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Energex & Easement Maps

Energex is a Queensland Government owned corporation responsible for operating and maintaining the electricity distribution network in South East Queensland. Energex is a monopoly State Government Agency that receives a regulated return of 9.72% on its Regulated Asset Base (RAB), with Energex costs passed through to electricity consumers by the Queensland Competition Authoririty in electricity tariff charges. Currently, 46% to 54% of consumer electricity charges pay for Network (Poles & Wires) costs and Energex profit averaged $1million/ day in 2012-13. Aproximately 81% of this profit was passed on to the Queensland Government as Dividends in 2012-13.  
 
Energex propose to construct a second 110kV sub-transmission powerline from Loganlea substation to Jimboomba substation to provide reliability of electricity supply for the Jimboomba substation which has been upgraded by Energex under a separate project. Energex claim the existing overhead sub-transmission powerline from Loganlea to Jimboomba (designated F820) is the least reliable in the Energex network.
The adjacent map shows the existing F820 powerline along the Option 1 route (in red). With the Energex preferred second powerline route along the Logan River which is shown as Option 2 (in green) as well as a ‘token’ Underground powerline route Option 4 (shown in yellow). 

In March 2010 the proposed Logan River route was modified to remove the first two river crossings. Remarkably, replacing these two river crossings (which Energex refer to as 'complex overhead') with 3.3km of underground powerline along Glen Road and avoiding easement acquisition costs resulted in a claimed saving of $100,000 for the project.

VETO responded by recommending that more of the second powerline should be located as underground along the road easement currently occupied by the existing F820 powerline. Because this  removes the remaining 5 'complex overhead' river crossings and would significantly reduce the impact and most objections to this proposed powerline proposal.

Instead Energex continue to impose the second overhead 110kV powerline through our community, with a 40 metre cleared easement fragmenting the Logan River bioregional corridor with 5 crossings of the Logan River within 6kms, through Newstead Park (over the Waterford Equestrian and Pony Club), through the Logan Village urban footprint and cutting though 108 private properties. With 60% of the proposed powerline through private residential properties and 42.5 hectares of Koala habitat expected to be cleared.

The stated justification for this second powerline is to provide N-1 reliability, which means that if one asset fails the other maintains supply. While this is logical, the fundamental flaw for the proposed powerline is that it is from the same bulk supply substation (Loganlea) as the existing F820 powerline.

powerline_routes_map

Limited Powerline route options considered by Energex

(click on map to enlarge)

So a failure at Loganlea substation or along the 8kms of shared F820 powerline route, would disrupt supply to Jimboomba even the existing powerline and this proposed second Loganlea to Jimboomba powerline.

The proposed second powerline is 23kms in length with 6 kms to be located within the Logan River floodplain. The Logan River has a history of past destructive floods and under climate change predictions, these floods are expected to become more severe. Consequently the second powerline is likely to be less reliable than F820, especially as access for repairs to the 29 power poles to be located within the Logan River floodplain will be difficult even during normal wet season conditions.

Energex conducted a sham Community Consultation process over the past 2 years to justify their chosen Logan River route. In July 2010 over 100 community responses were lodged objecting to the proposal. However Energex have chosen to misrepresent or trivialize community concerns and submitted their proposal to the Queensland Minister for Energy & Water Supply for Community Infrastructure Designation. Minister McArdle then approved this proposal on 28 Oct 2012.
 
The VETO Submission(14.7MB) to the July 2010 Final Interim Assessment Report [FIAR] provides a good overall summary of the community’s concerns with the proposed powerline and showed that there are lower impact, even lower cost, mostly underground alternatives available. Primarily because placing the 110kV powerline as underground along existing road easements causes less impact and avoids the expensive overhead costs required for easement acquistion, all weather access tracks, environmental offset costs (to supposedly compensate for habitat clearing) and higher ongoing maintenance costs for the Energex preferred Logan River route.
 
Energex claim they considered an underground powerline route shown as Option 4 (yellow) in the map above. While this powerline initially follows Chambers Flat Road, midway it is shown crossing private properties to join the Powerlink easement and cross the Logan River, then below this crossing it again crosses private properties to reach the Jimboomba substation.  Energex have since stated that they would not located underground 110kV powerlines across private properties. So while this underground route was claimed to be shorter at 18kms, we can only conclude that it wasn't a serious design but was only included as a "token route" to enable Energex to then claim that it was $36 million more than the overhead powerline along the Logan River. However in reality an 18km underground powerline constructed along local roads is more likely to cost $45 million (at $2.5M/km x18km) to construct, which compares favourably against the proposed Logan River powerline which is now expected to cost $50 million (with all overheads included) and significantly more to maintain than an underground powerline located beside bitumen roads.
 

Logan City Council (who also oppose the Logan River powerline route) engaged CARDNO Consultants to assess the Energex proposal and other options. CARDNO advised that there are lower cost and lower impact alternatives, but Energex refuse to acknowledge these alternatives and are stubbornly spending more money on surveyors and valuers to justify their preferred option.

The Energex proposal for the second powerline completely ignores the availability of the major Powerlink 275kV transmission powerline (shown as a diagonal cleared easement in the lower left corner of the map) which is in close proximity to the Jimboomba substation and the announced planned growth communities of Greater Flagstone and Yarrabilba.
 
Reliable electricity supply is required for these planned growth communities. So is sufficient capacity (>300MVA) to support forecast growth and the two 110kV powerlines can only deliver half the capacity needed to support this forecast growth. A local Powerlink substation will be needed and could be built for at least $10M less than the second powerline from Loganlea. Bringing forward provision of the bulk supply substation at Greenbank would deliver capacity for growth and also real (N-1) reliability for Jimboomba substation at a significantly lower cost. 

Mackay Substation Fire

At 6:30am on Monday 3 January 2011 a fire in the control building at the Mackay Substation caused a loss of supply for 65,000 consumers in the Mackay, Proserpine and Bowen areas. Despite Powerlink and Ergon Energy efforts to re-configure the electricity network to restore high voltage electricity supply to Proserpine and Bowen there were many consumers in Mackay without power for over 18 hours.

ABC NewsABC News Report 4Jan'11

Daily MercuryDaily Mercury Report 4Jan'11

The Daily ExaminerThe Daily Examiner 5Jan'11

This power outage clearly demonstrates that it is possible to lose total supply from a substation. It also highlights the vulnerability of the current Energex proposal to supply the growing communities of Jimboomba, Yarrabilba, Logan Village, North Maclean, Flagstone and Beaudesert solely from the Loganlea substation. We certainly don’t want a widespread outage like that experienced in Mackay.

Rather than the second 23 km, high voltage powerline from Loganlea to Jimboomba proposed by Energex, what we need is a local bulk supply substation to deliver reliable capacity for our growing communities. This is possible, would cost less, would deliver real N-1 reliability plus avoid the high environmental impact of the second powerline, but this alternative is being ignored by Energex.

 

Proposed Powerline Easement Maps

Included below are downloadable maps (issued March 2010) that show the expected impact of the proposed powerline easement on individual properties. These maps are available as a small file (typically 120KB - for fast downloads) and a large file version (typically 18 MB that will take longer to download).

 

 

Map

      Location

Proposed Powerline

Small File

Large File

1

Loganlea Substation to Kingston Rd - Existing Overhead (OVH) Multiple Powerline.
(map shows realignment of new powerline easement and loss of some vegetation)

Existing Multiple Overhead (OVH)

pdf_64

pdf_64

2

Kingston Rd to Kingston Substation to Bourke Street - Existing Overhead (OVH) Multiple Powerline then Underground from Kingston Substation under Chambers Flat Rd then parallel to Brisbane-Beenleigh Rd to Bourke Street. (powerline appears to follow existing multiple OVH powerline easement, with underground powerline section beneath existing Overhead (F820) powerline.

Existing Multiple Overhead (OVH)

pdf_64

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3

Along Logan Reserve Rd to Schimdts Road - Underground (UG) beside Logan Reserve Rd. (underground powerline in pre-constructed ducts to Beutel St, beneath existing Overhead (F820) powerline.

Underground beside road

pdf_64

pdf_64

4

Along Logan Reserve Rd (under Schmidts Road) - Underground (UG) beside Logan Reserve Rd. beneath existing Overhead (F820) powerline. Also shows previous 1st Logan River Crossing. 
(underground powerline preferred for this designated Urban area)

Underground
beneath existing OVH

pdf_64

pdf_64

5

Logan Reserve Rd to Glen Rd - Underground (UG) beside road, beneath existing Overhead (F820)Powerline. Also shows previous 2nd & 3rd Logan River Crossings. Redesigning this OVH River section as underground along Logan Reserve and Glen Rds saved $100,000. 
(underground powerline preferred for this designated Urban area)

Underground
beneath existing OVH to Higyed Rd reservation

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6

Glen Rd Transition Pole to Overhead Logan River Crossings #1 and #2 - through Newstead Park with the OVH powerline beside the main Cricket oval and across the Waterford Equestrian & Pony Club cross-country course to a private property operating a horse agistment business
(high impact to Logan River, Newstead Park, Private property and agistment business)

UG to Transition Pole then single circuit OVH

pdf_64

Too Large

7

Newstead Park to Rossmore Rd - Overhead across Newstead Park, across a Private Horse Agistment Property (per Map 6) then across the corner of a Macadamia property to Logan River Crossing #2 to a pole at the river end of a horse breeding property then following the Logan River over cattle grazing properties
(high impact to Logan River, private properties and agricultural businesses)

Single circuit OVH

pdf_64

Too Large

8

Rossmore Rd to Pleasant View Rd - Overhead running parallel with Logan River over an irrigated cattle production property to Logan River Crossing #3 south of Rossmore Rd.
(high impact to Logan River, private properties and agricultural businesses)

Single circuit OVH

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pdf_64

9

Logan River Crossings #3 and #4 to Anzac Avenue - Overhead running parallel with Logan River over horse agistment properties and irrigated production properties. 
(high impact to Logan River, private properties and agricultural businesses)

Single circuit OVH

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pdf_64

10

Logan River Crossing #5 then along Anzac Avenue and Waterford Tamborine Road - Overhead beside Geoff Philp Bridge over Logan River then east along Anzac Avenue through Logan Village Urban Footprint, past urban housing development "Our Home on the River" to Waterford Tamborine Road where the powerline supposedly runs south along the old railway easement for 1km, even though this railway easement is not available for the powerline in other locations. (high impact to Logan Village Urban area with expected loss of large trees in Waterford Tamborine Road)

Single circuit OVH

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11

Waterford Tamborine Rd to Pioneer Drive then through Private Properties and across Hotz Road - Double overhead through private properties disecting properties and close to some homes.
(expected loss of large trees in Waterford Tamborine Road and private properties with widening and realignment of existing easement (to avoid homes) causing high impact to many residents of these private properties)

Double circuit OVH (existing 33kV and new 110kV)

pdf_64

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12

South of Hotz Road then along Camp Cable Road - Double (Multiple?) overhead through private properties disecting properties and close to some homes. Intersects with existing major Powerlink powerline easement prior to Camp Cable Rd. Existing 33kV powerline poles have multiple powerlines (33kV, 11kV, 415V & 240V) with these local distribution services needing to be maintained.  (expected loss of mature habitat trees in private properties with widening and realignment of existing easement (to avoid homes) causing high impact to the residents of these private properties)

Multiple circuit OVH (existing 33kV, 11kV, 415V, 240V plus new 110kV)

pdf_64

pdf_64

13

Parallel with Camp Cable Road over Amber Crescent - Double (Multiple?) overhead through private properties disecting properties and close to some homes and businesses. Some existing 33kV powerline poles have local distribution services that need to be maintained. (expected loss of mature habitat trees in private properties with widening of existing easement and realignment (to avoid homes) causing high impact to the residents of these private properties)

Multiple circuit OVH (existing 33kV plus other services and new 110kV)

pdf_64

pdf_64

14

Parallel with Camp Cable Road over Edelsten Rd  - Double overhead parallel with the wide Camp Cable Road easement. Through private properties disecting the front or rear of these properties and close to some homes, businesses and the Scout Den. (expected loss of mature habitat trees in private properties and Scout Den on Edelsten Rd with widening of existing easement and realignment (to avoid homes) causing high impact to the residents of private properties)

Double circuit OVH (existing 33kV plus new 110kV)

pdf_64

pdf_64

15

Parallel with Camp Cable Road from Edelsten Rd to Meadow Rd - Double overhead parallel with the wide Camp Cable Road easement. Through private properties disecting front or rear of these properties and close to some homes and businesses. (expected loss of mature habitat trees in private properties with widening of existing easement and realignment (to avoid homes) causing high impact to the residents of these private properties)

Double circuit OVH (existing 33kV plus new 110kV)

pdf_64

pdf_64

16

Parallel with Camp Cable Road from Edelsten Rd to Jimboomba Substation - Double overhead parallel with the wide Camp Cable Road easement. Through private properties disecting these properties and close to some homes and businesses(expected loss of mature habitat trees in private properties with widening of existing easement and realignment (to avoid homes) causing high impact to the residents of these private properties)

Double circuit OVH (existing 33kV plus new 110kV)

pdf_64

pdf_64

 

Corridor Impact on Regional Ecosystems

Extract from Energex Final Initial Assessment Report (21 June 2010) (8.6MB)

Which shows maps of the Energex proposed powerline route and adjacent Regional Ecosystems (according to Energex paid consultants).

pdf_64     Proposed Corridor Route