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Kingaroy South substation

Project Update

After a recent review, a decision has been made to defer establishment of the Kingaroy South substation.

The electricity load in the area has not increased as forecast and a revision of our electricity planning guidelines that determine when expansion is required suggests that this work can now be deferred.

We will retain the future substation site and continue to monitor residential and industrial development in the area and the future load requirements. We will keep the community informed if there is a need for this project to progress in the future.

Project background

We are planning to develop a new substation at Kingaroy South to meet the future electricity needs of the area. The establishment of new housing estates and increasing industrial development indicated an increase the demand for electricity.

After investigating a number of sites and consulting with South Burnett Regional Council, we have purchased a site for the new substation at 75-79 River Road, Kingaroy (adjacent to Hayman's Electrical).

In choosing a site, we carried out a detailed analysis against a number of criteria to assess social and environmental impacts, as well as technical requirements and financial implications. The site is big enough to provide a wide buffer for landscaping and vegetation in order to screen it from surrounding properties.

The site is now fenced, and a sign indicating the site is for a future Ergon Energy substation has also been erected.

For any enquiries about this site, please contact Ergon Energy via the contact details listed below.

Community impact assessment

During the site selection process, Ergon Energy actively sought a site that would have the least impact on the local community while still being able to deliver the required improvements to the electricity network. The assessment criteria included:

  • Social and community benefits and impacts
  • Proximity to existing residential and commercial development
  • Environmental impacts
  • Size, topography and shape of the site
  • Land zoning and town planning requirements
  • Availability to purchase
  • Construction advantages and constraints
  • Cost considerations
  • Engineering issues, including proximity to existing electricity infrastructure
  • Ability to mitigate potential impacts.

What will the finished substation look like?

The artist's impression below illustrates how the proposed Kingaroy South zone substation might look when completed, as viewed from Kelvyn Street. The substation building is likely to be located at the rear of the site, and the final design will be dependent upon the infrastructure requirements to connect to the existing powerlines, and the overall layout of the site.

Proposed Kingaroy South substation

The aerial photo below shows the approximate viewpoint the artist's impression is taken from.

Aerial view of substation site

Aspects such as exterior fencing and landscaping around the perimeter of the substation may vary according to specific requirements of the site.  Certain safety and security standards will need to be met and will be incorporated into the final design.  It's possible there will be additional landscaping beyond what is shown in the artist's impression.

Advantages of this site

The River Road site was the best of the potential sites when all the criteria were considered and has a number of important advantages both from an engineering and a community impact viewpoint.

  • It is in an industrial zone and is close to the existing power lines it will need to connect to, eliminating the need to build additional high voltage power lines along suburban streets
  • It is relatively distant from the residential area, with the nearest house being about 100 metres from the site boundary
  • Most importantly, we were able to buy a large enough block of land to provide a significant buffer zone that can be planted to screen the site and minimise the visual impact on residents in Kelvyn Street.

Frequently asked questions

Why is a new substation needed?

The Kingaroy township and surrounding area continue to grow as a result of new residential estates and industrial development. This places increasing demand on the existing electricity infrastructure. The new substation at Kingaroy South is planned for construction by 2018 to provide a reliable electricity supply to meet the forecast growth in demand.

Were other locations considered?

An assessment has been made of a number of potential locations for the substation site, including two sites on River Road and a site off Stebhens Road. The current site on River Road has been selected based on the criteria of proximity to the electrical load; site access for construction, operation and maintenance; access to the existing power line; environmental impacts; social impacts on community and whole of life costs including acquisition of the site, construction of the substation and distribution of the power.

Will there be any screening outside the substation?

As part of the design for the substation, there will be a fairly extensive vegetation buffer zone around the edge of the site, with landscaping to improve its appearance and help provide screening from the road and nearby properties. Plant species that are native to the area will be chosen, as well as those that are suitable for planting close to electrical infrastructure (due to height restrictions, falling debris, etc).

Will the substation be fenced?

All Ergon Energy substations are fully enclosed by fencing as a security measure to protect members of the community from possible harm and to avoid any damage occurring to electrical infrastructure. This fencing can be a combination of wire fencing for security purposes, and/or timber fencing to provide screening of the substation from the street and help improve the visual amenity.

Will the substation create any noise?

Low levels of background noise are associated with normal substation operation. The faint hum is usually indistinguishable from surrounding sounds, particularly in an area with other industrial businesses such as River Road. As part of the environmental impact assessment for a substation site, a noise assessment is carried out in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

Will the substation have a lot of traffic coming and going during normal operation?

The substation will be an unmanned facility, and it's likely that in the course of a normal day there will be no vehicles entering the site at all. There will be occasional visits from Ergon Energy staff to do routine maintenance or respond when repairs are needed, usually within normal working hours.

Will the substation produce any kind of emissions?

The substation will be designed to meet international standards and should have no impact on surrounding properties. None of the equipment produces any kind of airborne emission.

When substations and power lines are discussed, many people ask about electric and magnetic fields (EMF). Ergon Energy designs its electricity infrastructure to achieve EMF levels within recognised international guidelines from the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

EMF are generated by any object with electric current flowing through it including power lines and all electric appliances used in the home including televisions, washing machines, microwaves, hair dryers and computers. The generation, delivery and use of electricity produces EMF. EMF from power lines depends on the amount of current flowing along the lines. Fields decrease in strength the further one moves away from the source. This means that EMF levels at the substation site boundary are at very low levels.

What is Ergon Energy's policy in relation to health effects of EMF?

Ergon Energy relies on expert advice from competent health authorities in Australia and from around the world. Ergon Energy constantly monitors information on EMF and adheres to guidelines set out by the Energy Networks Association (ENA), the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).

Ergon Energy has a documented policy and procedures relating to design and installation practices and EMF. For example, the level of EMF at the boundary or fence line of a substation are generally similar to those encountered by people in their daily lives

At the present time, scientific evidence does not establish that exposure to low level electric and magnetic fields found around the home, the office or near powerlines is a health hazard. Despite this, the electricity industry in Australia has adopted a policy of 'prudent avoidance'.

Project contact details

For more information about the Kingaroy South substation site, please contact the project team:

Phone: 1300 653 055

Email: community@ergon.com.au

Post: PO Box 163, Maryborough QLD 4650

Or complete our online project feedback form.

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