TO: All Members of HumeLink Alliance
Today is an important day. It is the 14th anniversary of the opening of the NorNed undersea cable between Norway and Netherlands. In 2008 the two countries opened this wonderful cable for business.
The cable joins the two countries and allows renewable energy to be shared between the two nations. It is 580km long and has a capacity of 700MW. It weighs a total of 47,000 tonnes. Total cost was just 600 million Euro, ($880m). It is a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable which crosses some of the roughest and coldest seas in the world
Back here in Australia, Transgrid is proposing to build Humelink an overhead power line over 350km. It joins Snowy 2.0 to the major substation in Bannaby. It will disfigure our landscape and is likely to cost more than $3 billion. This is old fashioned technology which dates back to the sixties.
If Australia is not to fall further behind advanced countries we need to force Transgrid to underground HumeLink. A recent report by Amplitude Consultants stated the benefits of underground transmission as follows:
Little to no risk of underground cables causing bush fires.
Little to no risk of interruption to power transmission, or underground cables being affected, during bush fires or severe weather events. Power does not need to be switched off during bush fires to aid firefighting, and is highly unlikely to be disrupted due to smoke causing flashovers and potentially tripping the line.
Little to no impact to access e.g. for emergency services or aviation operations.
Minimal impact to private land or current land use once construction is completed as the easement could be designed to fit within existing road reserves.
Significantly reduced impact to flora and fauna due to the possible location of the cable along roadways.
No visual impact concerning the transmission line as the cables are buried underground.
Equivalent or reduced visual and land-use impact from the converter station as it would be expected to occupy a relatively similar area as a typical AC terminal station with much of the equipment being housed indoors.
No audible noise along the transmission line.
Little to no electromagnetic field impacts”, Western Victorian Transmission Network Project, High-Level HVDC Alternative Scoping Report, Amplitude Consultants, p V.