Electricity growth is double average
Electricity demand of the 6000 electricity customers between Kincumber South and Hardys Bay has grown by more than six per cent a year in recent years, according Energy Australia.
"This is more than double the average increase on other parts of Energy Australia's network and we forecast this will continue for some time," said Energy Australia media advisor Mr Allyn Hamonet.
"This is being driven, in part, by increased use of air conditioning and the conversion of traditional holiday homes to more permanent dwellings.
"As a result of this increased energy usage, existing power lines supplying the area are now approaching maximum capacity," he said.
The Empire Bay substation was expected to address present and future demand in areas such as Empire Bay, Killcare Heights, Hardys Bay and Daleys Point as well as improve reliability in these areas, he said.
Mr Hamonet said Energy Australia was not expecting future developments as big as the current $50 million substation upgrade at Empire Bay.
"We do not anticipate the need for further zone substation developments in the area in the near future unless an unexpected large development arises."
Mr Hamonet said the $50 million project was expected to have an operational life span of 50 years and would be capable of meeting projected increases in demand for the foreseeable future.
Future network upgrades in the Peninsula area are expected to include a $7 million project to replace the underground electricity network supplying St Huberts Island and a $7 million upgrade to the street network serving customers in Wagstaffe, Booker Bay, Ettalong, Hardys Bay, Pretty Beach and Killcare.
"To continue to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity, ongoing maintenance and upgrade work will continue to be carried out on the street network supplying customers across the Peninsula," said Mr Hamonet.