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Robertstown Synchronous Condensers

  • Client ElectraNet
  • Project Duration March 2020 - March 2021
  • Delivery Timeframe 12 months
  • Project Value Approximately $30 million
  • Contract Type Design, Civils, Construction & Commissioning

Helping to strengthen our power network creating a secure power supply  for South Australians

The customer 

ElectraNet delivers safe, affordable and reliable solutions to power South Australian homes and businesses. Their transmission network is a crucial part of the electricity supply chain and is used to safely deliver electricity throughout South Australia including regional and remote areas.

The opportunity 

South Australia is leading the way with the implementation of sustainable energy solutions and has rapidly adopted renewable energy generation sources.

This rapid shift in energy generation sources has the potential to impact system strength and create a shortfall because of the way in which renewable sources generate and connect to the grid differs from
traditional sources, which makes it more difficult to respond to fluctuations in supply and demand.

While the adoption of more sustainable power sources is important for Australia’s future, having a secure power supply for South Australians is equally important, which requires both system strength and inertia to be achieved. After investigating various options to improve system strength, ElectraNet received regulatory approval to install two synchronous condensers at Robertstown Substation, 130km north of Adelaide.

The solution 

Enerven completed the design, construction, and commissioning of the works required to install the synchronous condensers at the Robertstown substation. This required the existing Robertstown substation to be augmented to support the new Synchronous Condensers, extending the substation to include two new parameters, one for each Synchronous Condenser.

Enerven’s team has unparalleled experience with complex brownfield infrastructure projects in South Australia and leveraged our comprehensive knowledge and understanding of ElectraNet’s infrastructure to deliver this project successfully. The project supported around 100 South Australian jobs and will call upon local contractors from the region to complete the works.

Further to strengthening the grid, from the point of commissioning, the synchronous condensers are also estimated to deliver a net saving to customers equivalent to $3-$5 per year on a typical residential electricity bill, and correspondingly more for larger customers. This is due to being able to avoid increasing costs incurred by AEMO in directing and compensating existing gas-fired generators to manage system strength shortfalls.