Mount Isa is joining the national electricity grid

Did you know that a 1,100-kilometre, high-voltage overhead power network is being built that will connect Mount Isa to the National Electricity Market? Read on to find out everything you need to know, including all the benefits for Mount Isa businesses and residents, plus answers to FAQs.

How will it happen?

Building the overhead power transmission line is known as the ‘CopperString 2.0’ project and it will connect Mount Isa with Townsville. The line will be built in stages of three connected sections:

  • Townsville to Hughenden (a 500 kilovolt line)
  • Hughenden to Cloncurry (a 300 kilovolt line)
  • Cloncurry to Mount Isa (a 200 kilovolt line).

There will be transmission towers every 500 to 600 metres across the network. Significantly, the network will incorporate a clean energy hub at Hughenden (Kennedy Energy Park, a hybrid wind, solar and energy storage facility).

The goal of the $5 billion project is to provide cheaper and more reliable long-term power to the north-west Queensland region, including renewable energy options. It is the largest electricity project undertaken in Queensland for several decades.

The project will be managed by Powerlink, a Queensland government-owned entity that’s responsible for developing, operating and maintaining the State’s high-voltage electricity network between Cairns and the New South Wales border.

When will it happen?

Construction of the network is expected to commence in 2024 and 800 jobs are expected to be created over the next 6 years to ensure its completion by 2030. It’s also expected that 100 ongoing jobs will also be created to ensure the network’s ongoing management and maintenance.

What does this mean for mining companies?

Cheaper and more reliable power in the Mount Isa region is likely to encourage the expansion of our mining industry as a whole. It will help the commercial viability of new mine projects necessary to extract even more minerals from our abundant supply in the region.

State Member for Traeger Robbie Katter recently said: “It can’t be understated how deeply significant this is. This will sustain the north-west for the next 50 to 100 years. This is of benefit to all of Queensland … We’ve still got $750 billion of metals in the ground that we know of, all to be taken out if you’ve got cheaper and better electricity supply.”

Due to Mount Isa’s isolation, we currently have an isolated and relatively small power grid. We are connected to the Eastern Gas Pipeline and the Carpentaria Gas Pipeline.

What does this mean for local jobs in Mount Isa?

The expansion of the mining industry that the new power network is expected to encourage will boost new job creation and opportunities in the sector. Any expansion of the mining industry will also have a flow-on effect to other industries as the local economy and the region expands.

What could this mean for Mount Isa commercial property prices?

The CopperString 2.0 project is a major infrastructure project and it’s likely to have a very positive impact on long-term commercial property prices. It will help to provide the certainty needed to encourage long-term commercial property investments.

Expansion of the Mt Isa commercial property market is also likely to have a positive flow-on effect for residential property prices.

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Jays Real Estate has been Mount Isa’s premier commercial and residential and real estate agency since 1981.

If you’re thinking about leasing, selling, buying or renting any Mt Isa property, or you need your property professionally managed, then contact our team today for an obligation-free chat!

We’d be happy to provide you with advice and to answer any property questions you have.