This substation is required as a replacement for the existing Carrington zone substation located on the corner of Hannell and Elizabeth Streets in Carrington and is required to maintain a reliable electricity supply to customers in the area.
Carrington zone substation supplies industrial customers in the Newcastle port area as well as commercial and residential customers in Islington, Tighes Hill, and Maryville. The substation entered service in 1967 and major pieces of its equipment are nearing the end of their service life.
Replacement of this equipment within the existing substation is not feasible given a range of constraints, including the condition of the buildings and the presence of other underground infrastructure outside the substation’s perimeter fence.
Ausgrid owns vacant land at 73 Elizabeth Street in Tighes Hill where the new zone substation is being built.
The new Tighes Hill zone substation is now supplying customers that were previously served by the Carrington zone substation, located on the corner of Hannell and Elizabeth streets.
Landscaping works and construction of a pathway between Elizabeth Street and Throsby Creek along the eastern boundary of the substation site will carried out in the coming months.
The next component of this project involved the retirement and demolition of the old Carrington zone substation.
Ausgrid and architectural firm Schreiber Hamilton prepared plans for the new Tighes Hill zone substation. Architect’s sketches of the building and a plan showing the proposed substation layout are shown in the December 2015 project newsletter - see link on the right of this page.
The building has a modern character and is designed to suit the site and also to meet the substation’s engineering requirements as well as building code and safety standards. It will house the majority of the substation's electrical equipment.
The design is very similar to that previously shown to the community, but there have been minor changes to reflect some of the feedback received during earlier community consultation. The substation’s position on the site has been moved further to the south, away from Elizabeth Street, and the height of the walls between the transformer bays reduced.
The operating voltage and configuration of the main elements of the proposed facility are the same as outlined in earlier community information.
Two transformers will be installed. A third transformer bay will also be constructed, but it will only be used if the electricity load in area grows significantly in the future. Current forecasts indicate this will not happen in the next 10 years.
The proposed exterior materials are a combination of painted concrete panels and a Colorbond roof. The boundary fence will be black chain wire and an inner security fence will be erected directly around the substation equipment to prevent unauthorised access.
Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Ausgrid was the determining authority for this project. An environmental assessment (known as a Review of Environmental Factors or REF) was been 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 environmental assessment or 'Review of Environmental Factors' (REF) investigated the potential environmental impacts associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of the proposed substation. It also recommended mitigation measures as required to ensure any impacts are at acceptable levels.
Following preparation of the REF, including consideration of final input from the community, Ausgrid has assessed the project for construction approval based on information contained in the REF and any other relevant documents.
Community consultation for the project began in 2010 and the substation was approved for construction in 2012. At that time the plans were put on hold to allow Ausgrid to review the latest electricity needs in the area to be supplied by the new substation.
Following that review Ausgrid provided the local community with another opportunity to review the design and provide feedback before the project was again assessed for construction approval.
Feedback from the consultation process to date has been incorporated wherever possible into the latest design.
During earlier community engagement, Ausgrid was asked to consider providing pedestrian access from Elizabeth Street to the Throsby Creek foreshore.
Following negotiations with Newcastle Council and Hunter Water, this has been incorporated in the development.
The substation development will use only the eastern side of the site. The western portion will be left undisturbed.
The updated plans were shown to the community from December 2015 to provide a final opportunity for interested people to ask questions and make comments for consideration before the designs were finalised for assessment and construction approval.