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Back to work on $86.7m energy project in southeast Qld


Construction workers are returning to the site of a new $86.7 million electricity development in southeast Queensland.

The State Government-owned Energex will resume work on the $86.7 million SunCoast Power Project on the Sunshine Coast.

The project involves building a 132kV power line from the Powerlink Substation at Palmwoods to the West Maroochydore Substation on Jones Road. Work will be rolled out in stages, with the first nine months comprising of preparatory and design work including survey, environmental and vegetation assessments and – in some cases – cultural heritage assessments.

“The project’s scope was revised to meet immediate electricity requirements and Energex will therefore not be proceeding at this point with the previously proposed connection to Pacific Paradise. This means the current project avoids crossing the environmentally sensitive Maroochy River,” State Minister for Energy Mark Bailey says.

Energy Queensland (EQ) reveals the increase in transmission capacity is necessary to meet projected increases in population and increased demand, particularly during peak usage times.

“This will create additional demand on the network, and the construction of this project will allow us to manage that load without risking supply to the region,” EQ executive general manager for asset safety and performance Peter Price says.

EQ is currently inviting expressions of interest for electrical qualified tradespeople across various Queensland locations. The right candidates will work a nine-day fortnight plus allowances. They will also be able to express interest in any future trade vacancies at Ergon Energy.

Click here to express interest: 2016 Expression of Interest – Electrical Qualified Tradespersons

Contractor and supplier information can be found here: energex.com.au/contractors-And-service-providers

Bailey reveals the project is crucial for the future safety and reliability of electricity supply in the region due to ongoing investment and a population boom.

“The launch of SunCentral coupled with planned domestic housing developments, the new University Hospital and increasing demand in the region, has heightened the need for the SunCoast project to proceed,” he says.

“The [separate] Caloundra South (Aura) Development … will house an additional 50,000 people and create thousands of jobs and obviously place significant additional demand on the power network. The development of a new CBD in Maroochydore will be one of the most significant infrastructure projects the Sunshine Coast has ever seen and will no doubt attract significantly more investment and jobs to the region.

“With this sort of investment will come increased demand on the electricity network from both a commercial and residential perspective and we have to be ready for that. This project will directly benefit more than 100,000 homes and businesses and indirectly boost supply to a further 175,000 electricity customers on the Sunshine Coast. A robust network is also important to facilitate the connection of future renewable projects, including the Council’s Valdora solar farm which is currently under construction.”

Sunshine Coast Council (SCC) welcomes the investment in critical regional infrastructure.

“As I have said many times, this is an exciting time in the history of the Sunshine Coast with over $10 billion in private and public investment occurring now or in the pipeline and with a forecast population growth rate that is the second highest in Queensland,” SCC Mayor Mark Jamieson says.

“It is vital that core infrastructure like the electricity distribution network keep pace with the demand generated by both population and business investment growth and to this end, our council welcomes the news that the SunCoast power project is proceeding.”

Main civil works are due to begin in early 2018 with the project expected to be completed in late 2020.

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