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Hunter Transmission Project

Frequently asked questions

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Please contact our community team on [email protected] to suggest a question.

What is the HTP?

HTP stands for Hunter Transmission Project. It is one of the State’s most critical energy projects and will provide clean and reliable electricity to consumers for generations to come. Building a new 500 kilovolt (kV) double circuit transmission line between Bayswater and Eraring will help create a 500 kV ring of transmission infrastructure that will strengthen the backbone of the State’s electricity grid. Importantly, it will unlock electricity supply from the Central-West Orana and New England Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) allowing it to be imported to the electricity grid via Bayswater. From here it will be delivered to consumers in the Hunter, Sydney and Illawarra where 80% of electricity is consumed.

Who is EnergyCo?

EnergyCo is the NSW Government statutory authority responsible for delivering the HTP as a critical part of transitioning to a cleaner future under the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap. This is the NSW Government’s plan to replace our ageing coal-fired power stations with renewable energy and provide cleaner, more affordable and reliable electricity to consumers. 

Where will the HTP be built? 

The new transmission line will run for around 115 kilometres, connecting Bayswater in the Upper Hunter to Eraring in the Lower Hunter. We’ve found a suitable preliminary corridor that will minimise impacts on people and the environment. We’ll refine this over the next 18 months as we engage with the Hunter community. Importantly, most of the corridor crosses mining, industrial and suitable public land like State forests, avoiding major towns and villages. It also avoids the Pokolbin wine/tourist area, national parks and other environmentally sensitive areas. This will help to minimise impacts on private property. 

How tall are the transmission towers?   

The towers will be around 70 metres tall. They’re generally spaced between 400 and 600 metres apart and will sit within an easement of around 70 metres. 

When will the HTP be built?  

Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2026 and the HTP is expected to be operating in late 2027/early 2028. This means we have 18 months to work with the Hunter community to get the details right.

Why is it critical to energy security? 

Most of our ageing coal-fired power stations are due to shut in the next 10 years. At the same time, our demand for electricity is increasing as our population grows and we electrify our vehicles, homes, businesses and industry. This demand will be supplied by renewable energy. The HTP is the missing piece in the State’s new electricity grid and is needed to deliver clean electricity from the State’s new REZs to consumers in the Hunter, Sydney and Illawarra – this is why it’s critical to energy security.  

Why can’t existing transmission lines be used? 

The existing 300 kV transmission infrastructure between Bayswater and Eraring is more than 30 years old. It’s inadequate to carry the large volume of electricity needed to meet growing demand in the Hunter, Sydney and Illawarra. New 500 kV transmission lines from the State’s north and west will bring clean energy from the REZs to Bayswater. Then the HTP will ‘close the loop’ by transporting it to consumers, providing a reliable supply of energy for generations to come. 

How did you choose the preliminary HTP corridor? 

In a region as diverse as the Hunter, it’s difficult to find a suitable route for a transmission line between Bayswater and Eraring. After extensive investigations, we’ve identified a preliminary corridor where the HTP could be located that strikes a reasonable balance between different land uses in the Hunter. 

Most of the preliminary corridor crosses mining, industrial and suitable public land. It also avoids sensitive areas such as major towns and villages, national parks and the Pokolbin wine/tourist area. The corridor affects as few private properties as possible. It also provides flexibility to avoid environmentally sensitive areas important for biodiversity and Aboriginal cultural heritage. 

What alternative corridors were considered?

The existing 330 kV transmission easement between Bayswater and Richmond Vale  

This option would be more expensive because the existing lines would need to be taken down and rebuilt to create space for the HTP. It would also take longer, to rule out any likelihood of delivering the HTP by early 2028. 
This is because the existing lines are essential for supplying electricity to Newcastle, making it difficult to secure the outages needed to construct the new transmission line. Finally, it would increase energy security risks in NSW by concentrating all electricity supply between Bayswater and Newcastle in a single easement.  


Next to the existing 330 kV transmission easement  

This option would cause significant land use conflicts in the Pokolbin wine/tourist area and surrounding residential areas. It would also cause extensive clearing of endangered valley floor vegetation. 
This includes the Warkworth Sands Woodland and Central Hunter Valley Eucalyptus Forest and Woodland in areas such as the Singleton Military Area, Werakata State Conservation Area (SCA) and Werakata National Park.  


The bushland to the south of the Pokolbin wine/tourist area  

This option would result in an even greater clearing of endangered valley floor vegetation in the Werakata SCA and Werakata National Park. This vegetation provides critical habitat for several threatened species such as the Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater. 
This option would also cause significant landscape-wide visual impacts in the rural residential areas around Ellalong and Quorrobolong.  


The valley further south of the Pokolbin wine/tourist area  

This option would result in significant land use conflicts with the growing residential areas around Millfield and Mount View. 
It would also cause significant landscape-wide visual impacts in the rural residential areas around Ellalong and Quorrobolong. 

See EnergyCo’s interactive map 

Why not use the existing 132 kV easement?

In identifying the preliminary corridor, existing easements and infrastructure between Bayswater and Eraring were assessed and passed over as they didn’t adequately meet the project objectives.  

Specifically, existing Ausgrid 132 kV lines between Newcastle and Bayswater are not surplus to use, and the easements are not sufficient to accommodate a 500 kV transmission line which requires an easement around 70 metres wide. 

Using the 132 kV line/s would require access to a large number of small properties along the easement, causing a much greater impact on private property than the proposed corridor (the HTP preliminary corridor) including residential communities, viticulture and tourism areas. 

The use of 132 kV route/s would result in the 500 kV line being 30% longer and requiring more towers to facilitate a more complex design (because of the many angles along the easement.) It would require significant clearing of important valley floor vegetation. 

See EnergyCo’s interactive map 

Are environmental impacts being considered?

We carried out preliminary investigations to identify where the HTP could be located. This included environmental studies (bushfire, biodiversity, heritage and visual) and consultation with key stakeholders such as local councils.  

The preliminary corridor provides flexibility to avoid environmentally sensitive areas important for biodiversity. 
We’re working with the community and stakeholders including environment groups, the Forestry Corporation of NSW and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to avoid and minimise impacts on endangered ecological communities and threatened species and deliver strategic offsets that will improve biodiversity values in the Hunter. 

A detailed assessment of environmental impacts will also be carried out as part of the HTP’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which forms part of the project’s approval process. 

Are you consulting with the Aboriginal community about cultural heritage in State forests?

We’re committed to finding ways to minimise the impacts of the HTP on all stakeholders. 

We're working together to minimise the project’s impacts on sensitive areas and Aboriginal cultural heritage by understanding cultural values, and what’s important to Aboriginal stakeholders and undertaking cultural mapping in the State forests. 

Will private property be affected?   

Yes. We know that private land can’t be completely avoided. That’s why we’re focusing on engaging with the small number of potentially affected landholders along the corridor to refine the design of the project. We’ll talk to landowners to identify concerns and minimise impacts where possible.  

Will affected property owners be compensated?   

Yes. Affected private landholders will receive compensation to host transmission infrastructure on their land. In addition, they’ll receive a Strategic Benefit Payment of $200,000 per kilometre of transmission hosted, paid in annual instalments over 20 years. Our team will work with affected private landowners to minimise potential impacts and provide support during the compensation process. 

What can I do if the HTP preliminary corridor goes over or near my land? 

We have a dedicated local team who’ll  work with potentially affected landowners. We’re available to meet with you, provide information and answer questions. During the planning phase, we’ll talk with you to understand how your land is used and identify other possible property impacts or concerns. This will inform potential improvements to the design of the project. For example, this could include avoiding dwellings and high value land, minimising fragmentation of blocks, limiting construction access and addressing other amenity issues. 

What are the project benefits?  

In addition to providing clean and reliable electricity, the HTP will support economic growth in the Hunter. We will harness and build on the region’s diverse economic skill base and provide opportunities for the Hunter community to share in the benefits of the project. That means: 

  • working with local councils and the community to fund local projects 
  • providing Strategic Benefit Payments to private landowners hosting transmission infrastructure 
  •  increasing income and employment opportunities for the local Aboriginal community 
  • employing as many locals as possible and purchasing goods and services from Hunter businesses. 

It will also include delivering strategic biodiversity offsets to improve conservation values and enhancing recreational facilities in the State forests. These initiatives will take a Hunter first approach with suggestions from the community. 

How can I get involved and have my say? 

We’re committed to genuine community engagement. That means working closely with potentially affected landowners, local communities, the local Aboriginal community and other key stakeholders. This is so we can identify and address concerns, and work together to create a positive legacy for the HTP. There are also key dates when we’ll ask for formal feedback. The first will be when we seek public submissions on the HTP in mid-November 2023. 

We have a dedicated local team available to provide information to you and answer questions. Please contact our community team by email [email protected] or phone 1800 645 972. 

Why do the transmission towers need to be so big?   

The height of transmission towers is carefully calculated to provide appropriate insulation for the volume of energy being transported through high voltage lines. Also, to maintain safety clearance from the ground and surrounding vegetation. To ensure energy security in NSW for generations to come, we need the highest voltage transmission lines used on the NSW network (500 kV) to safely move bulk energy around the core grid. 

Will the project affect my health or safety? 

No. There may some temporary noise, dust and traffic impacts as the HTP is constructed – this will be examined as part of the HTP Environmental Impact Statement. Transmission lines produce extremely low EMFs (electro and magnetic fields), according to the World Health Organisation. EMFs are present in the atmosphere and whenever we use electricity in everyday life – for example when you use household appliances. 

Is this just a proposal at this stage? 

The HTP has been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure because it is essential for energy security. However, all project details including environmental and community impacts are yet to be assessed and approved by both the NSW Government and the Australian Government. 

Is the HTP part of the Hunter-Central Coast REZ?  

No. These are separate EnergyCo projects with different objectives. The Hunter Central-Coast (HCC) REZ is in early planning stages and is likely to rely on augmentations to the existing grid. The HTP is critical for energy security and will connect the State’s existing 500 kV transmissions to strengthen the backbone of the NSW electricity grid for generations to come. It is a 500 kV double circuit transmission line to transport bulk clean energy (electricity) from the Central-West Orana and New England REZs to the grid. We’ll coordinate the delivery of both projects to minimise cumulative impacts. 

What’s the HTP’s relationship to the Central-West Orana and New England REZs? 

The HTP will unlock the electricity supply of these REZs and transfer it to the Hunter, Sydney and Illawarra where 80% of the State’s electricity is consumed. 

Will you consult with the local Aboriginal community? 

Yes. We’ll engage with the local Aboriginal community to make sure the HTP doesn’t affect any sensitive areas or cultural heritage. We’ll also work with these groups to increase income and employment opportunities for the local Aboriginal community in line with the First Nations Guidelines

What about land used by community groups such as State forests, can’t this be avoided? 

The corridor for the HTP provides flexibility to avoid key recreation areas in the State forests. We’ll seek input from community groups using the State forests and make every effort to align or realign the transmission line to minimise any disruption to recreational activities.  

Why is the timetable so fast?  

Our ageing coal-fired power stations are closing faster than expected, with most due to shut in the next 10 years. Australia’s biggest power station at Eraring is scheduled to close in 2025 – keep in mind it produces approximately 25% of the State’s power. Clean energy from the new REZs is needed urgently to fill the gap. The HTP is a critical missing piece of infrastructure that will deliver this clean energy to consumers in the Hunter, Sydney and Illawarra where 80% of NSW’s electricity is consumed. 

What do you mean by energy security? 

Energy security means we’ll have a reliable electricity supply in coming years as coal fired power stations close and NSW transitions to clean energy.  

Does the HTP preliminary corridor go through the Watagans National Park?

No, the HTP preliminary corridor avoids the Werakata National Park and Watagans National Park.  


More information

Have your say on the HTP preliminary corridor by 18 Dec

Back to the Hunter Transmission Project overview

How EnergyCo is working with the HTP community

More resources about the Hunter Transmission Project

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Hunter Transmission Project or would like to provide feedback, please contact us.

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 1800 645 972 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)

You can also register for email updates here