Royal Melbourne Hospital High Voltage Connection Feasibility Assessment


The Royal Melbourne Hospital in Parkville was planning a redevelopment project, and the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA) was responsible for selecting an appropriate electrical supply connection for the hospital. 

The hospital was located in CitiPower’s distribution supply area, and VHBA had two options to consider based on the economic analysis conducted. The options included upgrading the existing 11kV grid supply connections or constructing a new 66kV substation and associated 66kV grid connection with CitiPower. To aid in the decision-making process, NEN Consulting was engaged to perform economic analysis and modeling of the two options in the short term. NEN Consulting provided VHBA with the work and material requirements for each option and served as the point of contact with CitiPower to obtain approval for any pre-planning. Ultimately, VHBA was able to make an informed decision and proceed with the project successfully.


Victorian Health Building Authority

Year Completed

 2022 – Ongoing


Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria


The key challenge in this project was to maintain a reliable electrical power supply while also achieving economic benefits. 

Specifically, the challenge involved assessing the 22kV and 66kV tariffs, and analysing the economic benefits of upgrading the existing electrical supply infrastructure at the hospital. NEN Consulting was engaged to provide technical and commercial advice, considering factors such as design and engineering, construction, testing and commissioning, and operational and maintenance costs. One of the primary concerns was ensuring a consistent supply of power, especially during times of electricity infrastructure failure. In addition, there were risks related to replacement and maintenance, EMF risks and their potential effects on hospital equipment and patients, and interfacing with the local energy provider’s existing grid. 

The NEN Consulting team was able to draw on prior experience in designing and constructing high-voltage substations to provide solutions to these challenges. The team also worked with VHBA to determine an optimal go-to-market strategy that aligned with the needs of the Royal Melbourne Hospital.


NEN Consulting was able to achieve several outcomes for the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the VHBA. 

Firstly, they successfully modelled tariffs for both 22kV and 66kV supply options using the forecast load estimates provided by VHBA. Their model had an interactive power selection feature which allowed for immediate calculation of the NPV of each supply option based on the switching year. Additionally, NEN leveraged their prior knowledge to create preliminary substation layouts, construction and maintenance estimates, and simplified single line diagrams to assist in further design and construction of the substations.

NEN presented an assessment between the options using a 30-year financial model of the net present value, resulting in a recommended action that would save $19.3M per annum of fees. They also planned a substation layout that would fit within the basement constraints provided by VHBA and was compliant with CitiPower requirements. Finally, they provided suggested actions to handle EMF and EMI produced by the substation to minimise their impact on the surrounding hospital equipment. 

All of this resulted in VHBA maintaining electrical power supply reliability while delivering considerable economic benefits for the redevelopment. 


Our work for this client included:

  • High voltage design and engineering
  • Substation design
  • Design review
  • Review of maximum demand forecast
  • Technical Utility scope engineering review
  • Cost estimation
  • Economic modelling and tariff analysis
  • Regulatory advice relating to:
    • Connection charges
    • Connection offers
  • Management / executive summary and advice
  • Negotiation with utilities

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