The Rockdale substation entered service in 1971 and while it was a reliable part of the local electricity supply for Rockdale and surrounding suburbs, it needed to be replaced before the equipment became unreliable. The replacement also involved installing new underground 132,000 volt cables and new 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.
Ausgrid received feedback on the design of the substation from residents and from Rockdale City Council. Ausgrid and architectural firm Kann Finch worked to address this feedback in the construction plans and a basic building structure was developed to accommodate the required equipment in the new substation within the available land. Architectural design has also been applied to give the building a character that reflects modern building styles in the local area.
Ausgrid has completed construction of the new zone substation at 103-107 Bryant Street, Rockdale. Work to install equipment within the substation, connect cables in the street near the new substation and decommission the old substation is continuing.
Ausgrid will decide whether to sell the site of the existing substation once the new one is in service.
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.
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 occurred during the first twelve months of the project as the builder carried out earthworks and building construction. Installation of new equipment within the new structure is ongoing and is 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.