East Ryde to Top Ryde cable project


Ausgrid is replacing 132,000 volt underground cables between East Ryde and Top Ryde substation as the existing cables need to be retired from service.

Project need

Ausgrid has identified the need to replace existing cables between a network connection point in East Ryde and the Top Ryde substation by late 2019. 

The existing 132,000 volt underground cables are nearing the end of their service life and are to be replaced so Ausgrid can maintain a reliable electricity supply in the future. We are also working to progressively replace all fluid filled cables across Ausgrid's network. 

Planning cable projects

Planning a cable route can take a number of  years. Ausgrid has sought early feedback from the community as part of the planning for this cable route. Visit the community presentations and information section (see top right) for more details.

There are a number of considerations to factor in while planning cable routes. These include:

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

Project status

Key dates are summarised in the table below for the East Ryde to Top Ryde cable project.

Timeline showing key project dates. We are currently in the construction stage.

Project approval process

Ausgrid is responsible for assessing and approving works for the East Ryde to Top Ryde 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 Wednesday 5 April to Friday 5 May 2017. Ausgrid considered all submissions as part of the process of assessing the project for construction approval. The final REF can be viewed via the link on the right hand side of the page. One submission was received for the project by the local environmental group which has been addressed in the REF. The project is now in the construction stage. 

Community engagement

Preparations to replace these cables started in late 2013 as part of an overall process of replacing cables between East Ryde and Wentworth Point. This process involved engaging with local councils and Members of Parliament in the areas where the new cables could be laid. 

Following the initial round of consultation, the project team drew up a range of possible routes for discussion and feedback at a community workshop in early September 2014. Workshop participants included representatives from community and local business groups, utilities, councils and other interested community members who worked together with Ausgrid to look at possible route options for the project and to provide feedback on potential issues in local areas. The feedback included route suggestions, information on local environmental, historical factors and planned developments, as well as traffic issues. 

At this time, planning for the new cables between East Ryde and Top Ryde was put on hold while Ausgrid completed further engagement and assessment on the cable route options between Top Ryde and Wentworth Point. For more information on the Top Ryde and Wentworth Point cable project, click on the link on the right hand side of the page.

The project team then considered a range of possible underground route options between East Ryde and Top Ryde and we sought feedback on these routes as part of the process to select one proposed route for further engagement.

Ausgrid held two information sessions on 23 and 25 August 2016  to let people find out more about the project and to seek feedback on the potential route options. 

All feedback has been considered by the project team as part of the process to prepare a proposed route for environmental assessment and for further consultation. A summary of the feedback from the sessions and from direct contact with Ausgrid can be viewed via the link at top right.

Ausgrid has 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 REF was on public exhibition for comment between Wednesday 5 April and Friday 5 May 2017 and a drop in session was also held on Thursday 27 April.  Ausgrid received one submission from a local environmental group. This submission was considered and addressed as part of the process to finalise the REF.   

Presentations given by members of the project team at the workshop and the community sessions as well as other information can be viewed in the community information and presentations section (see link at top right).


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. Click here to view an information graphic showing the stages of cable laying.

Construction generally includes:

  • digging trenches, approximately 800mm to 1400mm wide, to lay conduits (plastic pipes) to hold the new cables
  • filling trenches and resurfacing the area temporarily
  • trenching and resurfacing takes about three days outside each property depending on ground and weather conditions
  • excavating underground joint bays every 900 metres along the route in the road to feed in and join cables together
  • feeding in and joining the cables, which take two to four months to complete
  • work on the joint bays usually occur in distinct stages
  • final restoration is completed in consultation with local councils and relevant authorities either as sections of work are completed or once the overall project is finished.