Critical project to create 150 jobs, 'provide cheaper electricity'
A multi-million dollar project to bolster energy security from Queensland to NSW will provide about 150 jobs for the New England region. On Tuesday, the Australian Energy Regulator approved the upgrade of the Queensland NSW Interconnector (QNI). Transgrid said the project will increase the transfer of electricity between the states and provide customers with access to reliable, lowest-cost energy. Chief Executive Officer Paul Italiano welcomed the ARE's approval of the plan for QNI which will commence on-site construction next month. “The QNI project has been fast-tracked with the support of the Federal and NSW Governments which provided a joint agreement to facilitate the upgrade,” he said. “While early works have been underway since October last year, we are looking forward to breaking ground on the civil construction work in coming weeks and delivering this project on time." The $217 million project, which involves upgrades to substations, transmission towers and lines, is expected to provide net benefits of $170 million to electricity customers and producers and create 150 jobs during construction. Michelle Stone, the media and communications manager, said on-site construction is expected to start next month and while the company will be upgrading towers, it would also upgrade sub-stations in Tamworth, Armidale and Dumaresq. She added the project is expected to be finished by 2021.