The Victorian Government will use its powers to speed up the development of VNI West, the vital new interconnector between the Victorian and New South Wales electricity grids, and will engage communities to shape what the transmission line looks like.
RE-Alliance, an independent community-based organisation, welcomes this announcement as an important step to develop community-supported, environmentally sensitive transmission infrastructure.
“Transmission infrastructure is crucial to bring clean and reliable power generated in Western Victoria to the national energy network. VNI West is a critical piece of transmission to keep the lights on as coal leaves the energy system,” said RE-Alliance Victoria and Tasmania Coordinator Tony Goodfellow.
“Enabling the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to start early works on VNI West will ensure this key infrastructure is built right the first time – on the best possible route, with strong community engagement and with the least possible environmental footprint.”
"AEMO is already assessing alternative routes for VNI West, including upgrading the Western Renewables Link connection point so that a route further west can be realised.”
“This step will plan beyond the conventional ‘least cost option’ and build infrastructure that best meets local needs.”
“Governments have a responsibility to make sure landholders receive fair compensation for hosting this infrastructure. Last year the NSW Government introduced a policy to pay transmission line hosts $200,000 per kilometre over a 20-year period. RE-Alliance is advocating for similar payments in Victoria.”
“This is an opportunity to build infrastructure for our renewable energy future in a way that benefits affected communities and our environment. We need to do it once and do it right,” adds Mr. Goodfellow.
Western Victoria has some of the best wind resources in the world; energy revolution in the region can deliver long-term benefits for local communities through jobs and economic growth.
For interviews please contact Padmapriya Muralidharan on 0452 209 430.