South Australia's growing economy is reflected in an unprecedented workload of T&D infrastructure projects for electricity distributor ETSA Utilities. Population growth; industry expansion; a changing economy; changing demand patterns; and infrastructure development all are placing significant demand for expanded electricity supply.
"In the regulated part of our business, which supplies electricity to nearly 800,000 residential and business customers in SA, we have projects worth about $150 million underway in 2008," said ETSA Utilities CEO Lew Owens. "We are anticipating further growth, particularly in the area of new customer connections in 2009."
"We also are a significant player in the non-regulated competitive construction and maintenance market where we are currently constructing projects worth more than $100 million for various customers, including government agencies, other electricity businesses and the mining industry. We're expecting a similar level of work in 2009."
Owens said the breadth of projects was unprecedented. "We're having to ramp up our business to deal with growing demand. The workforce has grown to nearly 1,700 and we're taking on more apprentices to meet demand for new customer connections, enhanced network capacity and rejuvenation of the existing network.
"We're responding to 'organic' growth in demand in the residential sector. We also have a number of significant projects underway for major business customers, and connection to the network of new generation capacity (particularly wind and solar). In the competitive market we've won projects for government to support new infrastructure; interconnect aboriginal communities in the State's far north; and private sector contracts to supply energy to new mines such as Prominent Hill."
Current Customer Projects - June 2008
1. Clean Seas Aquaculture, Arno Bay - upgrade of supply and substation to support aquaculture development in Arno bay (2008).
2. Mawson Lakes - Gepps Cross - feeder extension and substation upgrade (Cavan) to support business and residential growth (2008)
3. Victor Harbor Substation - substation upgrade to support residential growth (2008)
4. Strathalbyn substation - Substation upgrade to support residential and business growth (2008) [See Projects in Progress, 5/23/08]
5. Flinders Medical Centre - dedicated 11kv line from Seacombe Gardens substation to support expansion (2008)
6. 66kV Sub-transmission line upgrades a. Elizabeth Downs - Penfield - (2008) b. Blackpool - Fulham Gardens - (2008)
7. Prominent Hill - construct transmission lines, upgrade Olympic Dam West substation to support mine development (completion 2008)
8. APY Lands - 33kV distribution line to interconnect communities in far north of the State (2008)
9. ElectraNet - construction and maintenance services for transmission infrastructure.