VNI West

Increased community consultation and accelerated planning on nation-critical transmission project VNI West

21 February 2023

A Victorian Government initiative has accelerated the planning process for the Victoria NSW Interconnector West (VNI West) – a new transmission project which will secure the electricity supply and boost sharing between the two states.

Transgrid CEO Brett Redman welcomed the Ministerial Order under the National Electricity (Victoria) Act 2005 (NEVA), which will give communities a greater opportunity for input on the 500kv interconnector which is designed to provide reliable and affordable energy for consumers as ageing coal-fired generation is retired.

“Transgrid is planning this project with Australian Energy Market Operator Victoria Planning (AEMO VP) and together we recognise the need to work closely with communities to successfully deliver this major infrastructure, which will increase consumer access to cheaper, cleaner electricity from renewable generators as energy storage becomes critical,” said Mr Redman.

“This Ministerial order allows local communities to provide information and feedback above and beyond the opportunities already made as part of the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process and it also accelerates planning for early works on the project.

“Transgrid will continue to engage extensively with communities, landowners and other stakeholders on VNI West to identify opportunities and challenges as we plan for this major project.”

VNI West, together with Transgrid’s other major transmission projects EnergyConnect and HumeLink will reshape the National Electricity Market to enable greater sharing between NSW, Victoria and South Australia and meet the nation’s clean energy targets.

“Transgrid is accelerating the energy transition by delivering these major projects - enabling the integration of renewable generation - delivering cheaper, cleaner and secure electricity to millions of Australians.”

The Australian Energy Market Operator identified VNI West as an actionable project in the Integrated System Plan (ISP) for the National Electricity Market (NEM).

VNI West is currently being assessed for viability and is in the early regulatory assessment stage, however the project is not yet approved by the Australian Energy Regulator. Transgrid and AEMO VP will publish a consultation report next week that responds to stakeholder feedback on the Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR). A six-week period of community consultation will follow.

The project’s regulatory assessment stage is expected to be complete by early 2023 and if a positive outcome is realised, the VNI West project will have a solid platform to progress with full development and delivery of the new interconnector by 2031.
For more information, visit the VNI West page.

Transgrid media contact:
Michelle Stone 0438 293 917