Transmission Line

Planning for the transmission line is underway to connect the Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain projects to the national electricity grid. The transmission line will connect Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain to Hampshire. We are accommodating as much feedback as possible in collaboration with stakeholders in the development of the transmission line route.

Frequently Asked Questions

The transmission line is required to deliver the energy generated at Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain Renewable Energy Parks to the Tasmanian electricity grid.
TasNetworks have indicated in their Annual Planning Report 2019 that they are progressing the development of a new transmission line from Hampshire to Sheffield to support a number of their network developments. As a result, we are now focusing only on developing a transmission line from Robbins Island to Hampshire.
A second Bass Strait interconnector (Marinus Link) is crucial to deliver the electricity generated from Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project to the Australian electricity grid. It will also enable full development of the Robbins Island Renewable Energy Park. At its earliest, Marinus Link would be built by 2025. The transmission line and associated infrastructure will connect into this.
We have developed four guiding principles to ensure we meet our needs and the needs of the community and our stakeholders. They are:
  1. Avoiding areas of high environmental and heritage significance.
  2. Minimising the impact on private landowners by preferencing Crown land and corporate land wherever possible.
  3. Working with landowners to identify the best route through their land to limit the impact on current and future business practices and plans.
  4. Minimising the impact on visual amenity.
This is a key component of our transmission line route selection process. We will work with affected stakeholders to minimise impact on visual amenity, through a range of measures, including screening or alternate route selection.
About 275 towers will be built along the 114km transmission line route (from Robbins Island to Hampshire), with an average of 400m spans between the towers.
The towers will be about 45-55m high depending on the terrain.
In areas where the transmission line crosses forestry land, logging will not be able to occur within the 60m transmission line easement. Timber cleared during the construction of the transmission line will be recovered where possible.
We are receiving registrations of interest from members of the community and businesses in becoming involved in the construction and ongoing operation of the transmission line. The local community will be crucial in providing accommodation, food and other services to the construction workforce.
The renewable energy parks will offer many job opportunities during construction and ongoing operation. The construction of the transmission line is likely to involve up to 100 people over an 18 month construction period.
Yes, as the easement surrounding the transmission line will be cleared it will act as a firebreak. It will also provide access to neighbouring properties during a fire.
No, transmission lines do not create television interference.
The transmission line will require the following approvals:
  • Development Application (DA) approval will be required from three councils, including Circular Head, Waratah-Wynyard, and Burnie. The DAs will need to consider a number of issues including land tenure, environment, heritage and visual impacts.
  • The transmission line will also require Australian Government approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
A rigorous program of studies will be undertaken to discover the potential impacts to eagles along the transmission line route. Regulations will be followed as part of the Development Application process and the studies will comply with Tasmanian and Australian Government requirements.
Transmission towers are earthed and are protected against lightning strikes.
UPC Robbins Island will be developing the transmission line. UPC Robbins Island is 25% Australian owned. Our remaining 75% is passive ownership by shareholders from the USA, Europe and the Philippines. Our development team working on this project is 100% Australian, all based in Tasmania. The team has more than 100 years of combined renewable energy development experience.
We will pay for the transmission line infrastructure required to connect to the network.
We have evaluated these options and found them to be cost prohibitive and it would mean the renewable energy park projects would become economically unviable. Initial cost estimates for either submarine or underground transmission options are around $1.5-$2 billion. It can cost up to 10 times’ more for a submarine or underground line than an overhead line. Underground lines also have unique environmental challenges and still require significant approvals and vegetation clearance to construct and manage.
Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain will generate significantly more renewable energy for Tasmania’s electricity network. Existing transmission lines in the area are nearing capacity, and the amount of power generated means infrastructure like the Woolnorth-Smithton transmission line and Smithton-Burnie transmission line will not have capacity to cater for our projects.
The route options have been developed over 12-15 months of analysis of existing environmental and land tenure information. Initial discussions with directly affected landowners, those with towers and transmission lines that span their property, resulted in verbal agreement allowing us to then start broader consultation with the community. The next stage of selection process is to further refine the route between Robbins Island and Hampshire with key stakeholders and the broader community. This will include specific native flora and fauna surveys to help in defining the final transmission line route to minimise impact on natural values.
As a general rule, landowners retain ownership of the land where UPC’s transmission towers and lines are located. UPC will negotiate and agree with landowners on what activities can and cannot take place on the “easement” (the name given to the area surrounding a transmission tower or line) for both parties. This ensures the transmission line and towers are safely constructed, inspected, maintained and operated. UPC will provide compensation to a landowner for use of the easement, as well as an additional payment if an easement includes a transmission tower(s). This could be a one-off payment or an annual rental. In addition, UPC will contribute an agreed sum of money towards the legal fees of the landowner. If a landowner does not want a transmission tower(s) or line on their land, UPC will seek alternative routes to accommodate these requests. If UPC are unable to find an alternative route for the transmission tower(s) or line, compulsory acquisition of the easement may occur, meaning UPC acquire an easement across the land. UPC will always negotiate with landowners in good faith to arrive at an agreed outcome and compulsory acquisition is a last resort as it requires Tasmanian Government approval under the Electricity Supply Act 1995.
We encourage you to provide any feedback via email at participate@upc-ac.com or call us on 6432 7999.