Interconnector seen as benefit to South Australia

South Australian residential power bills will reduce by about $66 per year and $132 for small businesses if the new interconnector with New South Wales is built according to a report released by ElectraNet.

A final report into the planned interconnector between the two states was released by ElectraNet on Wednesday which details the project’s viability and potential benefits.

The interconnector would run from Robertstown in the state’s mid north to Wagga Wagga in New South Wales via Buronga with an additional line between Buronga and Red Cliffs, Victoria.

ElectraNet chief executive officer Steve Masters said since the release of the draft report in June last year further modelling revealed benefits for customers were expected to be greater than originally identified.

“The latest independent modelling has found that a typical residential power bill in South Australia would reduce by about $66 per year while small business customers would receive an annual saving of $132,” he said.

Mr Masters said the interconnector would also lower wholesale electricity costs for both states, improve network and energy security and help the country lower its carbon emissions.

Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said Eyre Peninsula was sure to benefit from this project when coupled with ElectraNet’s plan for the region which included a new double-circuit 132 kilovolt transmission line from Cultana to Port Lincoln.

“The interconnector between South Australia and the eastern states, in joining with ElectraNet’s upgrade of the transmission line into Eyre Peninsula will secure power supply and increase energy reliability on Eyre Peninsula,” he said.

Mr Treloar said it would also theoretically allow for the export of power from the Eyre Peninsula to the eastern states.

The Energy Security Working Party member Steve Sawyer said the party’s position on the interconnector had not changed since the release of the draft report in June last year, it was a good step but needed to be at least five times bigger.

He said with the ElectraNet plan it would improve the situation with Eyre Peninsula’s renewable energy potential but would not completely solve it.

The report is part of the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission and will now be considered for approval by the Australian Energy Regulator.