Six major energy projects across Victoria’s west and north are in the pipeline, offering major opportunities as the state gears up for a big boost in renewable power.
The projects are planned to prepare the state’s transmission grid for the unprecedented load of wind and solar power expected in coming years.
Currently Victoria has its strongest energy infrastructure in the state’s east – the Latrobe Valley - where coal fire power has historically been concentrated.
However, Victoria also has abundant renewable resources along the windy southwest coast, and western Victoria, as well as the sunny north-west. The six upgrades will improve and modernise the energy grid in these areas, so more renewables can flow through Victoria.
The projects include three pieces of infrastructure that will work like ‘shock absorbers’ to smooth out higher and lower rates of energy flowing through the lines, make it easier for renewable energy to enter the grid.
There are also three projects that will upgrade the transmission network, to increase the capacity of existing lines, so they can carry higher energy loads, pumping more renewables across Victoria.
The Victorian Government has commissioned the national Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to seek tenders for the six projects, which will modernise the state’s electricity grid.
The works will enable the upgraded grid to handle up to 1500 megawatts of additional generation and are the first phase of a broader plan to unlock up to 10,000 megawatts across Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones.
The Stage One projects come under the $540 million Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) Fund. VicGrid, a new body established as a Division within the State’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), will oversee investment decisions related to the REZ Fund.