Terranora interconnector

Terranora interconnector
Terranora interconnector
Country Australia
State New South Wales
General direction south-north
From Mullumbimby
To Bungalora
Ownership information
Owner Energy Infrastructure Investments
Operator APA Group
Construction information
Manufacturer of conductor/cable ABB
Manufacturer of substations ABB
Contractors TransÉnergie Australia
Commissioned 2000
Technical information
Type underground cable
Type of current Light HVDC
Total length 59 km (37 mi)
Power rating 180 MW
AC Voltage 110 kV (Bungalora), 132kV (Mullumbimby)
DC Voltage ±80 kV
Number of circuits 3

Terranora interconnector (formerly named Directlink) is a high voltage direct current electricity transmission line between Mullumbimby, New South Wales (28°34′15″S 153°27′8″E / 28.57083°S 153.45222°E / -28.57083; 153.45222 (Directlink - Mullumbimby Static Inverter Plant)) and Bungalora, New South Wales (28°15′20″S 153°28′20″E / 28.25556°S 153.47222°E / -28.25556; 153.47222 (Directlink - Bungalora Static Inverter Plant)) in Australia. It is one of the two interconnections used to trade electricity between New South Wales and Queensland (the other one is Queensland – New South Wales Interconnector).[1][2] For environmental protection reasons it is implemented as underground cables.


The interconnector was developed by a joint venture of NorthPower (later Country Energy), TransÉnergie–a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, and Fonds de solidarité FTQ.[3][4] The reason behind the interconnector was the power shortage in Southern Queensland and surplus capacities in New South Wales.[3] It was commissioned in December 1999 and it started operations in April 2000.[5][3] It was for the first time to link transmission systems of New South Wales and Queensland.[6] The construction costed US$70 million.[7]

In December 2006, it was announced that the cable will be purchased by Australian Pipeline Trust, a part of APA Group, for US$133 million.[1][4] The transaction was closed in February 2007.[8] In December 2008, ownership of the interconnector was transferred to the Energy Infrastructure Investments Group, although APA Group remained the operator.[9]

Originally, the interconnector operated as a market network service. However, on 6 May 2004 an application to convert it to a regulated network service was submitted. The application was approved by the Australian Energy Regulator on 10 March 2006.[10]

Technical description

Terranora interconnector is a 59-kilometre (37 mi) bipolar HVDC cable route.[6] The system has three static inverters at each terminal, and three pairs of bipolar transmission cables. Each pair of cables operates at +/-80 kV and transmits 60 MW. In New South Wales it is connected with a 132 kV alternating current transmission grid and in Queensland with 110 kV alternating current transmission grid.[11][12]

The total rating of the interconnector is 180 MW minus transmission losses.[11] The maximum net electricity flow (taking account transmission losses) is around 170 MW. In the case of disfunctioning of one pair of cables, the available capacity is around 115 MW. It two pairs of cables are out of service, the capacity is around 57 MW.[2] However, in some cases for a limited time period the interconnector has operated in an overloading mode for up to 250 MW. The limiting factor for flow to New South Wales direction is the thermal ratings of Terranora–Mudgeeraba 110 kV lines and Mullumbimby–Dunoon 132 kV lines, and for flow to Queensland direction is the thermal ratings of Lismore–Dunoon 132 kV lines.[13]

HVDC was chosen for this project for reasons of low environmental impact of the transmission line, and the ability of the IGBT transistor converter stations at each end to accurately control both real and reactive power. Individual water-cooled IGBT modules are rated at 2.5kV and 500 A, with multiple units connected in series to achieve the required voltage rating.


  1. ^ a b "Australian Pipeline Trust to buy Directlink". AsiaPulse News. 2006-12-20. (subscription required). http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-156146462.html. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Development of Electricity Supply to the NSW Far North Coast. Supplementary Report" (PDF). TransGrid. May 2010. p. 7. http://www.transgrid.com.au/network/consultations/Documents/110208%20-%20Far%20North%20NSW%20-%20Supplementary%20Report%20Final.pdf. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  3. ^ a b c "Directlink Project Quuensland – New South Wales in Australia" (PDF). ABB. http://library.abb.com/GLOBAL/SCOT/SCOT245.NSF/VerityDisplay/591D08FE788CCA54C125702700599F86/$File/Project%20Directlink-.pdf. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  4. ^ a b Grant-Taylor, Tony (20016-12-20). "APT buys DirectLink line". The Courier-Mail (News Limited). http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/apt-buys-directlink-line/story-e6freqmx-1111112720711. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  5. ^ "Network Interconnection: Murraylink: the underground connection". Power-Gen Worldwide (PennWell Corporation). 2001-05-01. http://www.powergenworldwide.com/index/display/articledisplay/101136/articles/power-engineering-international/volume-9/issue-5/features/network-interconnection-murraylink-the-underground-connection.html. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  6. ^ a b Sood, Vijay K. (2004). HVDC and FACTS controllers: applications of static converters in power systems. Springer. p. 172. ISBN 9781402078903. http://books.google.com/books?id=y1LM8i4oipAC&pg=PA172. 
  7. ^ "Electric/Gas Utilities Could Threaten Telecoms". Transmission & Distribution World (Penton Media). 1999-02-01. http://tdworld.com/mag/power_electricgas_utilities_threaten/index.html. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  8. ^ Wong, Fayen (2008-02-25). "APA Group H1 profit rises, upgrades outlook". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/02/25/apa-results-idUSSYD29228020080225. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  9. ^ "Electricity Transmission Network Service Providers Directlink & Murraylink Amended Cost Allocation Methodologies" (PDF). AER. March 2010. http://www.aer.gov.au/content/item.phtml?itemId=735797&nodeId=0d936ed092c2c7f5ab6a0ce9fab915dc&fn=Final%20decision%20-%20Directlink%20and%20Murraylink%20amended%20cost%20allocation%20methodoloies.pdf. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  10. ^ "AER final decision approves Directlink conversion" (Press release). AER. 2006-03-10. http://www.aer.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/692529. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  11. ^ a b "Terranora interconnector (Directlink)". ABB. http://www.abb.com/industries/ap/db0003db004333/2700978c26a07a70c125774b00410cbc.aspx. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  12. ^ Arrillaga, J.; Liu, Y. H.; Watson, N. R. (2007). Flexible power transmission: the HVDC options. John Wiley & Sons. p. 310. ISBN 9780470056882. http://books.google.com/books?id=LAv9l3URn1AC&pg=PA31. 
  13. ^ "Review of Last Resort Planning Powers" (PDF). Sinclair Knight Merz. AEMC. 2010-09-17. p. 5. http://www.aemc.gov.au/Media/docs/Review%20of%20Last%20Resort%20Planning%20Powers-2fda6f79-262b-482e-9de3-7c56768e700a-1.PDF. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 

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