AEMO has awarded the contract to design, construct, own and operate the Mortlake Turn-in Project, as well as a System Support Agreement (SSA) contract as part of the Victorian Government’s Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) Development Plan (RDP) in the Western Victoria region. 

Following a competitive process, Transmission Operations (Australia) 3 (TOA3), a subsidiary of Australian Energy Operations, has been awarded a System Support Agreement to provide up to 600MW of services to strengthen the power system and increase generation capacity in the Western Victoria region.

TOA3 will provide services from a synchronous condenser tailored solution located at the Ararat Terminal Station. The project is expected to commence commercial operations in late 2025 with a contracted service life of 20 years.

In August 2021, a competitive tender process commenced, calling for expressions of interest. After evaluating responses, shortlisted parties were requested to submit detailed submissions and participate in subsequent discussions with a tender evaluation team.

Based upon these interactions, and input from the State on the Social Procurement and Local Jobs First tender response, TOA3 was identified as the preferred tenderer.

Mortlake Turn-in Project

AEMO has also contracted AusNet Services to design, construct, own and operate the Mortlake Turn-in Project.

Currently, two 500kV transmission circuits run past the Mortlake Terminal Station, with only one (Moorabool to Mortlake to Heywood) connected to the station. The Mortlake Turn-in Project will connect the existing Tarrone to Haunted Gully 500kV transmission circuit at the Mortlake Terminal Station.

Connecting both circuits at the Mortlake Terminal Station will allow a more balanced sharing of power between the two parallel circuits, making the network in the area more stable, which is expected to allow up to 1,500MW of additional generation output by the end of 2025.

In addition, AusNet Services has been contracted to deliver nine minor power-system augmentations across Victoria’s Murray River, South West and Central North REZs before the end of 2025.

Designed to increase network capacity by approximately 200MW to harness existing and future renewable generation developments in these areas, the projects include investment that will reduce voltage and thermal limitations and generation curtailment.

For these non-contestable projects, AEMO provided AusNet Services, Victoria’s Declared Transmission System Operator, request for proposal packages that contained technical, commercial, social procurement and Local Jobs First requirements.

The response by AusNet Services was then thoroughly analysed from a technical, commercial and legal perspective to confirm compliance, including several workshops and discussions to clarify conformance.

AusNet Chief Executive Officer, Tony Narvaez, said AusNet is pleased to be able to deliver these projects for the community and on behalf of AEMO and the Victorian Government.

“They will strengthen and modernise Victoria’s electricity infrastructure, contribute to the stability of the network, and help allow a smooth transition to renewables,” Mr Narvaez said

“We look forward to working with the local community to identify opportunities for jobs and the procurement of goods and services.”

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