The Victorian Government’s VicGrid has begun public consultations regarding new transmission connections necessary for offshore wind farms.
Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio, announced that VicGrid has begun public consultation in Gippsland and Portland on a coordinated approach to new transmission connections that are essential for offshore wind.
VicGrid, will lead four phases of planned, respectful and ongoing public engagement to share information and ensure local values and concerns are actively considered in the development of the new transmission.
VicGrid has prepared a Development and Engagement Roadmap 2023. This will provide information on VicGrid’s role and development approach, invite feedback on the approach, and establish ongoing consultation and coordination arrangements.
Phase One of the plan will begin immediately with direct, place-based engagement with Traditional Owners, communities and stakeholders. Only after this process of information sharing will VicGrid commence developing preferred options for routes, which will be informed by the feedback received through Phase One.
“Victoria will be the home of Australia’s first offshore wind farms – the State Government is working on new transmission connections to ensure all Victorian homes and businesses can access the benefits of this cheaper and cleaner energy source,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
The Victorian Government has set ambitious targets for at least 2GW of offshore wind capacity by 2032, 4GW by 2035 and 9GW by 2040 – the equivalent to six Yallourn coal fired power stations. The industry is expected to create over 6,000 local jobs and generate billions in investment.
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said, “We want to make sure local communities and stakeholders have a real voice in planning this crucial infrastructure so that it can benefit all Victorians.”
For Victoria’s offshore wind industry to thrive, and to ensure there is enough new capacity to power the state as ageing coal-fired generators retire, new connections are needed to carry this renewable energy to homes and businesses across the state.
VicGrid will ensure new transmission is available in time to support Victoria’s first offshore wind farm, coordinate planning to avoid a ‘spaghetti effect’ of multiple lines criss-crossing the landscape and minimise energy costs for households and businesses.
Traditional Owners, communities and stakeholders across Gippsland and Portland need to be at the heart of the work.
Member for Western Victoria Jacinta Ermacora said, “We’re keen to hear from the Portland community on how we can deliver these new connections – giving local communities the benefits of cheaper renewable energy through wind.”
For more information and to get involved, visit engage.vic.gov.au.