Desalination plant powerline to go underground

In response to community feedback, we will alter the design of a powerline extension to the site of the new desalination plant on Kangaroo Island, with the infrastructure to now be installed underground.

Required to power the plant being built near Hog Bay Road in Penneshaw, the connection to the existing nearby electricity network involves the installation of around 150 metres of new cables.

The revised plans will see the new connection placed below ground along William Walkers Way before coming above ground at an existing stobie pole location on Bates Way.

A combination of overhead and underground powerlines was included in our initial Development Application for the project, which was submitted to the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) late last year and approved by the relevant Minister in February.

While there was an opportunity for the public to provide comment during SCAP’s independent review process, we have since heard direct from some members of the Penneshaw community around concerns with the visual impacts of above ground powerlines at the site.

In late April, we asked the community to share their thoughts on this part of the design, and we received around 50 responses through this process.

We assessed this feedback and determined that changing from overhead to underground was feasible and clearly the option most supported by the local community.

Instead of installing three new Stobie poles, cables will now go underground and two or three existing poles on Bates Way will be replaced to ensure they can support the above to underground transition equipment.

With the powerline change now adopted into project plans, we will work with SA Power Networks on a detailed design and schedule for the new configuration.

As with any project changes after construction has commenced, there are impacts to the cost and timeline for delivery.

Together with changes to positioning of the desalination plant on the site, this will impact the expected date of first water.

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