place in late 2017. 

Please contact us via the contact details to the right if you have any questions. Ausgrid welcomes your feedback at any time. 

What to expect during construction

Like any construction work, the project will involve noise and dust, and temporary traffic and parking disruptions, which we will work to reduce as much as possible. Any potential impacts are assessed as part of the environmental assessment (known as a Review of Environmental Factors or REF) and measures will be put in place to minimise impacts on the local environment.Click here to view an information graphic showing the stages of cable laying. Construction will generally include:

  • digging trenches, typically 800mm wide, to lay conduits (plastic pipes) to hold the new cables
  • filling trenches and resurfacing the area temporarily
  • trenching and temporary restoration of affected areas takes about three days outside each property depending on ground and weather conditions
  • excavating underground joint bays every approximately 900 metres along the route in the road to feed in and join sections of cables together
  • feeding in and joining the sections of cables takes two to four months to complete at the joint bays
  • work on the joint bays usually occurs in distinct stages
  • final restoration of affected roads and other areas in consultation with council.