Aus Net8361

AusNet Services currently operates 6,500kms of transmission lines across Victoria.

Victoria’s existing transmission network does not have the capacity to transport the renewable energy being generated in western Victoria to the rest of the state.

Overview

Critical upgrade of the state's transmission network

Our energy network was originally built to carry energy generated from brown coal in the Latrobe Valley to the rest of the state. As we move from coal-generated electricity to sustainable green power, this critical upgrade of the transmission network will help to keep the lights on and power prices down.

Playing a key role in energy supply availability

A new transmission line is required to deliver renewable energy from wind and solar farms in western Victoria, a key renewable energy zone, to homes across Victoria and into the National Electricity Market. The Western Renewables Link is needed to urgently reduce congestion on the existing transmission network and to help unlock significant amounts of clean electricity for Victorians.

The project will involve major economic investment in western Victoria. Many local goods, services and contractors are expected to be used throughout construction.

Sustainability

Supporting a sustainable future for Australia

AusNet Services is actively supporting the transition to renewable energy, connecting both local and grid-scale renewable generation. We are planning and delivering transmission network projects to reduce potential network constraints, maximising the volumes of renewable energy that can be generated across Victoria.

The transmission network continues to be upgraded and expanded to support rapid growth in renewable generation. To date, we have connected around 1,600MW of new renewable generation across Victoria.

At a local level, we will work with communities to empower them to use local resources and infrastructure to community energy projects. Along with solar systems and battery storage across several energy clusters, we are also developing exciting opportunities such as hydrogen conversion, waste to energy, and electric vehicle charging networks.

The move to renewable generation means lower cost electricity, economic productivity from carbon abatement, local business opportunities and job creation to address the skills gap for the pipeline of projects that need to be completed to transition Australia to renewables.

WVT006 WRL Diagrams dc14 Project timeline

Project development

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) selected AusNet Services to deliver the project following a competitive tender process in December 2019. AusNet Services will build, own, operate and maintain the new infrastructure and deliver the minor upgrade works required for the project.

The Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process shaped the project scope of the Western Renewables Link project.

Ongoing community and stakeholder engagement

AusNet Services has been undertaking extensive investigations and community and stakeholder engagement since early 2020 and is responsible for securing the necessary planning and environmental approvals to deliver the proposed project. These approvals are outlined under Planning & Approvals.

The project is subject to an Environment Effects Statement (EES), the most rigorous environmental impact assessment process in Victoria. The Western Renewables Link is in the preparatory stage of the EES.

Community input is central to the EES process and important information provided by landholders and the community helps to inform the development and design of the project. The EES will document how AusNet Services has consulted and responded to issues raised by the community.

Learn more about Planning & Approvals

Route selection

The proposed route has been identified based on a range of technical investigations, landholder, community and stakeholder input, and constructability and technical aspects.

Our engagement and consultation activities will continue, along with further technical studies, field studies and investigations, until we submit the EES for the project to the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) formerly the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

Narrowing down the area of interest

Area of interest diagram August 2022

Learn more about the route selection

As part of the Environment Effects Statement, feasible project alternatives will be considered, together with wider discussion of other alternatives considered but not pursued including:

  • Alternative corridors and routes.
  • Locations of infrastructure such as terminal stations.
  • Designs including overhead and underground.
  • Other options for the planning, construction or operation of the project.

Construction

The Western Renewables Link is still in the planning, design and approvals stage. The proposed project requires Victorian and Commonwealth Government approval as well as extensive community consultation through the Environment Effects Statement process before construction may commence.

FAQs

We have developed a comprehensive set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that will be updated as the proposed project develops.

View FAQs

Any other questions?

If you have a property in the proposed route, your dedicated Land Liaison Officer will be your main point of contact. Contact details for your Land Liaison Officer can be provided by the project team.

If you have a property close to the proposed route and have any concerns, please contact the project's Community Engagement Team.

Contact us on 1300 360 795 or via email info@westernrenewableslink.com.au.

Other community members can provide feedback on the project via email info@westernrenewableslink.com.au. To stay informed register for project updates.

List of acronyms and their definitions

EMI

Electric and magnetic interference
EMFElectric and magnetic fields
ESOEnvironmental Significance Overlay
LGALocal Government Area
HVACHigh Voltage Alternating Current
HVDCHigh Voltage Direct Current
SLOSignificant Landscape Overlay
SWVLASSouth West Victoria Landscape Assessment Study
TECThreatened Ecological Community
VPO

Vegetation Protection Overlay