The Victorian Government has announced six new major energy projects across regional Victoria that will prepare its grid for the unprecedented load of renewable energy in the pipeline.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the first stage of the $540 million Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) will make it easier for new projects to be connected to Victoria’s grid – signalling to developers Victoria is ready for new solar and wind projects.
Currently Victoria has its strongest energy infrastructure in the Latrobe Valley, where coal fire power has historically been concentrated. However, Victoria’s most abundant renewable resources are found along the windy Southwest coast, and Western Victoria, as well as the sunny North-west. These transmission upgrades will improve and modernise the energy grid in these areas, so more renewables can flow through Victoria.
The six 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 State Government has commissioned the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to seek tenders for the six projects.
Minister D’Ambrosio said the projects will unlock the next wave of renewable energy across Victoria.
“They will ensure we have the transmission needed to harness the sunshine and wind across Victoria,” she said.
“This is a clear signal to investors that Victoria is open for business, and ready for new wind and solar projects that create jobs and opportunities in local communities across Victoria.”
VicGrid, a new body, has been tasked with coordinating the overarching planning and development of Victorian REZs. More information can be found here.