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Pandoin to Keppel power project

Project update

The Pandoin to Keppel power project has been deferred. This is due to the electricity load and economic development in the area not growing as forecast, as well as changes to our electricity planning guidelines.

Therefore, we will not start this project within the current regulatory period (2015-2020) unless there is growth in the economic development of the area.

This follows the approval of the Community Infrastructure Designation (CID) in December 2015 for the 132kV powerline between the existing Pandoin substation and the planned Keppel substation site.

The formal notification of the CID approval appeared in the Government Gazette on Friday 4 December 2015 and is available online at the Queensland Government Publications website.

We will continue to monitor the future power needs of the region and we’ll keep the community informed via newsletters and this website if there is a need for this project to progress in the future.

We would like to thank the community for their cooperation and help during the project period.

The project

Our network planning team looks many years ahead to forecast the need to expand the electricity network, particularly in growing areas.

Recognising the Capricorn Coast as an area ready for development, land and easements were acquired for a future powerline and substation to meet the rising power needs of a growing population.

To meet these needs, we're proposing to build a new substation and powerline to supply electricity to the Capricorn Coast.

The proposal includes building a powerline from the existing Pandoin substation near Glendale to a new substation near Yeppoon.

The powerline would be approximately 28 kilometres long and built on easements acquired over 30 years ago for this purpose.

The easements along the proposed powerline corridor and a substation site were acquired well in advance to ensure we could deliver a reliable power supply to the community when electricity demand exceeded existing capacity.

Glendale to Bondoola map

View a map of the project area (PDF 286.9 kb), a detailed map of the Pandoin substation and easement corridor in Glendale (PDF 141.7 kb) or a detailed map of the proposed Keppel substation site and easement corridor in Bondoola (PDF 146.1 kb).

The powerline

To provide an adequate and reliable electricity supply to the Capricorn Coast community, a new 132,000 volt (132kV) powerline is required to distribute power to a proposed substation near Yeppoon.

The proposed powerline route is approximately 28 kilometres long and the existing easement corridor is 100 metres wide. View an easement list (PDF 171.0 kb).

The proposed dual circuit powerline will have six wires, three on each side of the pole with two protection earth wires above them.

The detailed design for this project confirming pole materials, specifications and location of poles can't occur until field surveys, other technical and environmental assessments have been done, and a build date is known.

The most likely pole material for a powerline in this area is concrete, but due to landscape constraints, steel poles or towers may be needed in some places.

When the design has been completed it will be available to the community for review.

132kv Powerline Poles

The substation

To be reliable and effective, substations need to be located close to the load centre.

We acquired a substation site on Neils Road, Bondoola in 1984 to ensure land would be available when a new substation was needed for the Capricorn Coast.

The site meets our substation criteria including proximity to the electrical load (where the need is greatest), site access (getting vehicles in and out safely), network access (getting the high voltage powerlines in and low voltage distribution lines out), height above flood zones and social and environmental impacts.

The parcel of land is approximately 675m x 215 m and the likely substation footprint is around 100m x 100m. This consists of a building with equipment located inside and outside.

Design for the proposed Keppel substation will occur closer to the time of construction. We received a Material Change of Use (MCU) from Rockhampton Regional Council in 2012.

Community engagement

We're committed to conducting comprehensive community engagement for this project.

The purpose of our engagement is to provide balanced and objective information to landowners and local residents about the project so they may understand the need for it, our proposed solution and how it may affect the surrounding communities.

The community will be informed through a variety of means, including:

  • Sending letters to stakeholders
  • Distributing project newsletters
  • Offering one-on-one meetings
  • Hosting community information sessions
  • Posting information on our website

Our community engagement goal

We aim to provide you with balanced and objective information to assist you in understanding the need for this project, our proposed solution and how it may affect you.

Our promise

We will keep you informed, listen to and acknowledge your feedback and respond in an appropriate manner.

Community information sessions

Two community information sessions where held in June 2012 during the initial project announcement period to provide the community with an opportunity to find out more information about this project and ask questions of the project team.

Project schedule*

*Subject to change

Network Planning
  • Identify network constraint
  • Research options
  • Determine most appropriate solution
1980-2011 (complete)
Property Acquisition
  • Identify suitable line route and substation site
  • Negotiate agreements with landowners
  • Purchase land and/or register easements
1983-1984 (complete)
Community Engagement
  • Inform community
  • Distribute newsletters
  • One-on-one meetings
  • Community information sessions
  • Update community
  • Ongoing liaison
May – December 2012 (complete)
Draft Design
  • Field surveys
  • Technical investigations
  • Design powerline
2012-2013 (complete)
Planning Approval
  • Prepare draft reports
  • Stakeholder consultation
  • Public notification
  • Review reports
  • Public notification
  • Submit application
2012-2014 (complete)
  • Finalise design
  • Update the community
  • Order materials
  • Commence construction
  • Maintain contact with community
  • Conclude construction
Dependent on load growth

Frequently asked questions

Are there any health risks associated with powerlines?

When substations and powerlines are discussed, many people ask about electric and magnetic fields (EMF). In response to community interest, we will continue to provide balanced and factual information about EMF.

EMF are generated by any object with electric current flowing through it including powerlines and all electrical appliances used in the home such as televisions, washing machines, microwaves, hair dryers and computers.

Ergon Energy, along with the Australian Electricity Industry, practices "prudent avoidance" when designing its electricity network system. Where it is feasible and reasonable, we locate powerlines at a reasonable distance from people.

The powerline between the Pandoin and Keppel substations will be designed to meet acceptable EMF standards determined by national and international guidelines issued by the Australian Radiation protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

Visit our EMF website page for more information and links to other reputable websites that discuss this topic.

Why won't Ergon Energy consider an alternative line route?

Ergon Energy has owned the Keppel substation site and powerline easements leading to it for approximately 28 years.

These sites and this line route were considered to be the most suitable to meet the electrical needs forecast for an area that was expected to develop. To ensure future development would not prevent the ability to deliver a reliable power supply along a practical route, the land and easements were acquired to be certain we could construct the necessary infrastructure to meet demand when the time came.

What is an easement?

A power line easement is an encumbrance over part of someone else's property, which gives Ergon Energy the right to use that area of land for the construction and operation of a power line.

There are rights and responsibilities associated with an easement. These are listed on a schedule attached to the dealing, which is listed on the property title and referenced by a dealing number.

An easement cannot be removed from a property title without the agreement of all parties to the easement.

More information about property titles and easements can be obtained from the Titles Registry website, by email, phoning 13 74 68 or by visiting:

Rockhampton Titles Registry
Queensland Government Building
Level 1, 209 Bolsover St (PO Box 1762)

What is a substation?

A zone substation is not a power station and does not generate electricity. It is a bulk supply point to provide electricity to customers in an area.

Equipment within a substation transforms the electricity entering the station to lower voltages if needed, manages the current or flow of electricity and switches electricity between the differing powerlines leaving the site. It ensures suitable quality and distribution of electricity for public use.

To be reliable and effective, substations need to be situated close to the load (where the demand for power is coming from).

Ergon Energy's criteria for locating substations including proximity to the electrical load (where the need is greatest), site access (getting Ergon vehicles in and out safely), network access (getting the high voltage power lines in and low voltage distribution lines out), height above flood zones and social and environmental impacts.

Construction of substations involves earthworks to prepare the site for foundations and new equipment to be installed. Civil and electrical construction works follow for the buildings, steel structures and new electrical equipment.

What is Material Change of Use?

Material Change of Use (MCU) is a development application submitted to local government as part of the Integrated Development Application System (IDAS) under the Sustainable Planning Act (2009).

An MCU development application is submitted to local government for approval. This application process is best suited to sites and small corridors within a single local government area.

The Sustainable Planning Act (2009) provides the framework for Queensland's planning and development assessment system to balance community well-being, economic development and protection of the natural environment.

The IDAS process

Step 1 – Land owner consent acquired.

Step 2 – Development application report (Application Stage).

Step 3 – Information and referral to IDAS referral agencies (Information and Referral Stage).

Step 4 – Public notification (Notification Stage).

For impact assessable proposals a formal notification period of at least 15 business days is required, during which interested parties are invited to make a submission to the relevant Council. Ergon Energy's minimal requirements are to:

  • Place signage on the site giving details of the proposed development
  • Write to the owners of all adjoining properties alerting them to the proposal
  • Make detailed information about the proposal available to all interested parties during the notification period
  • Place advertisements in local newspapers stating how and where details of the proposal may be viewed and inviting submissions.

Step 5 – Council decision (Decision Stage).

What is Community Infrastructure Designation?

Community Infrastructure Designation is a development application process under the Sustainable Planning Act (2009). Under the act there are two key approval processes for Ergon Energy's large infrastructure projects – Community Infrastructure Designation (often referred to as Ministerial Designation) and the Integrated Development Application System.

Community Infrastructure Designation is given by the Minister for Energy and Water Supply and allows a project to become an exempt development for material change of use under the local government planning scheme. This application process is best suited to long corridors and is not subject to court appeal.

The Sustainable Planning Act (2009) provides the framework for Queensland's planning and development assessment system to balance community well-being, economic development and protection of the natural environment.

The CID process

Step 1 – Preparation of an Initial Assessment Report (IAR).

The IAR is a detailed study of the entire revised corridor investigation environmental, social, economic and technical aspects of the project.

Step 2 – Initial consultation with stakeholders.

A copy of the IAR must be provided to relevant local governments and public sector entities. Any other parties identified in the IAR must be advised (by mail, public notice or letterbox drop) that a copy of the document is available for viewing and comment. Written submissions must be accepted for a minimum of 15 business days from the date that notice is given.

Step 3 – Preparation of a Final IAR.

The IAR will be updated to account for issues raised in the first round of consultation. If any changes are made to the proposed route, these will be outlined in this report.

Step 4 – Second consultation with stakeholders.

The Final IAR, incorporating feedback from the first round of submissions, will be released for consultation for a further 15 working days. During this time, Ergon Energy will accept written submissions commenting on the Final IAR.

Step 5 – Preparation of a Final Assessment Report (FAR) for Ministerial approval.

The IAR and Final IAR will be summarised into a FAR. This will include all submissions made during CID consultation, including under the previous CID process to the extent that they are relevant.

  • The FAR is made available on Ergon Energy's website
  • The land proposed for CID designation must be publicly notified at least once in a newspaper advertisement in the early news section in the relevant local government area
  • Owners of affected land must be individually notified of the final site/corridor in relation to their land
  • Everyone who received a copy of the IAR is notified that the FAR is available for viewing and comment.

Step 6 – Forwarding of FAR to the Minister.

The FAR will be submitted to the Minister for Energy and Water Supply, prior to approval. During consideration of the project, the Minister may ask for more information from Ergon Energy.

When will Ergon Energy accept submissions?

Submissions were accepted during the public notification periods for the MCU and CID processes.


Download our newsletters about the project.

Project contact details

For more information on the Pandoin to Keppel Power Project, please contact us on:

Phone:  1300 653 055

Online: Project feedback form

Email: community@ergon.com.au

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