Next step toward unlocking western Victoria’s renewable potential
Western Victoria is one step closer to becoming the state’s renewable energy powerhouse with today’s announcement of the single corridor for the proposed Western Victoria Transmission Network Project.
The new transmission line is urgently needed and would create more than 300 construction jobs while providing economic benefits to communities along the route.
Following early community engagement and investigations, AusNet narrowed down the area of interest to multiple corridors in February 2021. Continued community engagement and technical investigations have continued since then. As a result, AusNet have identified a single corridor, considered to be the least constrained corridor.
The corridor will be subject to further study to identify the proposed final route for the proposed 190km transmission line.
This crucial project will help to ensure sustainable and clean renewable energy being produced throughout western Victoria can enter the electricity grid as the state moves from coal-generated electricity to sustainable green power in coming years.
Western Victoria currently hosts approximately 4,000megawatts (MW) of renewable energy generation and this project will unlock the potential for a further 900MW.
Executive Project Director, Stephanie McGregor, acknowledged the feedback and input from landholders and communities so far and said AusNet will continue to consult over the latest corridor announced today and the right placement of the proposed transmission line within that corridor.
“Nobody knows the land like the landholders themselves. We will work with them to ensure agriculture and other land use can continue along the line with minimal disruption,” Ms McGregor said.
“We have experience working alongside many businesses, farmers and communities across the state who already live, grow crops and operate businesses under our network of 6,500kms of existing transmission lines.”
The selection of the corridor takes into consideration the location of private residences, the surrounding landscape, the environment, cultural significance and the agricultural use of land.
Farming and transmission can occur side-by-side, as they do in many regional communities across Australia.
“We absolutely acknowledge and understand the uncertainty around the issue of farming under potential transmission lines.”
“As a result of investigations, consultations and recognition that farming occurs under existing transmission lines in Victoria, we can confirm that farmers will be able to grow crops, including potatoes, within the transmission line easement.”
“Ongoing engagement continues to be our priority. As the EES progresses there will be many opportunities for landowners and the community to provide further input as the process continues,” Ms McGregor said.
To learn more about the project and upcoming community events visit www.westvictnp.com.au