On Friday the Energy Security Board announced new Rules to encourage greater local participation in transmission planning.
Building new transmission lines is a critical step to securing the transition to renewables.
The new power lines will connect Renewable Energy Zones with lots of wind and solar projects across a region to the national grid.
Consulting local communities thoroughly and allowing them to participate in choosing the best route is essential to the development of these lines.
These changes will ensure that for future large-scale transmission lines, communities are consulted much earlier in the process, avoiding backlash which can otherwise occur.
Energy Security Board Chair, Dr Kerry Schott says “A key objective of the new rules is to get transmission planners to engage with local communities earlier so that local issues can be understood earlier in the planning process”.
This is fantastic news for communities in proposed renewable energy zones.
The changes to the rules will enable greater stakeholder consultation earlier in the transmission line planning process.
In line with recommendations RE-Alliance has previously made to this consultation process, future Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) plans may now mandate early stakeholder engagement and environmental assessment for future projects.
This means that in new Renewable Energy Zones, community consultation and preliminary assessment of environmental and planning approvals is able to occur much earlier in the planning process than was previously the case.
The AEMO is due to release it's next Integrated Systems Plan in July 2022.
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